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Eight Days: A Story of Haiti Hardcover – September 1, 2010

11 customer reviews

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Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey. Each page instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next. Hardcover | More for ages 3-5
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 2-5–Focusing on one child who survived the 2010 disaster in Haiti, this beautiful and touching picture book is a true testament to the spirit of the people of this nation. A seven-year-old boy (only identified as Junior on the flap copy) was pulled from under his home eight days after the earthquake. He and his best friend, Oscar, were home alone. When he was asked if he'd been afraid, he answered, “I missed Manman and Papa...in my mind, I played.” Often the text starts with “On the first day (second, third) and shows his “playing” with his friends. On the fifth day, Oscar went to sleep and never woke up. On the eighth day, Junior was rescued and reunited with his family. The illustrations, done in acrylic paint, pastel crayons, and collage, are bold, realistic, and bright. There are moments that the pictures almost convince readers that the youngster is really playing with his friends. They are vibrant and share the beauty of the country, not the destruction. In an endnote the Haitian-born author writes of the children of Haiti, her feelings when she learned of the earthquake, and her fears about her family still living there.–Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

After his miraculous rescue in the earthquake in Haiti, Junior, seven, tells his survival story of being trapped beneath rubble for eight days. Both the author and illustrator were born in Haiti and have close ties there, and their moving storytelling personalizes the dramatic news stories of the disaster with a close-up, fictionalized narrative of one child’s experience. In the opening scene, Junior stands before the cameras and remembers how he coped during his ordeal. Beautiful, bright artwork, in acrylics, pastel, and collage, shows how his memories and imagination kept him alive, as he revisits scenes of playing soccer with his friends, helping Papa in his barbershop, racing on his bicycle with his sister, and fulfilling his dream of singing solo in church. The narrative’s powerful rhythm echoes the Genesis Creation story, giving it even more gravity: On the first day I flew my kite. . . . On the second day . . . Never too sentimental, the story works because of the clear presence of great sadness and loss. Grades K-3. --Hazel Rochman

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books; 1 edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054527849X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545278492
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.8 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti in 1969 and came to the United States when she was twelve years old. She graduated from Barnard College and received an M.F.A. from Brown University. She made an auspicious debut with her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, and followed it with the story collection Krik? Krak!, whose National Book Award nomination made Danticat the youngest nominee ever. She lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DAC VINE VOICE on September 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The first three words that come to my mind when I think of Eight Days are healing, survival and hope. I think its the perfect first picture book after the earthquake in Haiti that killed many and forced the Island to rebuild. Rather than focus on loss, Danticat writes about a boy who is saved thanks in part to his imagination.

The story begins with 7 yr old Junior being pulled from the rubble eight days after the earthquake. Though Junior's body was trapped his mind was free, and each day he did something new. Junior tells the people assembled at his rescue what he did on each day.

Junior is having fun most days with best friend Oscar or his sister Justine. Though on the 5th day Oscar went to sleep and never woke up. "That was the day I cried"

I was touched by that line. Its not often boys are seen crying in books. I think Eight Days is quietly beautiful. Its also gorgeous. Delinois illustrations are simply wonderful. The colors are Haiti.

The note from the author in the back, is a must read for adults.

The earthquake on January 12, 2010, dramatically change their lives. Many watched loved ones die. Others, like Junior, were stuck in the rubble of their homes and were rescued several days later. Yet in spite of everything, Haiti's children still dream. They laugh. They live. They love."

There's so much more, including the fact that nearly half of Haiti's population is under fifteen. Danticat wrote Eight Days for the children. Though adults will take something away from it as well. Eight Days will touch your heart.

Scholastic the publishers of Eight Days are donating $10,000 to the International Rescue Committe (IRC).
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Format: Hardcover
What an inspiring, uplifting book about survival and courage. The vibrant illustrations to this story are so stunning and captivating. Edwidge Danticat did a wonderful job at crafting a story about a courageous little boy who survived being stuck under the rubble of his house for 8 days after the Haiti earthquake. This little guy is a true survivor, as he tells his story and what he did each day he was stuck under the rubble. It's a touching story with a wonderful tribute to the vibrant, resilient spirit of Haiti.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Eight Days: A Story of Haiti is the triumphant story of a boy, Junior, who spends eight days with his family in the rubble of his home after the earth quake that destroyed Haiti on January 12, 2010. The author and illustrator of this book are native Haitians. In each of their notes about the story they relate their love for their country and their hope for its future rise. This story beautifully describes what a normal day in the life of a Haitian child is like, the activities they normally participate in and the kinds of relationships they foster.

Junior imagines that he does different things during his eight day entrapment. On the first day, he imagines that he and his friends fly kites. "On the second day Oscar and I played hide and seek. We hid in the dark, dusty corner, of the house. And not only did Manman and Justine come looking for us, but Papa did, too." On the third day, Junior "visits" his parent's jobs and experiences what they do for money. On day four, he sings a beautiful solo in his class. Day five brings soccer and sports that he loves, followed by a bitter sweet goodbye. Rain was brought by day six, and day seven taught Junior that winning isn't always what is important. Finally, on day eight Junior was rescued and reunited with his family in front of news crews and rescuers. Junior's imagination, energy, playful side, and responsible nature all emerge on different days, while he was buried underneath the wreckage of his fallen home, which shows the resiliency of the Haitian people.

The author, Edwidge Danticat, describes a Haitian's life and family bonds (as only a Haitian can) with descriptive words that children can understand, while using some of the native Haitian language like "Alarive!" (or surprise!).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mgm on January 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
i purchased this book for children involved in my life. I wanted them to understand what happened in Haiti during the past year and I hope that they can cherish this book as i do when i think of the many children in Haiti. again KUDO's to the contributors to this great and cherished memorabilia.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia N. Saxenian on October 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
She has given a voice to the children who have survived the earthquake in Haiti. May her attempt heal many in their struggles.

I recommend anything she has written!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
But then Oscar felt really tired and went to sleep. He never woke up. That was the day I cried. ~ Eight Days: A Story of Haiti

How often does news of natural disaster cause a knot in your stomach and a lump in your throat? Do you wonder how such global challenges affect children? Can you comprehend the anxiety felt by child survivors, like the Haitian children who worried for their families and loved ones after the January 12, 2010 earthquake? Edwidge Danticat could. Her own five-year-old had questions. Danticat wanted her daughter and other children to know that hope, memories, and imagination can survive disaster. That's why she wrote Eight Days: A Story of Haiti.

Danticat wrote about struggle, determination, and loss through a small survivor named Junior. Through this creative format, kids can understand and accept, without feeling overwhelmed by sadness or despair. Alix Delinois' beautiful, bright, colorful illustrations keep Haiti and its culture alive as it was and can be again.

Power in a picture book: If you want to assure children or yourself that it's okay to talk about sad things--and that perseverance, empathy, and compassion can overcome tragic circumstances, look no further than Eight Days: A Story of Haiti.

~ Anna
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