Eight Days: A Story of Haiti


From National Book Award nominee Edwidge Danticat comes a timely, brilliantly crafted story of hope and imagination--a powerful tribute to Haiti and children around the world!

Hope comes alive in this heartfelt and deeply resonating story.
While Junior is trapped for 8 days beneath his collapsed house after an earthquake, he uses his imagination for comfort. Drawing on beautiful, everyday-life memories, Junior paints a sparkling picture of ...

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From National Book Award nominee Edwidge Danticat comes a timely, brilliantly crafted story of hope and imagination--a powerful tribute to Haiti and children around the world!

Hope comes alive in this heartfelt and deeply resonating story.
While Junior is trapped for 8 days beneath his collapsed house after an earthquake, he uses his imagination for comfort. Drawing on beautiful, everyday-life memories, Junior paints a sparkling picture of Haiti for each of those days--flying kites with his best friend or racing his sister around St. Marc's Square--helping him through the tragedy until he is finally rescued.
Love and hope dance across each page--granting us a way to talk about resilience as a family, a classroom, or a friend.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Haitian-born author Danticat (Behind the Mountains) offers an uplifting story, told in the ingenuous voice of Junior, a boy pulled from the rubble of his former home eight days after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince in January 2010. Looking back, he acknowledges that he was afraid when “the earth shook again and again,” but relied on his imagination and memories to survive. In loose, emotive, mixed-media illustrations, Delinois (Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champion) chronicles the joyful, daily reminiscences that Junior clings to each day, instead of portraying the damage caused by the earthquake. “On the morning of the third day, I teased Justine by pulling her pigtails,” reads Junior’s imagining as Delinois shows the siblings running through their bright and cheerful home. Despite the upbeat imagery and focus on the close bonds Junior shares with his family and friends, harsh reality surfaces, too, as Junior imagines playing soccer with his best friend. “Oscar felt really tired and went to sleep. He never woke up. That was the day I cried.” It’s a moving celebration of hope, determination, and resilience. Ages 4–7. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
A young boy, buried for eight days after the earthquake in Haiti, tells how he managed to pass those fearful days by imagining times with his friends and family as he recalls they were before the catastrophe. On the first two days he plays marbles and hide and seek in his mind with his friend Oscar and others. The third day he spends with his family. On the fourth, he imagines singing a solo with the children's choir, ",,,the best solo ever sung..." He cries on the fifth day because Oscar goes to sleep after a game of soccer but never wakes up. He goes to the country with his sister on the sixth day, and rides bicycles with her around the town on the seventh. He joyously celebrates his reunion with his parents on the eighth day. The simple but moving text also celebrates Haiti and its children. Delinois's double-page scenes in acrylics, pastel crayons and collage, have sculptural qualities that seem to express the spiritual strength of the trapped boy. Characters, objects, and contextual details are created with vigorous applications of color. Check the contrasting beginning and end pages. A note from the author adds background information. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Focusing on one child who survived the 2010 disaster in Haiti, this beautiful and touching picture book is a true testament to the spirit of the people of this nation. A seven-year-old boy (only identified as Junior on the flap copy) was pulled from under his home eight days after the earthquake. He and his best friend, Oscar, were home alone. When he was asked if he'd been afraid, he answered, "I missed Manman and Papa...in my mind, I played." Often the text starts with "On the first day (second, third) and shows his "playing" with his friends. On the fifth day, Oscar went to sleep and never woke up. On the eighth day, Junior was rescued and reunited with his family. The illustrations, done in acrylic paint, pastel crayons, and collage, are bold, realistic, and bright. There are moments that the pictures almost convince readers that the youngster is really playing with his friends. They are vibrant and share the beauty of the country, not the destruction. In an endnote the Haitian-born author writes of the children of Haiti, her feelings when she learned of the earthquake, and her fears about her family still living there.—Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
Composed in the wake of the devastating earthquake of January 2010, this inspired child's-eye view will leave no reader or listener unmoved. Asked whether he was sad or afraid during the eight days he was buried in rubble, a young victim explains how he survived: "In my mind, I played," with kites and marbles on the first day, games of hide-and-seek on the second, at home or in school or out in the fields on other days—with his friend Oscar who was buried with him but who on the fifth day "...never woke up. That was the day I cried"—and also with his parents and little sister who, thankfully, were there to greet him when he was rescued: "I tell you, I hugged them so tight I thought I would never let go." Using rich acrylics and thick brushwork, Delinois (Haiti-born, like the author) creates active, emotionally charged playscapes from which the narrator often looks up gravely, making steady eye contact with viewers as if to say: I am strong enough for this. Danticat closes this powerful, affirmative statement with an eloquent author's note. Whew! (Picture book. 7-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545278492
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 252,380
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, until she was twelve years old, when she moved to the United States to be reunited with her family. She published her first pieces of literary work just two years later. She has written many award-winning books, including BREATH, EYES, MEMORY, a member of Oprah's Book Club; KRIK? KRAK!, a National Book Award Nominee; THE FARMING OF BONES, an American Book Award Winner; and BROTHER, I'M DYING, a National Book Critics Circle winner. She is a 2009 winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant. Edwidge lives with her family in Miami, Florida.

Alix Delinois is a young Haitian-American artist/illustrator living and working in New York. He is the illustrator of Walter Dean Myers’s MUHAMMAD ALI: THE PEOPLE'S CHAMPION(12/09). Alix is a graduate of the Pratt Institute and received his Masters in Art Education from Brooklyn College. He is a substitute art teacher in New York City schools.

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