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When Elephants Fight
By author: Eric Walters   Other primary creator: Adrian Bradbury
Selling Points: Effects of war on children
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Feb/01/2012
Lexile Level: 1130L
Pages: 96
Nonfiction Ages 10+
Price:  $16.95
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There has never been a war fought that was started by children—or one that failed to harm them. Children are the grass beneath the feet of the men, the tribes, the armies and the nations engaged in armed conflict. Regardless of the winner—and there is a strong case to be made that war produces no winners—the children always suffer.

When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. This ancient proverb of the Kikuyu people, a tribal group in Kenya, Africa, is as true today as when the words were first spoken, perhaps thousands of years ago. Its essence is simplicity—when the large fight, it is the small who suffer most. And when it comes to war, the smallest, the most vulnerable, are the children.

When Elephants Fight presents the stories of five children—Annu, Jimmy, Nadja, Farooq and Toma—from five very different and distinct conflicts—Sri Lanka, Uganda, Sarajevo, Afghanistan and the Sudan. Along with these very personal accounts, the book also offers brief analyses of the history and geopolitical issues that are the canvas on which these conflicts are cast.

When Elephants Fight is about increasing awareness. For the future to be better than the past, better than the present, we must help equip our children with an awareness and understanding of the world around them and their ability to bring about change. Gandhi stated, "If you are going to change the world, start with the children."


Resource Links "The Year's Best", commended  CA  2009

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