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Children of War

Voices Of Iraqi Refugees

by Deborah Ellis

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middle east, emigration & immigration, death & dying
list price: $16.95
also available: Paperback eBook
published: 2009
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
p to 17
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees

Listen to the voices of 23 Iraqi children, aged eight to 19, who have fled war and their homes. In their own words, they confide what it means to be a refugee. An introduction offers a historical overview and sets the context for the accounts shared by the children. A glossary, a map and further-information suggestions are included.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

One Peace: True Stories of Young Activists

This is a celebration of the power of one and the accomplishments of nine children who have worked to promote world peace. The young pacifists hail from Canada, Colombia, Liberia, Bosnia, Japan, Great Britain, Cambodia, Afghanistan and the United States. Paintings, poems and colour photos illustrate this inspiring collection.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

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  • Long-listed, OLA Silver Birch Nonfiction Award
  • Commended, USBBY Outstanding International Books
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USBBY Outstanding International Books Honor List

In this book, Deborah Ellis turns her attention to the most tragic victims of the Iraq war -- Iraqi children. She interviews young people, mostly refugees living in Jordan, but also a few who are trying to build new lives in North America. Some families have left Iraq with money; others are penniless and ill or disabled. Most of the children have parents who are working illegally or not at all, and the fear of deportation is a constant threat.

Ellis provides an historical overview and brief explanations of context, but other than that allows the children to speak for themselves, with minimal editorial comment or interference. Their stories are frank, harrowing and sometimes show surprising resilience, as the children try to survive the consequences of a war in which they played no part. A glossary, map and suggestions for further information are included.

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Contributor notes

DEBORAH ELLIS is the author of more than two dozen books, including The Breadwinner, which has been published in twenty-five languages and was recently adapted into a feature-length animated film and a graphic novel. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Middle East Book Award, the Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. She has received the Ontario Library Association’s President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement, and she has been named to the Order of Canada. She has donated almost $2 million in royalties to organizations such as Women for Women in Afghanistan, UNICEF and Street Kids International.

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Editorial Reviews

A must...read, this book really helps raise awareness of the vulnerable and heartbreaking situation of refugees, and is likely to inspire social justice-oriented readers to start advocating on their behalf.

— papertigers.org

...The voices are poignant, insightful, angry and hopeful...Photographs of the interviewes and a glossary round out an important chronicle of war and the world's most vulnerable-the children.

— Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

The Stories are poignant, heart wrenching, and ring with truth...†...a starting point for a disscussion on the impact of war on children from the childs perspective.

— VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

Ellis gives children a voice that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to express so readily in the mainstream media...[Children of War] exposes the complexity of the issues surrounding the war, and discourages any simplistic understandings that her readers may have held about the war's origins...A significant strength of this book is its accessibility for readers of all ages and cultural backgrounds...Highly recommended.

— CM Magazine

An important, current title that will have lasting significance.


...there's no real room for doubt that [the children's] grim attitudes...[and] outlook on the future, are painfully authentic.

— Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books

A collection of heartrending entries based on interviews with displaced kids...The introduction offers a clear, concise summary of the events...and the photographs accompanying the stories personalize the harrowing plights.

— School Library Journal

Eye-opening...unforgettable and thought-provoking...the contrast between the simple language of these child refugees and the horrific events they relate is wrenching.

— Quill & Quire
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Out of print

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