Chanda's WarsBook - 2008
Listen to Allan Stratton reading from Chanda's Wars.
Allan Stratton won the Michael L. Printz Honor and the Children's Africana Book Award for Chanda's Secrets, his searing novel set against the African AIDS pandemic. Now comes Chanda's Wars, a stand-alone novel that continues Chanda's story.After the death of her mother, Chanda knows she alone is responsible for her five-year-old brother and six-year-old sister. Despite a strained relationship with her grandparents, Chanda turns to them for support, travelling to their remote rural village. But refuge is not what she finds. Without warning, rebels from across the border attack the village, kidnapping the children to serve as soldiers in a brutal civil war. Desperate, Chanda turns to a troubled young neighbour for help. Together, the two of them face miles of desolate bushland and a national park swarming with predators-- animal and human. Chanda's Wars--like its award-winning predecessor--is an unforgettable story of love, courage and inspiration, as told by a master storyteller with a boundless passion for life.
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iluvcathycassidy thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over
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"Rest easy, Mama... Soly, Iris. Wherever you are, I'm here with you, you hear? I'm coming to get you. I'm going to bring you home" (Stratton 224)
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The protagonist, Chanda Kabelo, is an orphan. Her father died in a mining accident and her mother died of AIDS. When Chanda's mother first realized that she had AIDS, she travelled to Tiro to be with Chanda's grandparents, aunts, and uncles. When they find out that Chanda's mother has AIDS, they shun her from the community. As a result, Chanda's mother dies. Since then there has been hatred between Chanda and her extended family.
The book starts by describing Chanda's nightmare. She is trying to run towards Tiro, while being chased by "them". She has had this nightmare multiple times, and eventually she is told by her neighbour, her friend, and her teacher, that the dream means that she must go to Tiro. For the sake of her siblings, Soly and Iris, Chanda goes to Tiro. While there, the rebels from the neighbouring region of Ngala attack the village of Tiro and capture all the children to make them child soldiers. Chanda was not captured and is determined to rescue her siblings. She puts aside her fear and pride to try to bring her sibling back home.
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