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Memories of a Childhood in War
Nonfiction Ages 12+
Pages: 118
Themes: refugees, child-soldier, Africa, Congo Wars, civil war
Publisher: Tradewind Books
Pub Date: 15/Mar/2020
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Liliane Leila Juma was sixteen years old when her family home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was destroyed by rebel soldiers. She gives an account of her life before and after her family was torn apart. Maison Rouge is a story of war and unspeakable loss. It is also the story of survival. Eventually, through the United Nations refugee program, Leila and her family were finally able to relocate to Canada.

Kirkus Reviews
“A thoughtful, moving story of loss and triumph.”
Quill & Quire
“Leolina's voice is that of a young person, (making) her experiences, unimaginable to some, feel very vivid and lived . . . (She) uses her voice to navigate conflict and convey hope to others still struggling, while also educating those lucky enough to not have to face the same kind of turmoil.”
“This memoir draws readers in, causing us to love the people she loved and rage at the ones who hurt her. There cannot be too many stories of the lives of displaced people in today’s world, and this one both blends in with and stands apart from this growing body of work.”
Africa Access Reviews
“Juma’s heart-wrenching story of betrayal, war, and displacement is tantalizing and will no doubt captivate her target audience. Unraveling for her readers the often-convoluted ethnic unrest and vortex of war that have wreaked havoc in the Great Lakes Region, she succeeds in conveying the ways in which war tears apart the social fabric of vulnerable communities, displaces civilians, and indiscriminately destroys ordinary people’s lives.”

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