Monday, January 22, 2007

Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You

Jansen, Hanna. 2006. OVER A THOUSAND HILLS I WALK WITH YOU. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda books. ISBN 1575059274 [Suggested Grade Levels 5-9]

Hanna Jansen's OVER A THOUSAND HILLS I WALK WITH YOU is a touching tribute to her adopted daughter who was orphaned in the Rwandan war. Based on her daughter's recollections of her childhood--memories both pleasant and bittersweet—Jansen weaves a tale of sorrow, hope, fear, joy, and love. For example, the early chapters of the book feature a young girl living life large. She is visiting her grandmother. She's playing with her cousins. She's fighting with her sister and brother. Her mom works outside the home, her dad is away a lot. She's vibrant and unaware that her world would change in just a few short years. Later chapters reveal the pain, the loss, the confusion, the uncertainty of not knowing if one is going to survive another day. Witnessing such atrocities as seeing your parents and siblings killed by strange soldiers. Seeking help from family friends, yet being turned away because they don't want to risk dying too. Her survival story is inspiring and brilliantly conveyed by Jansen.

To discover more about Rwanda, read books such as Kathleen W. Deady’s RWANDA: A QUESTION AND ANSWER FACTBOOK or TEENAGE REFUGEES FROM RWANDA SPEAK OUT edited by Aimable Twagilimana.

Choose a scene from the book to illustrate or perform in a readers theatre.

Other books about orphans:
Paterson, Katherine. BREAD AND ROSES, TOO. ISBN 0618654798
Warren, Andrea. ESCAPE FROM SAIGON. ISBN 0374322244
Wulf, Linda Press. THE NIGHT OF THE BURNING. ISBN 0374364192

By Becky Laney

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