Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Literature finalist, 2013The Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada's Information Book Award finalist, 20122013 Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Liter
Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Literature finalist, 2013
The Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada's Information Book Award finalist, 2012
2013 Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Literature nominee
Sierra Leone is the poorest country in Africa. Yet it is populated by people who are hopeful, and aspire to better themselves through education, proper health care, and through putting behind them the horrors of civil war.
Kathleen Martin spent several weeks in the tiny village of Kamakwie in the interior of the West African country. Here she spoke to the people - and the children -- about their lives, their aspirations, their memories of war. The experience was a revelation, which she has so wonderfully chronicled in this moving and inspiring portrait of a people willing to forgive so they can look to the future with regained hope and dignity.
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is a wonderful piece of literature that has the ability to touch the hearts and minds of North Americans. It is refreshing to see Ms. Martin translate the lives of youth affected by war in Sierra Leone in such a powerful, yet honest and hopeful manner."
— Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire
, author of the best-selling, Governor General's Award winner Shake Hands With the Devil
"Buy this book. Read it yourself and share it with your children and your students and the world will be changed. It is impossible to be unmoved by this tragic but inspiring story of individuals who have seen the worst and still have hope. . . "Kamakwie is not a tragedy. It is a story of resilience and joy. Whether they were able to flee the war or were forced to stay and endure, everyone has a story, but, remarkably, the photos provide evidence of people who are allowing themselves to smile again. People have hope for a better future for their children, but that future doesn't include passing on hatred and bitterness for the wounds of the past."
— CM Magazine
"The purpose of Martin's story seems to be twofold: on one hand, she wants to showcase a people striving for progress and finding joy wherever possible, on the other, she wants to remind the world that we knew what was going on during Sierra Leone's civil war. . . Martin encourages readers. . . to do whatever they can to help people in need. The lesson that will hopefully linger long after reading is that, in Martin's words, 'it is not anger that will fix injustice. It is love. Boundless.'"
— Quill & Quire
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is an editor, writer, and executive director of the Canadian Sea Turtle Network. She is the author of six non-fiction books for children. She lives in Halifax.