Tuesday, October 27, 2015

‘Beasts of No Nation,’ a Brutal Tale of Child Soldiers in Africa

Uzodinma, Iweala(2006) Beasts of No Nation. Paperback | Harper Perennial | ISBN: 978-0060798688 | $12.59 | 176 Pages

A Beast of No Nation is a socially conscious film based on the 2006 book by Nigerian-American author Uzodinma Iweala who writes about children who were snatched away from their families to fight as mercenaries. In war-torn West Africa, nine year-old Agu (14 yrs. Old Abraham Attah) escapes the slaughter of his family, only to become the protégé of a rebel leader (Idris Elba) who schools him in the brutal ways of the rebel militia.
This excellent movie will definitely receive Oscar awards consideration in the upcoming year.  Peter Travers from the Rolling Stone quote “Hard to watch, impossible to forget” was the best response that I found to describe this movie. Check it out on Netflix’s.  MrPhillyLibrarian

Bibliography on Children Soldiers theme Books


  • Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2008).
  • Bok, Francis. Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America (St. Martin's Griffin, 2004).
  • Brett, Rachel and Irma Specht. Young Soldiers: Why they Choose to Fight (Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 2004).
  • Briggs, Jimmie. Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War (Basic Books, 2005).
  • Dallaire, Romeo. They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (Random House, 2010).
  • Denov, Myriam. Child Soldiers: Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Eichstaedt, Peter. First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army (Lawrence Hill Books, 2009).
  • Gates, Scott and Simon Reich. Child Soldiers in the Age of Fractured States (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009).
  • Honwama, Alcinda. Child Soldiers in Africa (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007).
  • Jal, Emmanuel. War Child: A Child Soldier's Story (St. Martin's Griffin, 2010).
  • Kahn, Leora. Child Solders (PowerHouse Books, 2008).
  • London, Charles. One Day the Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War (Harper Perennial, 2007).
  • McDonnell, Faith. Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda's Children (Chosen Books, 2007).
  • Rosen, David M. Armies of the Young: Child Soldiers in War and Terrorism (Rutgers University Press, 2005).
  • Singer, P.W. Children at War (University of California Press, 2006).
  • Wessells, Michael. Child Soldiers: From Violence to Protection (Harvard University Press, 2009).


Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Ana’s Playground (2009)

Blood Diamond (2006)

War Dance (2006)

Invisible Children (2003)

Children in War (2000)


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Stilettos in the Sun

Harvey, Nadel (2013) Stilettos in the Sun. Paperback | Nader Harvey Press | ISBN: 978 -0-991-84009 | $12.89 | 344 Pages

Stilettos in the Sun is the story of Roberto Davila, a young engineer-mathematician from Panama. As a boy, his parents send him to live with an uncle and his family in Philadelphia. He is full of trepidation, having never lived outside his hometown, Colon. He spends his days musing over happier times, writing poems and songs as a way to assuage his longing.

If his accent and his being handsome are not enough to make the boys dislike him, he is a diligent student and excels in his studies. He finds that while one can be as smart as he wants in the classroom, he still has the labyrinth of dangerous streets to negotiate.

The story soon moves to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Roberto is a college student. The story takes twists with the romances he has, one of which is with Euridice, a beautiful and bright Venezuelan woman. They study and live together, until graduation, when she returns to Venezuela with her parents, who discourage any further association with Roberto, as he is too dark, notwithstanding his achievements and ambition.

Roberto throws himself into his studies, continuing through to his PhD in mathematics. Another short-lived relationship, with Isabel, ends with her death. Back in Philadelphia for a visit, he once again meets Yolanda, with whom he has had an on-again, off-again relationship. They rekindle the romance.

But back in Baton Rouge, he falls for another woman. Then, on assignment in Kazakhstan, he meets a Turkish professor and is smitten by her in every way. They make arrangements to meet in Istanbul. In Kazakhstan, he meets several other women who bring to light the ambivalence he harbors: He cannot make up his mind. This confluence of females leaves him in a quandary. He travels to Istanbul, having decided on Sarah, the history professor. But once there he discovers that Sarah has promised to marry an Argentinean doctor.This book is a great Read, check it out! Mr.Philly Librarian