USBBY Outstanding International Books Honor List
In this book, Deborah Ellis turns her attention to the most tragic victims of the Iraq war -- Iraqi children. She interviews young people, mostly refugees living in Jordan, but also a few who are trying to build new lives in North America. Some families have left Iraq with money; others are penniless and ill or disabled. Most of the children have parents who are working illegally or not at all, and the fear of deportation is a constant threat.
Ellis provides an historical overview and brief explanations of context, but other than that allows the children to speak for themselves, with minimal editorial comment or interference. Their stories are frank, harrowing and sometimes show surprising resilience, as the children try to survive the consequences of a war in which they played no part. A glossary, map and suggestions for further information are included.
Deborah Ellis has won the Governor General’s Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the University of California’s Middle East Book Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. She is a member of the Order of Canada and has been named to the Order of Ontario.
She is best known for her Breadwinner Trilogy, set in Afghanistan and Pakistan — a series that has been published in twenty-five languages, with $2 million in royalties donated to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and Street Kids International.
...there's no real room for doubt that [the children's] grim attitudes...[and] outlook on the future, are painfully authentic.
An important, current title that will have lasting significance.
Eye-opening...unforgettable and thought-provoking...the contrast between the simple language of these child refugees and the horrific events they relate is wrenching.
The Stories are poignant, heart wrenching, and ring with truth...†...a starting point for a disscussion on the impact of war on children from the childs perspective.
...The voices are poignant, insightful, angry and hopeful...Photographs of the interviewes and a glossary round out an important chronicle of war and the world's most vulnerable-the children.
A collection of heartrending entries based on interviews with displaced kids...The introduction offers a clear, concise summary of the events...and the photographs accompanying the stories personalize the harrowing plights.
Ellis gives children a voice that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to express so readily in the mainstream media...[Children of War] exposes the complexity of the issues surrounding the war, and discourages any simplistic understandings that her readers may have held about the war's origins...A significant strength of this book is its accessibility for readers of all ages and cultural backgrounds...Highly recommended.