Chiko is a scholar, not a soldier. He wants to follow in his father’s footsteps by going to school, finding a way to help people and (hopefully) someday marry his beautiful neighbor Lei.
However, Chiko’s life takes a drastic turn when he is unwillingly forced to serve in the Burmese Army. Trained in guerrilla warfare tactics, he is taught that it is his job to fight against the uprising minority refugee groups that are hiding along the Thai border. But he can’t help but question, what are they really fighting about?
Tu Reh has watched his be burned down and his family killed, simply because they belonged to the Karenni ethnic minority. He is now in hiding, one of the rebels fighting against the oppression of the Burmese soldiers.
After a mission gone horribly wrong in the jungle, the two boys cross paths. Suddenly, Tu Reh must decide whether to save Chiko’s life. Is Chiko different than the rest of the heartless soldiers that Tu Reh knows? Or are all Burmese soldiers the same?
Perkin’s has written a story chronicling the challenges of friendship and the struggles faced by those in modern day Burma.
New Finds & Hidden Treasures is our new weekly book spotlight! Every Monday we’ll let you know about one of our great books from the new section as well as a related hidden treasure that you may have missed the first time around.
Check out this week’s titles, which celebrate February’s Black History Month:
|Riot by Walter Dean Myers
During a long hot July in 1863, the worst race riots the United States has ever seen erupt in New York City. Earlier that year, desperate for more Union soldiers, President Abraham Lincoln instituted a draft–a draft that would allow the wealthy to escape serving in the army by paying a $300 waiver, more than a year’s income for the recent immigrant Irish. And on July 11, as the first drawing takes place in Lower Manhattan, the city of New York explodes in rage and fire. Stores are looted; buildings, including the Colored Foundling Home, are burned down; and black Americans are attacked, beaten, and murdered. The police cannot hold out against the rioters, and finally, battle-hardened soldiers are ordered back from the fields of Gettysburg to put down the insurrection, which they do–brutally.
Fifteen-year-old Claire, the beloved daughter of a black father and Irish mother, finds herself torn between the two warring sides. Faced with the breakdown of the city–the home–she has loved, Claire must discover the strength and resilience to address the new world in which she finds herself, and to begin the hard journey of remaking herself and her identity.
|And a Hidden Treasure…
|Copper Sun by Sharon Draper
Amari’s life was once perfect. Engaged to the handsomest man in her tribe, adored by her family, and living in a beautiful village, she could not have imagined everything could be taken away from her in an instant. But when slave traders invade her village and brutally murder her entire family, Amari finds herself dragged away to a slave ship headed to the Carolinas, where she is bought by a plantation owner and given to his son as a birthday present.
Survival seems all that Amari can hope for. But then an act of unimaginable cruelty provides her with an opportunity to escape, and with an indentured servant named Polly she flees to Fort Mose, Florida, in search of sanctuary at the Spanish colony. Can the illusive dream of freedom sustain Amari and Polly on their arduous journey, fraught with hardship and danger?
Other titles you may like:
- Day of Tears by Julius Lester
- Chains: Seeds of America by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Flygirl by Sherri Smith
- Glory Field by Walter Dean Myers
Sound good? Check the library catalog for availability. And don’t forget to check back for all new suggestions next Monday!
Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
While stationed in Iraq, Private Matt Duffy is injured while out on patrol. He remembers he and his squad chasing a vehicle, then continuing on foot into an alley. He remembers gunfire, and a rocket-propelled grenade hitting the wall behind him.
After that Matt remembers nothing. TBI the doctors call it, traumatic brain injury where his mind shuts out any other details of the event, as well as his ability to recall simple everyday words and actions. As he works to regain cognitive functions, Matt begins to get flashes of what else may have happened in that alley that day. He slowly realizes that he may have killed a civilian, a child. Or did he? His memory is still fuzzy and unreliable, leaving Matt struggling to learn the truth.
McCormick creates an interesting story, really generating a feel for what day to day life may be like for an injured soldier in Iraq, emphasizing that what the rules are and what is really acceptable can be two very different things.
All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg
“Hey! Watch it Frogface.”
“Because of you, my brother is dead.”
The words echo in Matt Pin’s mind everywhere he goes. Some people openly stare and sneer at him; others won’t even look at him. To many people, he is an unwelcome reminder of the Vietnam War. Airlifted out of war torn Saigon, Matt has been given a second chance in life, a chance to try to live a normal childhood safely in the United States.
However, as the son of Vietnamese woman and American soldier he never knew, Matt isn’t sure where he belongs. He often thinks of his mother and younger brother, as well as a terrible secret that he was forced to leave behind. Would his new family still want him if they knew the truth?
Turning to baseball and music, Matt struggles to find peace and acceptance in this vivid and compelling verse novel.