Out of War: True Stories from the Frontlines of the Children's Movement

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Civil war has raged in Colombia for more than forty years, touching millions of lives with despair. Colombia's children have lost their parents and homes, their schools and security. Yet today young Colombians are among the leaders of efforts to end the fighting. Nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Children's Movement for Peace is a coalition of courageous young people working together to build a better future. Here, nine of its members tell their haunting ...
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Overview

Civil war has raged in Colombia for more than forty years, touching millions of lives with despair. Colombia's children have lost their parents and homes, their schools and security. Yet today young Colombians are among the leaders of efforts to end the fighting. Nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Children's Movement for Peace is a coalition of courageous young people working together to build a better future. Here, nine of its members tell their haunting stories.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cameron here collects the poignant stories of nine articulate teenagers who describe the long and diffuse internal war raging in Columbia for over 40 years, in which various armed groups vie for control of land and power. The genesis of the Children's Movement of Peace, created in response to the war, is framed with their personal and agonizing accounts of loss, hope and the understanding that endemic violence must be fought through personal forgiveness as well as through organized efforts against poverty and racism. Juan Elias, one leader of the movement, realizes after his own father's and cousin's murder, "No matter how much you want peace, you take a step toward violence when the war hits you personally." Johemir, whose mother left him to live alone when he was only 10, helps to create art programs so other children can express their sorrow and wishes for peace. The stories display a depth of insight about the limits and possibilities for creating a more peaceful country as well as the fragility of commitment in the face of the ongoing violence and despair. Yet they continue to work against violence because, as Maritza (who lives in violence at home as well as on the streets) put it, "I know that making peace is our only hope." Young adults will find this an inspiring book about the courage of people their own age who have devoted themselves to the cause of ending violence. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
This poignant book is the result of the author's research on a peace movement in Colombia that was nominated for a Nobel Prize. Colombia is a country torn apart by violence created by drug lords, competing army factions, gangs, and severe poverty. Farmers literally are driven from their land and forced to relocate in urban ghettos. Kidnapping, murder, and torture have become mundane occurrences. A whole generation of youth has never known any other way of life. Then in the mid-1990s, the Children's Movement for Peace was established. Children from all over Colombia were recruited to spread the word that peaceful resistance to the violence is the only way to regain the country. Each chapter is told by one of this movement's young leaders. All relate terrible injustices and atrocities, yet all are dedicated to solutions. They tell heartbreaking stories of lives lost in massacres and of their own constant fear of retaliation for speaking out. Sadly, many children are forced through intimidation or poverty to join the factional armies as teenagers, thus perpetuating the violence. The author, who won awards for her eco-novel Natural Enemies (Turner, 1993), ties chapters together to illustrate how one child encouraged the next. Some of the young interviewees battle with drug problems, some still might join the army, but they all are saying that they are tired of the cycle of hatred and yearn to be safe. This book presents a shocking glimpse of what life is like for children in war-torn areas. Photos. Appendix. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9;Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Scholastic, 224p, $15.95. Ages 11 to 18. Reviewer: Kevin Beach
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-From humble beginnings in 1996, the Children's Movement for Peace in Colombia has grown to more than 100,000 active members. Nine teenagers describe how their involvement with it has helped them cope with the harsh realities of living in a country awash in violence. Readers will be moved by their stories and their hope. At 14, Juan Elias attended the UNICEF-sponsored meeting that laid the groundwork for the organization and its first activity, a nationwide election in October, 1996, in which children between the ages of 7 and 18 chose life and peace as their most important rights. Shortly after that meeting, his father was murdered. Beto, also a victim of family violence, runs child-rights groups and organizes recreational activities for adolescents. His friend Maritza is less clear; on a trip to Holland to talk with schoolchildren about the violence in Colombia, she was "afraid to admit that no matter how much you try to make peace," she finds it easy to be dragged back into violence at home and on the street. Johemir uses puppets in Return to Happiness workshops to help younger children recover from traumatic experiences. Through this selection of tangentially connected lives, Cameron has told the larger story of the breadth of violence and the growth and work of this coalition. The book concludes with a helpful list of resources about the movement and its supporters. Thought-provoking reading both for teenagers and the adults who serve them.-Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439297219
  • Publisher: United Nations Children's Fund, The (UNICEF)
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Juan Elias: Peace is the Best Revenge/18 5
Farlis: the Line Between Now and Tomorrow/19 30
Mayerly: After Milton/16 54
Beto: Falling in Love with Life/16 74
Maritza: One Foot in Violence, One Foot in Peace/17 91
Johemir: Journeys Far from Home/16 109
"Alberto": Letters from the Jungle/15 126
Herminsul: A Way of Being Free/15 138
Wilfrido: Saved from Drowning/17 155
Where are We Now? 172
Author's Note 177
Resources 182
Acknowledgments 184
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