Teenage Refugees from Rwanda Speak Out (In Their Own Voices)

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9780823924431: Teenage Refugees from Rwanda Speak Out (In Their Own Voices)
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Teenagers from Rwanda, both Hutu and Tutsi, describe the conditions in their war-torn country that led them to seek safety and new lives in the United States and Canada.

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From School Library Journal:

Gr 5 Up--Teenagers fleeing from Ethiopia and Rwanda relate how they came to be refugees in the United States and Canada. Each title begins with a brief historical survey, followed by profiles of eight young people, each in a separate chapter. The terrible conditions that forced them to leave their homeland; the dangers faced during the actual escapes; and the current challenges they meet in overcoming the language barrier and adjusting to life in an alien culture are all discussed. As one young refugee explains, "They [American kids] called me names because I couldn't understand English. They destroyed my books and made fun of me." Over a dozen black-and-white and a few color photographs accompany the text. About half consist of snapshots of the refugees. While it is admirable that these clearly written books afford young refugees a means of expressing their sadness and frustrations at being displaced, the historical background the introductions provide is superficial and misleading. Specifically, the texts omit information on the role played by Western powers in the gradual destruction of African societies through slavery, colonialism, neocolonialism, exploitation of natural resources, and imperialism. All things considered, these titles do not provide a thorough historical background of these countries and do not deal honestly with the issues facing the young exiles. Readers deserve a more truthful account of these tragic events than these bland titles can provide.

Gebregeorgis Yohannes, San Francisco Public Library, CA

Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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