A book that will change your perspective

In the Darfur region of Sudan, Amira wakes up on her twelfth birthday and 

Our village glistens,
greets me
with a wink that shines bright
on this new day. 

There is so much abundance in the wheat fields.  Dando, her father swings her up high and says
Show the other birds
how precious you are,
Amira Bright!

My insides flip-flop.

Dando shouts,
as if proclaiming a great truth:

In Dando's arms,
I can fly.

Until one day
My father tries to explain something
that is more twisted 
than a tangled
skein of raggedy thread.
"Amira, we are living in a time of war."

...I listen.

...He uses strange terms:
Persecution
Rebellion
Genocide

Later, when the Janjaweed, the rebels, come 
Helicopters
        chopping
the clouds.

Shrieking people.
        Men on horseback.

....Wicked riders advancing.

Can?
This?
Really?
Be?
Happening?

Life changes for Amira and her family as they walk across the country at night, to a refugee camp in south Sudan.  A refugee camp filled with thousands upon thousands of people who have also fled the fighting.

The Red Pencil could be a book without hope, but told through a child's eyes, you learn of Amira's hopes to go to school, her mother's refusal to allow her, and what happens to Amira when she is given a red pencil.

Andrea Davis Pinckney won many awards for this book and it's easy to see why.  This stunning description of life in Sudan at the turn of the 21st century will make you cheer for every one of Amira's hard earned successes.

If you'd like to look at or purchase the book, you may do so through my Amazon link below.

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