This fictional treatment of the genocide wars of Africa felt realistic. Though this is a sequel to CHANDA'S SECRETS, this story is a stand alone book. Through Stratton's vivid imagination, we follow Chanda and her small brother and sister as they travel to the next town to visit their grandparents and other relatives.
Chanda's family wants her to marry Nelson, the son of a man who they wanted her mother to marry many years ago. Chanda is shocked, and adamant that she will not marry this boy. As Chanda and her siblings prepare to leave and return to their home, the rebel band of Mandiki attacks the village and kills her grandfather, among many other people, and kidnaps the children. Nelson's little brother was captured earlier and forced to be a guide to the bandits.
Chanda swears that wherever the kids are, she will find them and rescue them. Nelson catches up with her and, together, they set out to find the rebels and save the children. Tracking the band is fraught with difficulties, including hard to follow tracks, crocodiles, and the African heat in the unforgiving bush country.
The characters are likable and sympathetic, and Allan Stratton is a master at crafting a fast-paced plot that keeps you reading to the very satisfying end. It was altogether a very entertaining and captivating story.
The end of the book contains an interview with the author, Nelson's recipe for biltong, "Sixteen Things I'll Never Forget" by the author, an excerpt from his next book, information on rewriting the end of CHANDA'S WARS, and a drawing by a child soldier.
Reviewed by: Grandma Bev