OverviewA moving, fictional account of one child's life in a conflict zone, in Mogadishu, SomaliaAmina lives on the edges of Mogadishu. Her family's house has been damaged in Somalia's long civil war, but they continue to live there, reluctant to leave their home. Amina's world is shattered when government forces come to arrest her father because his art has been officially censored, deemed too political. Then rebel forces kidnap Amina's brother, forcing him to become a soldier in Somalia's brutal ongoing war. Although her mother and grandmother are still with her, Amina feels vulnerable and abandoned. Secretly, she begins to create her own artwork in the streets and the derelict buildings to give herself a sense of hope and to let out the burden of her heart. Her artwork explodes into Mogadishu's underground world, providing a voice for people all over the city who hope for a better, more secure future.
Reviews"This book is rich with realistic, complex details about Islam, agency, urban life, and friendship. Amina's story is at once culturally specific, unique and universal, so that readers from all walks of like will find moments of connection. Politically relevant, this timely story offers many opportunities for classroom discussion." —Booklist
Author BiographyJ. L. Powers is the author of two previous novels, The Confessional and This Thing Called the Future, and the editor of a number of books, anthologies, and journals. She is a regular contributor to The Pirate Tree, a blog on social justice and children's literature. She lives in San Bruno, California. Lyn White is a primary school teacher-librarian and ESL teacher with more than 20 years of experience.