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Relaying her experiences as a child in Sierra Leone during the 1990s, Kamara chillingly evokes the devastating effects of war. Mariatu is 11 when her tiny village is decimated by rebel soldiers, many of them children like her. Forced to watch as peaceful villagers are tortured and murdered, Mariatu is finally allowed to go free-but only after boy soldiers cut off her hands: "We want you to go to the president," they tell her, "and show him what we did to you. You won't be able to vote for him now." Mariatu's long walk to get medical aid marks the first stage of a harrowing journey to build a new life for herself and other wartime victims; she now lives in Canada and is a UNICEF representative. Written with journalist McClelland, her story is deeply personal yet devoid of self-pity. As it aims to correct misperceptions about Sierra Leone and to raise awareness of the needs of child victims of war, this book will unsettle readers-and then inspire them with the evidence of Mariatu's courage. Ages 14-up. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.