My Name is Phillis Wheatley by Afua Cooper


Born in Tumbakulli on the banks of the Senegal River in the kingdom of Fouto Toro, and raised in security and love, Penda Wane begins her formal training to become a griot, a storyteller, like her mother when she is three years old.  By the time she is six, Penda is studying the composition of sung poems with a a master, and attending school, with the other children of her town, in the cool of the evenings where she has learned the to read and write Arabic script as well as the long and celebrated history of her people.
Slave traders attack her town in 1762 when Penda is eight, killing her mother and, perhaps, her father and younger brother and sister.  She will wonder about her older brother, Amadi, for the rest of her days.  Struck on the head by a slave trader, the young girl comes to bound by the hands and feet.  With hundreds of other men, women and children captured from her town and others around it, Penda begins a forced march of hundreds of miles to the sea, and the slave ships sailing for America.
The voyage across the Atlantic to Boston is horrendous.  The conditions aboard ship, and the brutal treatment kill scores of slaves.  By the end of the trip, some have grown so despondent that they lay themselves down to die, or rush the rails, determined to drown themselves.  In Boston, the healthier captives are washed down and oil, then sold at auction on the pier.  Worn down by grief and shock and illness, Penda is left lying on the quay with the other “refuse.”  She is purchased by John and Susanna Wheatley, prosperous merchants, to be trained up as a personal servant.
Renamed Phillis, after the slave ship that transported her to America, and Wheatley, for her new owners, the young girl is nursed back to health by her mistress before beginning her duties as a lady’s maid.  Phillis is fortunate that Susanna Wheatley is a kind woman and a devote Christian, and, when she asks her mistress to teach her to write, the woman agrees to her request.
Susanna Wheatley is surprised at how rapidly the girl learns to read and write English, and soon is called Phillis her “miracle.”  With her daughter Mary, Phillis’ mistress teaches the young slave everything she knows.  Nathaniel, the Wheatley’s son, begins to instruct Phillis in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, theology, ancient history and rhetoric.  The girl thrives on the academic challenge, however finds her true passion in poetry.  Calling upon her early training at her mother’s knee, Phillis memorized the work of Alexander Pope, John Donne and other 17th-century English poets.
One evening when she is twelve, a poem forms in Phillis’ mind, and she begs for paper and pen to write it down.  Susanna Wheatley gives the girl a room of her own and decrees that she will no longer associate with the other household slaves.  Deemed a prodigy, Phillis is encouraged to pursue her writing when her duties are finished.  Her mistress sends her poems to newspapers in Boston, New York and elsewhere in the colonies, and many of them publish her work.  She also invites wealthy and educated people to her house to hear Phillis read from her work.
Yet, for all of her kindness to the young girl, Susanna Wheatley views her as a talented exception to the accepted belief that Africans, Negros, Blacks are uncivilized, uneducated and uneducable.  Though Phillis comes to love her mistress, she is too clear-sighted and too intelligent not to grasp, and resent, the contradictions in her mistress’ attitudes.  While people in the thirteen colonies mount an increasingly vocal campaign against the British government’s policy of taxation without representation, decrying such treatment as akin to slavery, most of these same people are content to perpetuate the enslavement of Negros.  As calls for revolution grow louder, Phillis throws her lot in with those who militate in its support, certain that, emancipation for all slaves will surely follow.
My Name is Phillis Wheatley recounts the true story of a talented young girl who, stolen from her home and sold into slavery in Boston, gains celebrity as a poet in pre-Revolutionary America.  Author Afua Cooper does an extraordinary job of giving voice to the experiences and emotions of this young girl, in words that capture the poetry of the language.  With My Name is Henry Bibb, this book will open a window into the experiences of two real-life individuals whose strength and determination sustained them through some very difficult times.  Superb!
FernFolio Editor

