Grade 5 are enjoying listening to Pavarna's Journey by Deborah Ellis - their teacher is reading it to them. I am delighted, not only because they are enjoying the book but also because their teacher has downloaded this eBook to her i-pad and that is the version she is reading. More on eBooks in a later post. She has however, had to ban the students from accessing the other books in this series until they have finished Parvana's Journey.
Fortunately I had just finished reading Lost boy, lost girl by John Bul Dau and Martha Arual Akech and was able to enlist one of the avid readers in this class to help me make an important decision. At the moment we have the book in the MYP/DP nonfiction section but I am wondering if it could be a good fit in the PYP nonfiction area. I asked her to read this book, on a similar topic to Parvana's Journey but nonfiction and help me make the decision.
The account is written in first person by both John and Martha and alternates chapter by chapter between the two of them. They were both fairly young when the war broke out and for a short time their lives were untouched by it. I like the way they described 'normal' life before the war. Their lives were simple and while John's was a village life and very different from the experiences of our students, Martha's life was in the city and much the same as many of our students.
When the war over took them the suddenness and violence was shocking. It is well written. Simply told from the perspectives of the children that they were at the time. Both John aged around 12 - 13 and Martha aged around 8 - 9 took responsibility for others younger than themselves. The adults that were in their lives had either been killed or had run away in a different direction and so were separated from them. They walked miles, they foraged for food, they hid, they ran for their lives - they survived.
The book is divided into sections - Peace - War - Refugees and so on. The daunting thing is how often the section war appears. There are photos of John and Martha and their lives. John Bul Dau is the man in the documentary "The lost Boys". Martha's story brings to light that there were lost girls as well. The whole account is a powerful and memorable account of the terrible realities faced by so many children in the Sudan.
Below is a Book Trailer for the book. A great review from Helen's Book Blog.