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Under the Sun Paperback – Mar 1 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (March 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810992507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810992504
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 19.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #808,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9–Thirteen-year-old Ehmet's world has changed from the stable city of Sarajevo into a war-torn zone of fighting borders and stressed economics. Seeking safety, he and his mother flee to the countryside of Croatia, where his aunt and uncle live. When they are taken away, mother and son flee once again. The physical challenges of dodging sniper bullets, avoiding landmines, crossing militia lines, smuggling out of a refugee camp, and walking miles with little food or water are enormous. Yet it's invisible obstacles that test Ehmet's endurance. When his mother dies, he is completely alone. Not until he's able to find an old school friend in a refugee camp, and then another, within a peaceful community in a recovered medieval "Children's Village" does his life settle. The unusual story of the orphans and refugees safely tucked away in this ancient village is the most intriguing part of this novel. This book is well intentioned but overly ambitious in exposing the crisis in Bosnia as it is difficult for readers to keep track of the issues among ethnic, religious, and national allegiances. Ehmet's story unfolds like a camera panning too quickly over too broad a landscape. As a result, character development and necessary background information are given short shrift.–Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. On the run from his war-torn home in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in the early 1990s, Ehmet, 13, sees his mother die after an attack by soldiers. Hiding during the day and walking at night, he scavenges for food, tries to contact his family, escapes a constrictive refugee camp, and finally finds home in a multiethnic orphan community near the border. Acclaimed picture-book artist Dorros' first novel is a survival adventure that speaks to cultural tolerance, showing and telling repeatedly that there is no clear division between "them" and "us." Ehmet is part Muslim and part Catholic Croat; his friends and enemies are Serbian, Croat, Muslim, Jewish, Christian. Racism is always there, but so is the kindness of strangers. In a final note, Dorros talks about his visit to the area and to an ethnically diverse orphan village. The facts are astonishing, and the contemporary war docu-novel will grab readers. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As Complex and Thought Provoking as the Actual War Jan. 13 2005
By Laura C. Perenic - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In the early 1990's Yugoslavia began to battle itself as Serbs, Croats, Muslims and others attempted to create cities that reflected their chosen religion by exterminating those who did not fit. Dorros' work is the story of Ehmet, a Bosnian boy who is forced to leave his hometown of Sarajevo and make his way to his grandparents who live in Croatia 400 miles away. Never has a story shown a child so young who seemed at the same time profoundly aged by the events around him. Within a few chapters the change in Ehmet is staggering as he transitions from tree climber to a serious young man who sleeps during the day and pretends to be Muslim because it's safer. Throughout the work the effects of illogic and bureaucracy are boggling; Ehmet's attempts to be united with family are stymied by paperwork and technicalities. In one heart-wrenching scene, Ehmet has found his best friend Milan in a camp but when the family is moved to another camp they cannot take Ehmet along because they aren't really his family. A brilliant protagonist, Ehmet adapts to the situation around him with balanced and intensely accurate emotional outbursts and repressions. As complex as the war itself, Ehmet's thought processes work constantly to make sense of what is going and are particularly telling when he meets up with childhood bully Darko at a children's camp. Disturbingly realistic, this book will be an eye-opening history lesson for those who watched these events unfold on the news. Readers will be disappointed in themselves when they realize how easily most of us can forget what happened just a few short years ago. Logical but not moralizing, Under The Sun has classroom potential.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing book for our time Oct. 18 2004
By Barbara A. Bennett - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"Under the Sun by Arthur Dorros is about war-torn Bosnia and a young boy's struggle with the ethnic hatred that has turned his world upside down. It is an insightful look into the heart of the young protagonist who finds hope and healing in unexpected places.

I was gripped by the drama of the story and absorbed by the opportunity to view the Balkan wars from the perspective of a child experiencing the pain, confusion, and grief of that tragic time. "Under the Sun" is a beautifully written novel that gives me hope, even as I struggle to understand the new war that is being fought today.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A teenager's experience with war, identity, and resilience Oct. 21 2004
By Teacher - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This action-filled story of a resourceful teenager's journey carried me, and young adult readers, along - the kind of book that makes you want to keep turning the pages and read into the night. The characters and places are well pictured, and through the story you get views of a recent period in history - the wars in the Balkans, that were confusing to a lot of people - as well as what it might be like to survive a war torn situation and come out in a positive place. As a teacher, this book offers great jumping-off points for discussions of current events, history, ethnic identity and tolerance, and peoples' resilience. Highly recommended, and captivating read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dorros opens unique window into Croatia Oct. 24 2004
By E. Rachel Brumer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I found the descriptions in this book compelling, the characters interesting, and the plot a page turner. I grew to love the characters, particularly Ehmet. I was sorry when it was over, and really missed not being able to continue seeing how Ehmet's new life in the Children's Village would evolve. All three of my teen age children have enjoyed it as well. I hope Dorros will follow this with a sequel so we may see how a group of ordinary people can indeed change the world.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Grandfather's Review Oct. 18 2004
By Papa B - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I read my grandson's copy of Under the Sun. I couldn't put it down, and I enjoyed it from start to finish. In fact, its my favorite book of the year! I've heard and read a lot about the recent wars in the Balkans, but I haven't really understood how neighbor could turn against neighbor. It's still hard to understand, but "traveling" through Bosnia and Croatia with Ehmet was eye-opening. This is a very fine book, for young adults and for their parents and grandparents!