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Marie Arana…the chronicle of a child's single-minded pursuit of an education…Ngugi's memoir is not about the world adults had made. Dreams in a Time of War hews to the promise the boy made his mother. Young Ngugi carries on his studies, despite all possible adversity. He marches off to school, takes joy in his ability to read, memorizes poetry, sits at the front of every classroom. The picture of Kenya that he presents, in other words, is admirably free of cant or sentimentality, and yet it is enough to make you weep. Here is a child, against the backdrop of a terrible war—traveling a bloodied land with pen and paper—thinking a dream can forge a better world.
—The Washington Post