After Peaches by Michelle Mulder

After Peaches
Following her older brother’s death, Rosie Ramirez’ parents began to whisper that it was not safe for her family to remain in Mexico.  A student activist, Ricardo had spoken out about the government and someone had shot him.  From an elderly neighbour, Rosie’s father learns that, if he can get the family to Guatemala, they can apply for refugee status at the Canadian embassy.  Though the journey to Guatemala City is dangerous and the wait for an interview at the embassy longer than a year, eventually Rosie and her parents find themselves starting a new life in Victoria.
Her parents quickly find jobs as office cleaners and farm labourers, unable to find better-paying employment since neither of them speak more than a few words of English.  Proud people, they are determined to make their own way in this new country, and shrink from accepting charity.  Ten-year-old Rosie attends school, and struggles to adapt to a new language.  She is intelligent and hardworking, so she is rapidly learns enough English to understand the teacher and her classmates, but is laughed at for her strong accent, which gets thicker when she is nervous or upset.  Fed up with Robbie Zec’s taunts, Rosie decides not to say another word in English until she can speak it fluently, and with a Canadian accent.  So, while her parents proudly talk about her growing fluency in English, she keeps quiet about her language struggles and Robbie Zec.
The one person Rosie will speak to is her new friend Julie Norton, who has had some experience of Robbie’s bullying herself.  Julie doesn’t seem to have any trouble understanding Rosie, and is happy to explain a word or correct pronunciation.  Soon the two girls are spending all of their time after school together.  Julie and her mother even spend a Saturday in a farm field picking daffodils with the Ramirez, though Mrs. Norton ruefully acknowledges that she isn’t nearly as fast a picker as Julie’s mother.  Although she is worried that her Canadian friends won’t enjoy their day on the farm, Rosie is happy that she can finally introduce Julie to José, a kind-hearted man who comes to Canada every year so that he can pick crops and earn money to support his wife and five children.  Rosie particularly likes to hear José’s stories about his ten-year old daughter, Analia.
Neither Rosie nor Julie are looking forward to the summer months because Julie will be spending it with her father in Vancouver and Rosie will be working in the fields along side her parents.  Julie tries to cheer up her friend by suggesting that they both take notes all summer long about what they see and do, so that they can write a book about their adventures in the Fall, but Rosie cannot imagine anything sufficiently exciting happening to her that it will rate being written down.
Then a letter from their landlord notifying them that the rent on their basement apartment is going up has the Ramirezes wondering if they ought to move from Victoria into the countryside closer to farms where they can get regular work.  Afraid that she is going to lose the only friend she has in Canada, Rosie devises a plan for her family to earn enough money to afford an apartment in town.  She convinces her parents that they ought to give up their apartment and camp out for the summer months as they travel British Columbia in search of farm work.  Leaving their furniture with the Nortons, the Ramirezes head to the mainland and begin their adventure.
Rosie, who expected that she would find herself happily surrounded by Spanish-speaking farm labourers in the fields each day, discovers that there are people from many other countries besides Mexico picking crops for Canadian farmers.  Shy about her English, she continues her vow of silence among these workers.
Unexpectedly, Rosie receives a letter from Analia, her friend José’s daughter.  In the letter, Rosie learns that Analia has heard that José is working for a farmer who mistreats his Mexican farm workers, and is anxious to know if her father is well.  Rosie feels certain that she neither old enough or fluent enough in English to do what Analia asks, but sets about finding a way to check on José herself.  What she and her parents find is both troubling and dangerous.
Written by Michelle Mulder, After Peaches is a lovely story about the experiences of a young girl recently arrived from Mexico who, with her parents, is trying to call this new country home.  Rosie is a strong character, made stronger by her experiences.  Mulder has deftly created a story that celebrates the best of immigration and culture and friendship while exploring bullying and the mistreatment of migrant farm workers.  Easy enough to read for children from Grade 2 and 3; interesting enough to appeal to students up to Grade 7 and 8.
FernFolio Editor

Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan

Wanting Mor
There are two things that Jameela, a young Afghani girl, wants more than anything.  First, she wants to please her mother, and see that look in her eyes that lets her know her Mor love her, and wouldn’t exchange her for anything in the world. Second, Jameela longs to learn to read. 
Following Mor’s sudden death, her Baba sells their house, and takes Jameela to Kabul.  Grief-stricken at leaving behind her mother’s grave and the only home she has ever known, Jameela recalls Mor’s words – “Jameela, remember the man who asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) for advice.  What did the Prophet (peace be upon him) tell him?  Don’t become angry.” 
The young girl finds herself living with her Baba in the home of a couple whose behaviour shocks her.  They drink alcohol, and  hold parties where men and women dance together.  The woman wears clothes that do not properly cover her and, at times, puts on short dresses that come from Paris.  She also orders Jameela to remove her porani, the scarf she wears to cover her hair and hide her face, though the girl refuses.  While her father disappears for hours and sometimes returns falling down drunk, Jameela labours away in the house cooking and cleaning under the woman’s orders.
Eventually, the father’s behaviour causes the couple to demand that he leave, so Jameela finds herself in the house of a wealthy widow whom her father promptly marries.  Once again, the girl is expected to work long hours cooking and cleaning.  Though she does her best to please her new step-mother, the woman seems determined to find fault with everything she does.  Masood, her new step-brother, tries to intervene on her behalf, but is unable to protect Jameela from his mother’s vindictive behaviour.
Then one morning her Baba tells Jameela to collect her belongings and the girl joyfully thinks that they are leaving.  Her father takes her to the market in Kabul,  leaves her next to a butcher shop, and walks away.  The girl waits all day, politely refusing and then gratefully accepting offers of food and drink from a worried butcher.  When evening comes and her father has not returned, the butcher takes Jameela home to his wife and family.  It is only when she closes her eyes to sleep that the girl realises that her father was not carrying anything when they left her step-mother’s house, and that he has abandoned her.
Though the butcher wants to keep Jameela, arguing that she is a good child, and that “each child brings their own baraka”,  his wife is adamant that they cannot afford to send her to school.  So Agra Akram brings Jameela to the orphanage. 
So begins a new chapter of Jameela’s life.  She is befriended by Soraya, who takes the girl under her wing, and meets Khalaa Kareema, the teacher for the younger girls, who recognises and encourages Jameela’s desire to learn.  Through the efforts of the orphanage’s director, the girl has surgery to repair her harelip, and begins to dream of a job teaching other young orphaned and abandoned children, but first she must confront the hole in her heart left by her Mor’s death and her father’s abandonment.
Rukhsana Khan’s Wanting Mor is a story of an innocent, hardworking and loving young girl who faces adversity bravely, and rises above it to find fulfilment.  Jameela is a wonderful character who will capture the reader’s heart.  Khan’s depictions of life in post-Taliban Kabul are vivid and nuanced.  Wanting Mor will grab your imagination and leave you wanting more.
FernFolio Editor

Libertad by Alma Fullerton

Libertad
As a young child, Libertad lived a happy life with his Mami, his Papi, and his little brother, Julio, in a village in the mountains of Guatemala.  When he was five years old, Libertad’s father decided to leave the coffee fields in search of a brighter future in America, but before he could send for them, the family was threatened by soldiers, and fled to Guatemala City.
There Mami, Libertad and Julio live in a shack at the edge of the city dump, and survive by collecting cardboard, metal and plastic for resale.  At seven, Julio is a happy child, eager to help his older brother work in the dump, but twelve-year old Libertad is determined that the child will go to school, and struggles to save enough to allow him to do so.  Though their Mami is kind and loving, the daily fight for survival has made her old before her time, and more and more often she finds forgetfulness sniffing cobbler’s glue, so Libertad must shoulder the role of parent.
Then Mami is killed in an accident in the dump, and Libertad decides that he and Julio will go in search of their Papi in America.  With only Julio’s schoolbag and school books, a marimba, and a few quetzals, the boys begin the long and dangerous journey north through Guatemala and Mexico toward America.  Along the way, they are ignored, threatened, robbed and beaten.  They are also fed and sheltered, and treated kindly, often by people just as poor and desperate as themselves.  A chance meeting with a old farmer gives him and Julio a chance at a new life, but Libertad believes they must take their chances with the Rio Grande river and the US border patrols.
Written in free verse by Alma Fullerton, and based on the experiences of hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants, Libertad is the story of two young boys looking for a better life across the border.
FernFolio Editor

