Publication date: March 8th, 2008 - HarperTeen
Date read: August 20th, 2013 (First reading: January, 2009)
Source: Public Library
For the past six months, Chanda has had to become an adult in caring for her two younger siblings. The pain of losing her mother to AIDS is still fresh for Chanda, especially the shame and stigma surrounding the disease. Chanda decides to take her brother and sister to see their relatives, determined to end a bitter feud and mending their relationship. Little does Chanda realizes is that a horrifying attack conducted by the ruthless General Mandiki with his band of child soldiers, will reek destruction and death throughout the whole village. With a young tracker accompanying her along with her wits and courage, Chanda will venture out and try to rescue her two siblings whose lives hang in the balance.
I first read "Chanda's Wars" back in 2009 and it wasn't until yesterday that I saw it on the shelve at the local library. It took me less than a day to finish the book. Four years later, it took me little more than five hours to finish. The story is fiction, but the circumstances are very real. Hundreds of thousands of children are being used as soldiers, forced to commit acts that no child should ever do. At times it is hard to read, but the story itself and it's heroine, will keep you reading until the wee hours of the morning (like me).
"Chanda's Wars" is a heartbreaking, horrifying, but life-affirming story filled to the brim with humanity, courage, love, and hope. Allan Stratton has done justice for the children whose lives are destroyed by war and giving us a story worth reading and a cause worth fighting for.