Off the Shelf 0607-27
By Deborah Ellis
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) has orphaned 11.5 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa. That number is expected to rise to 20 million by the year 2020. (p. vii)
Thus begins the intimate and compelling tale of children touched by AIDS. Their world seems so distant and surreal – and yet, it is their reality: preteens nursing their dying parents and now caring for younger siblings; children begging on the streets to fill their distended stomachs; and teenagers fearing the cyclical life of the disease’s isolation and stigma.
Despite the obvious sadness and despair, these children manage to express hope and dignity through their anecdotes and ‘songs of victory.’ The humanitarian author, donating the book royalties to UNICEF, threads AIDS facts throughout the children’s conversations. One doesn’t leave the book unaffected – in fact, you will likely appreciate your own relatively stable circumstances, as well as, examine how you can play a positive role in increasing the resources and quality of life for those with HIV/AIDS.
On a related note, take a moment to visit the Nata Village blog which brings you the “opportunity to witness the battle to control the spread of HIV/AIDS in an African village.” Their postings are a confirmation of the daily struggle to improve the environment of those impacted with the disease.
My recommendation: 4 out of 5 stars
Submitted by M. Coleman, Media Specialist