Child, Victim, Soldier
By: Donald H. Dunson
From Booklist “I was kidnapped by rebels when I was just twelve and forced to do unspeakable things.” Like The Bite of the Mango (2008) by Mariatu Kamara and Susan McClelland, this searing title is about children at war today, as casualties and as forced perpetrators of brutality. Dunson, a Cleveland missionary priest, travels regularly to northern Uganda to spend summers among formerly abducted child soldiers, and he constantly invokes his Christian beliefs as his inspiration to work for peace. With his interviews of formerly abducted children, including boys forced to kill their families and girls subjected to routine sexual abuse, he also includes historical background not only on the tribal factors behind the current strife but also on the early European colonialists’ role in the scramble for African rule. The personal stories will draw teens to the fundamental issues: Is healing possible? Should children be held responsible? Why does the world stand silent and indifferent? Grades 8-12. --Hazel Rochman
Donald H. Dunson, a priest from the diocese of Cleveland, is a professor or moral theology at Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe, Ohio. He is author of No Room at the Table: Earths Most Vulnerable Children.