Thursday, June 3, 2004
Year of No Rain
Mead, Alice. 2003.YEAR OF NO RAIN. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0374372888 [Suggested Grade Levels 3-6]
SUMMARY and ANALYSIS
A vicious cycle of war, famine, and drought bring death, hunger, and courage to three young boys. It has not rained in three long years, yet a small village in the Sudan is squeaking out a meager existence despite its hardships. Carrying long needed food, a plane drops bundles of provisions and a cruel twist of fate. The rebel army sees the drop and like hyenas waiting for the lions to leave, attacks the small village killing everyone who cannot escape. Knowing their fate if they do not run to the bush for safety, Wol and his friends hide in the thorny thicket three days before returning to the massacre. Finding no one alive, the three boys leave to look for refuge. Throughout their journey they encounter misfortune. Food cannot be found, water is scarce, the fear of lions attacking wears on their minds, and malaria stops their journey short. After Wol recovers, the three decide to return home and do the best they can. Arriving at the village, the boys are pleasantly surprised. Wol’s sister, who was thought to have been kidnapped and sold into slavery, has escaped her captors and has returned home.
At the end of the book a small shower of rain comes to the village. It symbolizes a ray of hope. The plot puts man against man, man against nature, and man against himself. The conflict in the plot advances the reader quickly through the book. Alice Mead took care in describing the actions the villagers and rebel soldiers take. The description of the Sudan brings the reader close to the action.
Research the Sudan finding information about the climate, people, and animals.
Plant seeds and have half of the students plant and care for the seeds properly, and the remaining half deprive their seeds of water.
Other stories about surviving during war:
Grifalconi, Ann. THE VILLAGE THAT VANISHED. ISBN 0803726236
Naidoo, Beverley. THE OTHER SIDE OF TRUTH. ISBN 0060296283
Naidoo, Bererley. OUT OF BOUNDS: SEVEN STORIES OF CONFLICT AND HOPE. ISBN 0060508000
By Jill Howell