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Fiction Picture Book
Pages: 24
Themes: Effects of war, courage, prosthetics
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: 01/Mar/2012
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Marwa and Ahmad live in an unnamed country that could be any one of dozens touched by war. While they know that there is a war going on, life in their village goes on largely as normal. Marwa is the narrator of the story, and she tells of a day when planes flew over their village "like a cloud of angry wasps". They are warned that these planes dropped bombs, but after being frightened for a few days they forget of the danger. Until a day when the two are playing and Ahmad finds a small yellow bottle and out of curiosity picks it up. It explodes, and Marwa describes the aftermath as she is cut and scarred, and Ahmad is more gravely hurt - losing a hand and one leg. Both recover and regain hope, and Lisa says she is sharing this story to honour Ahmad's courage and other children like him.

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"The text of the story is simple and descriptive...The accompanying artwork is mature and illustrates the nightmare that way can impose on innocent people...Recommended for both school and public libraries."
CM Magazine
The use of first-person narrative gives a unique perspective not often realized or understood. Delaunois has Marwa speak with such honesty it reminds the reader that, though children may live in the midst of war, they, themselves, aren't "at war with anyone." ... Delezenne's blend of collage, drawings and texture juxtapose the images of war from a child's perspective. They encapsulate the journey a child of war is forced to take. Though it begins with complete blackness, it can end with a winged soccer ball.


Saskatchewan Young Reader's Choice Award - The Shinning Willow  | 2013 | Short-listed

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