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Afghan Dreams: Young Voices of Afghanistan…
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Afghan Dreams: Young Voices of Afghanistan (edition 2008)

by Tony O'Brien, Michael P. Sullivan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
605197,694 (3.82)1
roethkegrrl's review
O’Brien and Sullivan’s Afghan Dreams: Young Voices of Afghanistan examines important current events and issues in Afghanistan. A literal picture book (i.e., photojournalism geared toward a young audience), Dreams captures the lives and hopes of contemporary Afghan children by documenting their life circumstances in photographs, accompanied by textual descriptions of their dreams and hopes. Many of these children have faced hardship, losing loved ones to war or struggling with hunger and poverty, so their stories help to illustrate the everyday impact of the war in Afghanistan. But Dreams, as the title suggests, is also about hope. Some of the children’s wishes are fanciful (a magic carpet), others realistic (an education), but that they can still imagine good things for themselves is no small feat.
The images in Dreams capture rural and urban settings, war-ravaged buildings and green farm fields, dirty tear-stained cheeks and hopeful grins. Different styles of clothing depict multiple cultural and ethnic contexts, and the various jobs performed by young workers are also illustrated. This diversity establishes contemporary Afghanistan as a rich and complex place, with real children who have real dreams and problems. The striking photography makes the stories immediate and relatable, rather than painting Afghanistan as far away and war-torn, defined solely by its otherness.
This American Library Association Notable Book for Children will be of interest to librarians who collect for children and to school librarians. Dreams lends itself well to discussions of contemporary Afghan life, cross-cultural comparison, current wartime issues, and the concept of dreams and aspirations. The economic hardship experienced by many of the book’s subjects would also invite discussion. Although the book is geared toward older children, young adult and adult readers are also likely to be moved by the images and stories. The book does not provide a great deal of historical or background information, however, so some readers may need some supplemental information on Afghan history and the current conflicts taking place there in order to grasp the full context; for this reason, Dreams may work best as part of a unit or series. ( )
  roethkegrrl | Mar 14, 2010 |
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Showing 5 of 5
“Afghan Dreams” is a wonderful book about the children of Afghanistan. Every page of this book introduces a new child to the reader. Each child tells his/her story about what it is like living in Afghanistan and what there hopes and dreams are for the future. Some of the children even talk about wanting to make friends with children from other countries and showing them their favorite places and activities. The authors of this book did a really good job at sharing these children’s stories. The authors didn’t add their opinion to the stories, they just wrote the stories as the children told them to the authors. This book is a great book to read because it shows the hard life of children, but then it also shows their hopes and wishes for a better Afghanistan.
  brandib90 | Oct 24, 2013 |
See MSU meyer Library Review. ( )
  JoBass | Jul 5, 2010 |
O’Brien and Sullivan’s Afghan Dreams: Young Voices of Afghanistan examines important current events and issues in Afghanistan. A literal picture book (i.e., photojournalism geared toward a young audience), Dreams captures the lives and hopes of contemporary Afghan children by documenting their life circumstances in photographs, accompanied by textual descriptions of their dreams and hopes. Many of these children have faced hardship, losing loved ones to war or struggling with hunger and poverty, so their stories help to illustrate the everyday impact of the war in Afghanistan. But Dreams, as the title suggests, is also about hope. Some of the children’s wishes are fanciful (a magic carpet), others realistic (an education), but that they can still imagine good things for themselves is no small feat.
The images in Dreams capture rural and urban settings, war-ravaged buildings and green farm fields, dirty tear-stained cheeks and hopeful grins. Different styles of clothing depict multiple cultural and ethnic contexts, and the various jobs performed by young workers are also illustrated. This diversity establishes contemporary Afghanistan as a rich and complex place, with real children who have real dreams and problems. The striking photography makes the stories immediate and relatable, rather than painting Afghanistan as far away and war-torn, defined solely by its otherness.
This American Library Association Notable Book for Children will be of interest to librarians who collect for children and to school librarians. Dreams lends itself well to discussions of contemporary Afghan life, cross-cultural comparison, current wartime issues, and the concept of dreams and aspirations. The economic hardship experienced by many of the book’s subjects would also invite discussion. Although the book is geared toward older children, young adult and adult readers are also likely to be moved by the images and stories. The book does not provide a great deal of historical or background information, however, so some readers may need some supplemental information on Afghan history and the current conflicts taking place there in order to grasp the full context; for this reason, Dreams may work best as part of a unit or series. ( )
  roethkegrrl | Mar 14, 2010 |
Beautiful photos, meant-to-be-inspiring text. The organization of the book is awkward, and the average reader will not know whether or not any of the children's dreams are actually achievable. ( )
  Turrean | Aug 18, 2009 |
Afgahn Dreams is made up of photos and interviews with children and teens from Afghanistan. War has continually marched across Afghanistan's borders and many children go without the basic food and education that many American children take for granted. Tony O'Brien and Mike Sullivan traveled to Afghanistan and talked with children. Their overwhelming wish was for peace and education.

Though more factual information about Afghanistan would have made this a more complete book, it's an interesting glance into the lives of children across the world. The photographs are beautiful - some joyful and some haunting. I think this is a book that could truly inspire kids to learn more about Afghanistan and to do what they can to help. It would have been useful to have included some resources for those wishing to learn more or to help in some way.

I'd pair this one with In Our Village: Kambi ya Simba Through the Eyes of Its Youth and A School Like Mine for a multicultural unit or display. ( )
  abbylibrarian | Jan 14, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5

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