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Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War Hardcover – Sep 1 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (Sept. 1 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1771381264
  • ISBN-13: 978-1771381260
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 1 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

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 writes books about things that matter to young people (and grown-ups). Jessie lives with her husband and their little boy in a big city most of the time. But sometimes they live on a tiny island near the woods, where Jessie rereads To Kill a Mockingbird every summer, lying in a hammock.

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.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The author's memoir of his early life in Congo and the time he was kidnapped by rebels to be trained as a child soldier. He speaks of the harsh realities of his young life, his escape, his stolen childhood that cannot ever be returned even after he's back home, and his eventual immigration to Canada. An honest, eye-opening book for today's Western children to see what life is like for so many children in this world. Michel was five when he was taken as a soldier and while this book doesn't hide any realities it does keep information appropriate for younger readers. Sharon McKay's "War Brothers" set in Uganda is a much more brutally raw story for older readers and the better of the two, imo. However, "Child Soldier" is certainly a touching and inspiring story to start with on the subject.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This story is well written and presents the information about child soldiers well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars chilling June 24 2016
By hiccno1 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars A story every chid and parents should read. Aug. 9 2016
By Alyssa - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Before I go into the review of this book, you have to understand, this is a true account. It is not made up and is currently happening all over the continent of South Africa. It is a graphic children's story but there are things explained that children under the age of ten may not understand. If you wish to share this book with your child, make sue they are of an understanding age. Even then, it will be difficult and they will need you for explanations.

Child Soldier, by Michel Chikwanine and Jessica Dee Humphreys, tells the story of Michel and his life in the Congo. It shows in animation (which is much appreciated) and tells of safe times for children and adults, then of the terrifying times. It tells of conflict, governmental breakdown and the loss of childhood.

One day, Michel and childhood friends and family were playing after school when strange men rode up in military vehicles and guns. They harassed the children then took them far from home. They were drugged, abused and forced to do things that no child should ever do or see. It's a sad story, but it's also one of strength...

*For the full review: [...]
**Book was provided by Kids Can Press and Shelf Awareness, for an honest review.
5.0 out of 5 stars Broadened our view of the world Aug. 2 2016
By Mommynificent - Published on
Format: Hardcover
We read this book as part of our homeschool study this year of Children Around the World. This story was very well written, but we found it very, very sad. It helped us understand what lives are like for children who live in some war-torn areas of Africa like this, and it made my children hope that nothing else happens like this ever again.

We received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for our honest review.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, powerful call to action for kids Nov. 17 2015
By Janet Hamilton - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Summary: Michel Chikwanine had a pretty idyllic childhood with his parents and three sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo until he was kidnapped one day at the age of five. He and his friends were taken in broad daylight while playing soccer and forced to become soldiers for a rebel army. For two weeks, they were given drugs and taught to shoot, including one nightmarish day when Michel was blindfolded and forced to shoot and kill his best friend, Kevin. Michel managed to escape and make his way back to his family, but it was impossible for him to resume his old life. Eventually, the political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo worsened; Michel’s father was imprisoned and killed; and Michel, his mother, and two of his three sisters made their way to Canada. After a difficult transition, Michel has been able to tell his story and now travels the world inspiring others to make a difference. Grades 6-9.

Pros: An incredibly powerful story told in graphic novel form. The page near the end in which Michel sits on the bus listening to his classmates complain about cold pizza, boring classes, and crummy cell phones should give anyone with “First World problems” pause. The last few pages, with more information about Michel, child soldiers, and what kids can do to help will inspire readers to take action.

Cons: Read this book before giving it to a child. It’s part of Kids Can Press’s Citizen Kid series of inspiring picture book stories of Third World children, but this one is much darker and more intense than any of the others. There are a couple of pretty disturbing scenes that may not be appropriate for all young readers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwrenching Sept. 1 2015
By Grateful Grandma - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is part of the CitizenKid Series. This series is a collection of books to inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.

This is the true story of Michel Chikwanine who lived in Democratic Republic of Congo in the 90s. When he was five years old, he was kidnapped and forced to become a child soldier. It is a heartbreaking tale that fortunately had a happy ending. While Michel did have to do some horrible things as a child soldier, including shooting his best friend, he was fortunate enough to escape before anything else terrible happened. He was reunited with his family unlike a lot of child soldiers. His father, nother, himself and a cousin were able to get to Uganda and live in a refugee camp. His father was a political activist who was imprisoned and tortued at one point and later poisoned by his enemies before he was able to emigrate to North America. Michael and his mother were able to leave Congo and emigrate to Canada. Michael worked three jobs after school until he earned enough money to bring one of his siters to Canada, but unfortunately, one sister disappeared. A teacher of Michael's saw that he was very depressed and suggested that talking to other students about his ordeal might help him. This started him on a path to educate young people about Child Soldiers. The end of the book gives more information about the plight of child soldiers as well as what children in Canada can do to help. A great but sad story.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley to read in exchange for an honest review.