Under the Sun Paperback – Mar 1 2006
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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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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