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edition:Paperback
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published: Mar 2020
ISBN:9781525304057
publisher: Kids Can Press

Child Soldier

When Boys and Girls Are Used in War

by Jessica Dee Humphreys & Claudia Dávila, illustrated by Claudia Dávila

tagged: military & wars, social activists, africa
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $12.99
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
published: Mar 2020
ISBN:9781525304057
publisher: Kids Can Press
Description

Michel Chikwanine was five years old when he was abducted from his school-yard soccer game in the Democratic Republic of Congo and forced to become a soldier for a brutal rebel militia. Against the odds, Michel managed to escape and find his way back to his family, but he was never the same again. After immigrating to Canada, Michel was encouraged by a teacher to share what happened to him in order to raise awareness about child soldiers around the world, and this book is part of that effort. Told in the first person and presented in a graphic novel format, the gripping story of Michel's experience is moving and unsettling. But the humanity he exhibits in the telling, along with Claudia Dávila's illustrations, which evoke rather than depict the violent elements of the story, makes the book accessible for this age group and, ultimately, reassuring and hopeful. The back matter contains further information, as well as suggestions for ways children can help. This is a perfect resource for engaging youngsters in social studies lessons on global awareness and social justice issues, and would easily spark classroom discussions about conflict, children's rights and even bullying. Michel's actions took enormous courage, but he makes clear that he was and still is an ordinary person, no different from his readers. He believes everyone can do something to make the world a better place, and so he shares what his father told him: “If you ever think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.”

About the Authors

Jessica Dee Humphreys

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Michel Chikwanine has experienced civil war, political upheaval and poverty, emerging as an individual wise beyond his years. Forced by these circumstances to leave his home country at the age of 11 as a refugee, Michel has since traveled to 35 African countries, witnessing firsthand the problems faced by the developing world, but also the beauty of the communities and people who live there.@michelchikwan
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Claudia Dávila

Jessica Dee Humphreys has worked with several girls' rights organizations, including Save the Children and the United Nations Development Fund for Women. She is the co-author of a number of bestselling books, including Roméo Dallaire's Waiting for First Light and They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children. Jessica is also the co-author of the award-winning CitizenKid graphic novel Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War, with Michel Chikwanine. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
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Claudia Dávila writes, illustrates and designs books for kids of all ages, with stories and themes that encourage children to be strong, thoughtful, compassionate and responsible people. She lives in Toronto with her family.
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Contributor Notes

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Michel Chikwanine has experienced civil war, political upheaval and poverty, emerging as an individual wise beyond his years. Forced by these circumstances to leave his home country at the age of 11 as a refugee, Michel has since traveled to 35 African countries, witnessing firsthand the problems faced by the developing world, but also the beauty of the communities and people who live there.@michelchikwan

Jessica Dee Humphreys has worked with several girls' rights organizations, including Save the Children and the United Nations Development Fund for Women. She is the co-author of a number of bestselling books, including Roméo Dallaire's Waiting for First Light and They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children. Jessica is also the co-author of the award-winning CitizenKid graphic novel Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War, with Michel Chikwanine. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Graphic designer and children's illustrator Claudia Dávila was born in Chile and now makes her home in Toronto. She was formerly the art director of Chirp and Chickadee magazines.

Recommended Age and Grade
Age:
10 to 14
Grade:
5 to 9
Awards
  • Short-listed, Non-Fiction Award, Grand Canyon Reader Awards
  • Short-listed, Golden Oak Award, Ontario Library Association
  • Winner, Red Maple Non-Fiction Award, Ontario Library Association
  • Short-listed, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction , Fleck Family Foundation
  • Long-listed, 2016/2017 Children's Choice Book Award, Hackmatack
  • Short-listed, 2016 Book of the Year for Children Award, Canadian Library Association
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred , Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Short-listed, Best Publication for Kids, Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards
  • Long-listed, ALSC Notable Children's Books - 2016 (Older Readers), American Library Association
  • Short-listed, The Dragon Award, The Joe Shuster Awards
  • Long-listed, 2016 Great Graphic Novels for Teens, YALSA
  • Winner, Honor Book, Skipping Stones
  • Winner, Information Book Award - Honour Book, Children's Literature Roundtable of Canada
  • Winner, Best Bets Junior Non-Fiction, Ontario Library Association
Editorial Reviews

An unforgettable book that provides factual information about civil wars and especially child soldiers.

— Resource Links

... Child Soldier conveys Michel's horrific experience with sensitivity, insight, and skill ... also providing readers with relevant information about the geography and history of the country.

— Quill & Quire, Starred Review

... an eye-opening and heartbreaking account of Chikwanine's kidnapping at the age of five.

— Quill & Quire

... the direct first-person narration lays bare the boy's confusion and pain ...[while] Dávila's panel sequences temper the story's atrocities ...

— Publishers Weekly

The narration includes enough history of the Congo to give context to the personal story, while the back matter provides more information about child soldiers.

— Booklist

An enlightening, accessible, and, above all, child-friendly introduction to the issue.

— School Library Journal, Starred Review

Graphic in format but not detail ...The visual element gives this memoir particular immediacy for audiences who "don't understand what is happening right now, to kids just like them."

— Kirkus Reviews

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