Orca Book Publishers

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Nonfiction Ages 12+
Pages: 100
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/Sep/2010
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When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. This ancient proverb of the Kikuyu people, a tribal group in Kenya, Africa, is as true today as when the words were first spoken, perhaps thousands of years ago. Its essence is simplicity—when the large fight, it is the small who suffer most. And when it comes to war, the smallest, the most vulnerable, are the children.

When Elephants Fight presents the stories of five children—Annu, Jimmy, Nadja, Farooq and Toma—from five very different and distinct conflicts—Sri Lanka, Uganda, Sarajevo, Afghanistan and the Sudan. Along with these very personal accounts, the book also offers brief analyses of the history and geopolitical issues that are the canvas on which these conflicts are cast.

When Elephants Fight is about increasing awareness. For the future to be better than the past, better than the present, we must help equip our children with an awareness and understanding of the world around them and their ability to bring about change. Gandhi stated, "If you are going to change the world, start with the children."

The Horn Book Guide - April 1, 2009
"The writing is accessible, and the kids' stories are compelling. The many photographs of children and landscapes help contextualize their stories."
VOYA - April 1, 2009
"The narratives are filled with conflict, suspense, and action...Earth-toned pages, color photography, and informative sidebars make the book attractive."
Library Media Connection - March 1, 2009
"Worth the effort of media specialists and teachers to get it into the hands of students...This would be an excellent supplemental text for a high school geography or world civilization program. Highly Recommended."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group - March 1, 2009
"A comprehensive, yet concise, history of the conflicts or wars immediately following each child's story...An eye-opening perspective that is valuable to readers of all ages."
Resource Links - February 1, 2009
"This outstanding book...is a recommended purchase for all middle and high school libraries. It is an interesting and powerful read that will appeal to the student interest in global issues, or anyone with an interest in children's rights."
Tucson Unified School District - January 1, 2009
"It should be mandatory reading! Highly, highly recommended."
Quill & Quire - November 1, 2008
"[Walters and Bradbury] provide a thoughtful historical and political analysis to assist young readers - along with many an older reader understandably confused by world events - in seeing how these conflicts ariseā€¦ The tales provide a fresh and vibrant voice that needs to be heard."
CM Magazine - September 1, 2008
"A solid vehicle for discussions about the effects of war on children... Highly recommended."
Kirkus Reviews - September 1, 2008
"Bradbury's personal experience with children in northern Uganda lends credence to these narratives, and readers will share his sympathies with these innocent victims."


CCBC Best Books starred selection  | 2010 | Commended
Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2009 | Commended