Free?: Stories About Human Rights by Amnesty International, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Free?: Stories About Human Rights

Free?: Stories About Human Rights

by Amnesty International
     
 

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What does it mean to be free? Top authors donate their talents to explore the question in a compelling collection to benefit Amnesty International.

A boy who thinks that school is "slavery" learns the true meaning of the word when he stumbles on a secret child-labor factory. A Palestinian boy, mute from trauma, releases kites over a wall to a

Overview

What does it mean to be free? Top authors donate their talents to explore the question in a compelling collection to benefit Amnesty International.

A boy who thinks that school is "slavery" learns the true meaning of the word when he stumbles on a secret child-labor factory. A Palestinian boy, mute from trauma, releases kites over a wall to a hilltop settlement, each bearing a message of peace. This inspiring, engaging anthology gathers an international roster of authors to explore such themes as asylum, law, education, and faith — from a riveting tale of an attempt to find drinking water after Hurricane Katrina; to a chilling look at a future where microchips track every citizen’s every move; to a hilarious police interrogation involving the London Tower, the Crown Jewels, and a Ghanaian boy with a passion for playing marbles. Features an introduction by British writer Jacqueline Wilson.

With stories by:
David Almond
Ibtisam Barakat
Malorie Blackman
Theresa Breslin
Eoin Colfer
Roddy Doyle
Ursula Dubosarsky
Jamila Gavin
Margaret Mahy
Patricia McCormick
Michael Morpurgo
Sarah Mussi
Meja Mwangi
Rita Williams-Garcia

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this collection of 14 imaginative short stories, writers including Eoin Colfer, Roddy Doyle, Ursula Dubosarsky, and Margaret Mahy come together to celebrate the United Nations' 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In her introduction, Jacqueline Wilson writes, “So many brave writers have drawn attention to the horrors of repressive regimes, even though they've suffered as a result.... Life isn't fair—but we can do our best to right the wrongs.” Differing widely in focus and style, the stories eloquently illustrate specific articles in the declaration. In David Almond's tale, a boy who's part of a group of neighborhood “mischief-makers, pests, and scamps” has his perspective changed by an iconoclastic German youth, who plants the seed of freedom through independent thought. Theresa Breslin offers a suspenseful piece about a young daydreamer who stumbles upon a child-labor factory. Written in verse, Rita Williams-Garcia's story is a somber look at the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, while Patricia McCormick presents a harrowing account of those who fled Zimbabwe in 2008 after a disputed election. Frequently thought provoking, the stories adeptly highlight the universal importance of human rights. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Our book Free? is a reminder of what a huge leap was taken when someone wrote down our rights and the world agreed. And we want children to realize that the rights most of us can take for granted were won and struggled for." — David Almond — Quote
Children's Literature - Sara Rofofsky Marcus
These fourteen chapters draw attention to the horrors of repressive regimes, censorship, unfair treatment, child slave labor, restrictions on freedom of speech and religion, forced marriages, and much more, providing thought-provoking pieces about the unfairness of life. Written in the voice a child who is experiencing the unfairness, the realistic exploits bring to light issues of concern to all in a way children can understand but also in a manner appropriate for adults desiring to learn more about these issues and their impact on children. Each chapter ends with the articles of the Declaration of Human Rights that are exemplified by that section of the book, raising additional awareness of these basic rights many take for granted. The volume ends with a simplified version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Amnesty International UK, 1948). A valuable addition to this book would be a listing of the articles by chapter, so that a teacher or librarian seeking a short story or vignette on a specific aspect could easily locate the desired story. The stories are written in a variety of formats—poetry, first person, third person, script, and more. Reviewer: Sara Rofofsky Marcus
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This anthology advocates for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It has the bonus of literary merit, and—another plus—it's highly readable. Don't let the cause or political weight of the title scare readers away. Popular YA authors use their exemplary storytelling skills to present stories set in a variety of countries, including Africa, Palestine, Jerusalem, Ireland, the United States, and England. Rita Williams-Garcia's jaunty short-story-in-verse style belies the contrasting events of the Hurricane Katrina debacle. Three high school teens, bolstered by their marching-band spirit, set off to find water for their families in New Orleans. What transpires is a devastating dose of reality as they witness rescue and governance gone wrong. In David Almond's "Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads," a pack of boys takes on the persona of tough blokes shoving about an English neighborhood during the late 1940s. Active and impulsive, they fall in with the oldest, coolest, meanest guy on the block. But when a new boy arrives from Germany, allegiances and dynamics shift. Independent Klaus is small but confident, and he risks standing up for himself. Strength of character is exposed, the group's status quo is broken, and the ability to say "no" is celebrated. Each selection cites the article(s) from the Declaration to which it relates.—Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763649265
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
04/27/2010
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,117,908
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author

Amnesty International is a nonprofit organization that works to protect human rights around the world.

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