Lunches with Lenin by Deborah Ellis

Lunches with Lenin

Matthew buys pot from Hammer, the high school football captain and local source for marijuana, though he knows he’s being overcharged and risks discovery by one of the sniffer dogs the school administration regularly bring in.  Tahmina is proud of her expertise in harvesting opium from her father’s poppies, until disaster strikes and the local police move in and destroy the crop, leaving her father with few options to repay his debt to the local money lender. Fifteen-year old Brandon reacts with rage when he learns that all of his learning problems, and difficulties controlling his behaviour are consequences of his mother’s drinking when she was pregnant with him.  Abandoned in Red Square, when he was a child of five, by his mother who said she was going to visit Lenin’s tomb, Valerin grows up in state institutions until, at sixteen, he is released to make his own way in the world, and is offered a chance at the Gates of Heaven, through an injection of heroin, by his only friend.
Deborah Ellis’ Lunch with Lenin is a collection of short stories that examine the human cost of illegal drugs and substance abuse through the eyes of teenagers in Russia, Afghanistan, Canada, the US, the Philippines, Mongolia, and Bolivia.  Searing and tender and brutally honest, Ellis’ stories are nothing short of wonderful.  A must-read for Intermediate students.
FernFolio Editor

Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer

Bennyand Omar
Benny ought to be having the time of his life; he has led his team to victory in the Primary Schools County Hurling Final, and Wexford has finally made it to the All-Ireland Hurling Final, but his father has been transferred to Tunisia with his company, EuroGas.  So, instead of playing pickup games with his friends, and angling for tickets to the All-Ireland game, he’s had to pack up his hurling stick and accompany his family to Sfax.
Within days of his arrival in Marhaba village, the gated and guarded enclave built for EuroGas, Benny has hurt the feelings of his younger, artsy brother, George, antagonised his parents, annoyed the guards, frustrated his hippy teachers, Harmony and Bob, and alienated his classmates.  Though on some levels he likes the ragtag bunch of foreigners in his class, Benny can’t stop himself from rebuffing their overtures of friendship with his smart-alecky comments and his heavy sarcasm.  His years at St. Jerome’s have taught him that “you had to sort out, or be sorted,” and no amount of encouragement or group talks works against this bone-deep training.
Warned off the expensive new soccer field by Mr. Gama, the head of security for Marhaba village, Benny finds himself a spot to practice his hurling shots in an abandoned area littered with construction debris, next to the wall that encircles the compound.  A skinny little Tunisian boy shows up on top of the wall and watches him shoot his tennis ball against the wall.  When, after a couple of traded insults, the kid flicks his cigarette butt at his head, Benny responds by blasting the tennis ball at him, only to find that the kid has snatched the ball out of the air, and disappeared over the other side of the wall.
Annoyed over the loss of his only ball, Benny bides his time, and keeps his eye out for the kid.  He realises that the Tunisian boy must live in the lean-to shack built against the outside of the compound wall.  Armed with his hurling stick, he climbs over the wall and sneaks into the shack, where he finds and retrieves his tennis ball.  Only he is caught by the Tunisian kid, who roars up on a battered old moped.  Benny makes a break for the wall, only to be chased by the kid on the moped, and, in his bid to escape, inadvertently whacks the kid across the forehead with his hurley.  Furious, the kid grabs the stick from Benny’s hands, slams it against the wall, and breaks it.
With no prospect of any hurling, either on the field or on TV, Benny’s morale takes a further dip, aided by his accidental spilling of food and drink all down the dress Grace, the only classmate to continue to try to befriend him.  Then he finds his hurley, carefully repaired, propped up against the front door of his family’s house, and realises the Tunisian kid has fixed it for him.  Driven to pay a return visit to the home of the little Tunisian, he introduces himself to and becomes friends with Omar, an orphan who lives by his wits on the streets of Sfax.
The two boys become fast friends, sharing a certain recklessness and spirit of adventure.  Though they don’t speak the same language, Omar, a huge fan of TV, does speak a weird form of television English, and Benny rapidly learns some rudimentary Arabic.  Together, the boys play soccer with Omar’s friends, practice hurling, and go for wild spins on Omar’s moped.  A timely lie to Benny’s parents has them convinced that Omar is the son of one of the guards, and the boys are soon “Bee Gees,” brothers.
Then one evening an unusually sombre Omar invites Benny to his shack for dinner, and Benny accepts, though he’s supposed to be minding his younger brother, George, while their parents go out with friends.  That night, Benny learns Omar’s painful secret, and is caught speeding through Sfax on a moped while his brother is at home alone.  Benny is grounded for months, and required to follow a strict schedule of schoolwork and chores.  Angry and disappointed, his parents refuse to hear a word about Omar, whom Mr. Gama, the head of security, has labelled a thief and a menace, and order Benny to have nothing further to do with the boy.
But, when Mr. Gama and his men become threats to Omar’s safety, Benny discovers that their friendship is more important than getting allowance or an end to being grounded.  He takes off with Omar on a wild and desperate ride to protect the only thing that matters to the Tunisian.
Written by Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series, Benny and Omar is a story about friendship and brotherhood, and the bonds that can unite despite differences in culture, religion, language or finances.  Written in the words of a kid from County Wexford, it is at times hilariously funny, yet its examination of the struggles of two boys trying to find their way in the world is both loving and lovely.  This book is not to be missed.
FernFolio Editor

