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Son of a Gun by Anne De Graaf
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Son of a Gun

by Anne De Graaf

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This book brings tears to my eyes to think that children have suffered so! As I read and listened to the brother and sister who recounted their lives as captured soldiers, I could think and feel what they were telling about this time in their life. I have the book as realistic fiction however their is much true history about Liberia in the book.

Curricular connections: The book has a section in the back with questions that students can respond to.
  sanm277 | Mar 30, 2016 |
Tells the tale of two siblings during a tumultuous period with multiple civil wars in Liberia. Told in small blocks of narrative from both Lucky and Nopi's points of view. The siblings have awful experiences both on the run and when they are involved in the civil war. The author has provided a short articles about Liberia at the conclusion of the story, pictures and writings from child soldiers.
At times the details are so sparse and the narrative just provides a sketch, the reader longs for more details although having more information might prove too heartbreaking and too horrible.
The author has used a style that employs the characters speaking directly to the reader. ( )
  ewyatt | Nov 24, 2013 |
This is a harsh and violent story about the involvement of children in the civil war in Liberia. Told in alternating accounts, it is the story of Nopi and her little brother Lucky. The two are taken from school by soldiers and forced to join their fight. As the story unfolds ( we “see” everything through the eyes of these two children)and covers the next eight years of their lives. Violence and uncertainty form a major part of their lives but Nopi, who was 10 at the beginning of the story, and Lucky survive their ordeal. The atrocities are handled well for a young audience. They are not overly graphic but enough to explain the horror of the situation. The children are amongst the lucky ones although Nopi has been left deaf due to a beating. They are jubilant at being united with their parents but are they permanently scarred by their experiences? There is no straightforward, happy-ever-after ending.
Although it is a fictional story it is based on factual accounts. The author, Anne De Graaf, bases her narrative on interviews with Liberian children. She provides historical, political, economic, and social information in the back in appendices with photos, maps, facts and figures. It also includes drawings and letters by young survivors of the civil war that give you some hope for the future. ( )
  Rhondda | Jun 27, 2013 |
A vividly detailed, grim story about child soldier survivors of the Liberian civil war. Unfortunately titled, but powerful, poignant, and gripping. The author includes excellent back matter for historical context. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This novella is a heart-wrenching story of a brother and sister kidnapped to fight in the Liberian Civil War at the ages of 8 and 10. They are survivors, but not without paying the huge price of their childhood and innocence. I predict that this book will leave an indelible impression on its readers, for although quite short, it packs a huge punch. The story is only 89 pages, followed by pages of information about Liberia, its culture, and history. ( )
  sleahey | May 16, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802854060, Paperback)

I was crazy. Crazy mad. That's how I felt when I turned in my AK-47 rifle. The commanding officer's growl still haunts me: "This gun is your god. You listen to the voice of your god and go where your gun tells you."

This powerful and gripping story describes the journey of a brother and sister, eight-year-old Lucky and ten-year- old Nopi, who are kidnapped from school and forced to become child soldiers in Liberia's fourteen-year- long civil war.

Lucky and Nopi manage to escape, but must continue fleeing. Even after they are reunited with their parents, they both know the pieces of their lives will never fit together like they used to. When will the war really be over, and when will they get to have the childhood they still dream about?

This sensitive and compelling narrative is based on true stories of former child soldiers interviewed by the author. Son of a Gun also includes a section of notes and further information about Liberia.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:05 -0400)

Eight-year-old Liberian Lucky, his ten-year-old sister Nopi, and their schoolmates are kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers, but even after they escape along with some other children and are reunited with their parents, their lives will never be the same.… (more)

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