Friday, December 30, 2011

Joanne Ragsdale Book Review: Afghani Children's True Stories, reprint

"Afghan Dreams: Young voices of Afghanistan" (Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2008) by photojournalist Tony O'Brien and filmmaker Mike Sullivan interviews a little more than 30 children, ages 8-16, from many ethnic backgrounds and neighborhoods in war torn Afghanistan. They are children who work in family businesses, work the streets or markets, attend schools or even pick the pockets of foreigners. Each child is asked about their past, what they are doing now and their dreams for the future. Their dreams range from the basics — a house or attending school — to the profound — peace for their country and the world or an end of war forever. Many wish to be teachers, and most want to have their own spouses and children someday. All their young lives, they have known nothing but fear, war and loss. Yet, each one has hope for themselves and imagines a brighter future. It's impossible to read this book and not recognize that their burning desire for education and peace are genuine. In only 75 pages, O'Brien and Sullivan portray a spirit that even 30 years of war cannot destroy.

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