One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway and Eugenie Fernandes


Young Kojo, who lives in a small village in Ghana, has had to quit school to help his widowed mother collect firewood to sell at the local market.  The twenty families of Kojo’s village have agreed to save money so that each family in turn can borrow all of the savings to buy something important.  When it is finally Kojo’s mother’s turn, she buys a cart to carry firewood to market and loans her son enough to buy a hen.
In its first week, that one brown hen lays five eggs, one each for Kojo and his mother, and three which he sells in the market.  It takes him two months, but the young boy eventually repays his mother for the loan, and then starts to save money to buy more hens.  In six months, he has three hens, and in a year, he has a flock of twenty-five hens.  With the income from the eggs, Kojo is able to pay the fees so that he can return to school.
At school, Kojo works hard to catch up with his classmates and learn about farming techniques.  He wins a scholarship to an agricultural college, and starts to dream of owning a poultry farm, one that will provide good jobs for all of the people of his village.
Charmingly told by Katie Smith Milway and beautifully illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes, One Hen tells the story of how one small loan changed the lives of a young boy and his mother, and, eventually, those of entire community for the better, and celebrates the microcredit lending program.  A wonderful addition to the literature of social justice!
FernFolio Editor

The Moon Children by Beverley Brenna


Conditioned by his experiences, both at school and at home, eleven-year old Billy Ray has learned not to expect much from life.  His inability to read more than a handful of simple words or to recall numbers, and his hyperactivity in class have made him the butt of his classmates’ taunts and putdowns.  At home, his parents’ hard drinking has caused a roller coaster of good moments and bad.
When his mother’s pregnancy results in her seeking help for her alcoholism and then issuing an ultimatum to Billy’s father to either stop drinking or move out, Billy watches as his dad packs up his things and goes.  His assurances to Billy that he’ll be in touch are empty promises.  So, with his mother off working long days cleaning rooms at a local motel, Billy finds himself practising tricks with his yo-yo, the birthday present he received when he wanted a water pistol and a skateboard.  When he learns that a nearby public park is going to hold a talent contest, to raise money for a local kids’ charity, and that the prize will be twenty-five dollars, Billy decides to enter.  Mastering the twenty-one tricks shown in the book he got with the yo-yo prove easy for Billy, but finding someone to sponsor him by donating money to the children’s charity proves more difficult.
Across the street from Billy’s rundown apartment stands a big, well-kept house, and often, in those hot July days leading up to the talent contests, a girl sits on the front steps of that house drawing and writing in a yellow notebook she has on her lap.  Curious about the girl and what she is doing, Billy approaches her and discovers that, though Natasha Arnold is friendly and welcoming to him, she does not speak.  Through her drawings and gestures, as well as what he overhears from neighbours, Billy learns that Natasha has been adopted from a Romanian orphanage by Mr. and Mrs. Arnold, a wealthy couple who want desperately to help Natasha to overcome the traumas of her early childhood.  But she has a secret that is weighing her down, one that she is going to need Billy’s help to confront.  In reaching out to support Natasha, Billy will also find the courage to face his own sense of helplessness and inadequacy.
The Moon Children is a story about a young boy’s struggle to live with dignity while coping with the lifelong effects of foetal alcohol syndrome, about a young girl’s attempts to reconcile her past with her present and future, and about how, together, they are able to see and understand what is truly important.  Well worth a read!
FernFolio Editor

