Saturday, December 29, 2007

Smarty Saturday Book Recommenation: Girl Soldier

A few days ago I wrote about the plight of children who are used as soldiers in times of war, often against their will. One country I wrote about was Uganda, where children often walk miles to larger towns to sleep in public so that they will be safe from military groups who want to kidnap them.
Our book recommendation for this week is Girl Soldier, by Faith J. H. McDonnell and Grace Akallo. Grace was fifteen years old when the Lord's Resistance Army invaded her boarding school, and took Grace and many of her schoolmates to be soldiers. From then on, Grace's life was very different. She was given a gun and taught how to use it, and expected to use it frequently. She was forced to march each day, survive on very little food, and she saw several of the other children wither away and die. Grace herself once passed out from hunger, and woke up buried beneath a pile of corpses, where she had been left for dead. She was beaten and sexually abused by adult soldiers. Somehow, Grace managed to escape, and find her way to a World Vision facility, where she was safe.
Grace's story is very interesting because it is proof that these children are real people and their suffering is very real. Grace survived it, and she has written her story to try to bring awareness of the plights of the rest of the children who are still suffering.
Faith McDonnell, who helped Grace write the story, also writes about the history of child soldiers and gives more information on the topic in the book.
The book has a very Christian slant, but even if you are not Christian you'll still find a strong message in this book. (I'm not Christian, and I just stuck to the plot line instead of reading all the religious stuff...)
If you want to learn more about the lives of child soldiers, this is a good book to start with!

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