• Title: Shattered: Stories of Children and War
  • Author: Jennifer Armstrong
  • Released: 2002-02-12
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 166
  • ISBN: 0375811125
  • ISBN13: 978-0375811128
  • ASIN: 0375811125
For children who live in war times, whether they understand the issues or not, the future is precarious. According to the United Nations, armed conflicts now kill and maim more children than soldiers. In Shattered, editor Jennifer Armstrong gathers 12 stories that explore the ways young people are affected by war. From Afghanistan to Hawaii, Civil War times to the present, Joseph Bruchac, Ibtisam Barakat, Lois Metger, Marilyn Singer, and others describe, in painful, sometimes wry, detail small slices of their war-splintered world. M.E. Kerr depicts the mixed feelings of the family of a conscientious objector. Graham Salisbury writes about a high-school boy woken out of a complacent existence to discover his island is under attack and he must don his wrinkled high-school ROTC shirt to defend his home. A single line of text runs along the bottom of each story, providing cold, dismaying background information about each war portrayed. Authors' notes at the end of the book allow contributors to give a little more of the personal history behind the stories. (Ages 12 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly Twelve thought-provoking stories by as many writers cover a wide range of settings and conflicts. Joseph Bruchac, for example, describes a Native American teen's experience fighting for the Union in the Civil War, and Gloria Miklowitz chronicles a Jewish boy's arrival in Palestine shortly after WWII. Not all of the battlefields are literal: one of the most touching entries, "Things Happen" by Lisa Rowe Fraustino, concerns a girl who helps hide a draft dodger during Vietnam. Others are especially timely; in "Faizabad Harvest, 1980" by Suzanne Fisher Staples, an Afghani girl tells about the Soviet destruction of her village. There is no real pattern to the sequencing; readers may find it jarring, which may have been Armstrong's (The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan) intention ("People... are trying to kill you. Does it matter who they are?" she asks in her introduction). Other aspects of the book may be controversial, as in the lack of challenge to Ibtisam Barakat's understandably biased explanation, in an author's note, of the events leading to the 1967 Six-Day War (her story describes her family's terrifying flight from Israeli forces during that conflict). A single line of text runs below each story, supplying facts; while difficult to navigate, these lines lend context and stimulate new insights. Overall, this is a diverse and varied collection. Ages 9-12.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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