The Red Pencil =
Amira dreams of attending a school for girls, and learning how to read and write. In the meantime, she draws pictures with sticks in the sand. Her life in Sudan is shifted violently after Janjaweed warriors attack. Amira and her remaining family members endure a long walk to a crowded refugee camp. What future awaits?
This is a book in verse is designed to teach middle grade readers about the plight of refugees and survivors of the conflict in Darfur, in western Sudan. Although many of the stories are quite disturbing, the treatment here is crafted to introduce readers to the truth without being gratuitously graphic. The black and white illustrations seem suited for younger students than this topic requires; the larger shapes are likely references to Amira's stick drawings. This is an important topic that is underrepresented in literature for this age group.
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