Arctic Stories by Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak


Set in the late 1950s in the community of Repulse Bay, Arctic Stories recounts three tales about Agatha, a young Inuit girl who lives on the cusp of change in the North.  While her parents have lived a largely traditional Inuit lifestyle, Agatha experiences the changes that creeping governmental oversight bring.
In Agatha and the Ugly Black Thing, a large black blimp comes to Repulse Bay in the summer of 1958, terrifying the local residents who have no idea what it is.  They are afraid, and made more so by an old man who says he has heard of black flying things that drop exploding things.  The residents run away, trying to escape it, but Agatha, finally tired of running, turns around and yells at the thing to go away.  When it does just that, the residents cheer.
In the last story, Agatha Goes to School, Agatha and two boys from Repulse Bay go by plane to Chesterfield Inlet to attend residential school. In Chesterfield Inlet, they find a community far bigger than their own, with an RCMP detachment, a hospital, a school and a Catholic mission.  The children are not well treated by the nuns and priests, and cry for their parents, but find some pleasure in skiing, sledding and skating.  When one of the priest falls through the ice,  Agatha and her friends must use what they have to hand to rescue him.
Michael Kusugak’s Arctic Stories celebrates the beauty of the Arctic and the steadfast spirit of the Inuit in the midst of the profound changes brought about by increasing contact with the south.
To hear Michael Kusugak talk about storytelling, Inuit heroes, the Inuit language, Inuit elders and reviving stories, go to Canada’s Digital Collections.
FernFolio Editor

Secrets in the Fire by Henning Mankell

secretsinthefire.jpg
When her small village in Mozambique is attacked by bandits and her father is killed, Sofia Alface, her sister, Maria, brother, Alfredo, and mother, Lydia, flee, walking for days in search of somewhere safe. They finally find and are welcomed into a second village, where Mother Lydia builds a hut and joins the village women in the fields, aided by Maria and Sofia. Though still grief-stricken following the death of her father and the destruction of their village, Sofia and her family begin to make a new home among their new neighbours.
Encouraged to attend the school offered free of charge by a local Catholic mission, Sofia and Maria begin to spend a few hours each afternoon in the primary class where, surrounded by over ninety children, most of whom are far younger than they are, the girls learn to read and do sums. Sofia makes friends with the local tailor, an elderly man named Totio, who agrees to help her make a dress for her sister just as soon as she can find appropriate fabric. Knowing she will never be able to afford to purchase material, Sofia succumbs to temptation and steals one white sheet from the clothesline of Father José-Maria, the mission priest. Under Totio’s careful instruction, Sofia learns to sew and makes a beautiful dress for Maria, one that delights her sister, but Sofia is consumed by guilt at the thought of her theft.
Father José-Maria, a Brazilian who has come to Mozambique to do God’s work, never notices the missing sheet. He is, instead, preoccupied by the hidden and deadly danger that faces the villagers, and particularly their children, each time they step from their huts. Land mines lie buried just below the surface of the ground all around the outskirts of the village, and Father José-Maria is careful to warn each and every villager that they must never step from the paths. Mother Lydia lectures Maria about the danger, and Maria lectures Sofia, who, in turn, lectures young Alfredo, but children are children, and one day, as they return from the fields, Sofia decides to run. Since it is the rainy season, and the ground is wet, Sofia slips off the path and slides into the underbrush.
The explosion gravely injures both young girls. Maria, dies while Sofia holds her hand, and Sofia is left behind to cope with her sister’s absence and to endure the terrible and lasting effects of her injuries. Unable to safe her legs, the hospital staff amputates first the right leg and, four days later, the left leg. What follows are months of theory, as Sofia lives, initially, at the hospital and later, at a home for elderly people, while she is measured for prostheses.
and is taught to walk again. Though very lonely because Mother Lydia cannot afford to visit often, the young girl makes friends among the women who sell food and goods on the street outside the hospital, and with the doctor in charge of her care. The kind-hearted Dr. Raul buys Sofia oranges, and visits and encourages her whenever his schedule permits. It is Dr. Raul who offers to drive her home to her village when she is finally well enough to go.
Home again after several months, Sofia discovers that much has changed and realizes she cannot remain in her mother’s hut. Crippled by her injuries, she has become a liability to her family, and must find the means to make her own way in the world. Rescued by Dr. Raul, Sofia learns that, despite her disabilities, she possesses a strength of character that will help her overcome every obstacle.
Secrets in the Fire is the story of a young girl’s courage and indomitable spirit. It also tells a tale about the destructive power of land mines. Winner of the 2002 International Kankei Children’s Publishing Culture Award, Henning Mankell’s book is a worthy addition to a growing library of titles about the effects of war upon children.
FernFolio Editor