Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney tells a story using poetry. Amira is a twelve year old girl living in South Darfur, Africa. She lives simply and happily with her Muma, Dando and little sister, Leila on their family farm. She loves to draw pictures with a stick in the sandy soil. Unfortunately, the peace will not last as her family gets caught up in a war that Amira can not understand. She must flee with the last of her village as she leaves her family home in ashes.

The story begins in 2003 and brings the conflicts between fighting factions in Africa to a personal, understandable level for students. Amira's story will help develop empathy in anyone who reads it. Although it is a story of fiction, the topics covered in the book; death, war, grief, refugee camps, and loss are very real. This would be an ideal read aloud with students. Plan on sharing Amira's drawings with your document camera. It is a story of war and hardship, but also a story of family and ultimately hope. RICBA nominee 2016

Reviewed by Mrs. Castro

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