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Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda's Children Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chosen Books (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800794214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800794217
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In northern Uganda, thousands of children have been kidnapped by rebel armies and pressed into murderous service. Here, Akallo, who was herself kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army at age 15, offers a disturbing, deeply personal account of being forced to march with the rebel army, fight, and raid villages for food and water. Akallo is joined by co-author McDonnell, who works for the Institute on Religion and Democracy. In between Akallo’s gripping autobiographical passages, McDonnell interweaves informative chapters recounting the history of strife in Uganda, and explaining the political-religious vision of Joseph Kony, head of the LRA. McConnell includes snippets from a Human Rights Watch report about abducted children, who were forced, among other things, to kill other children. The authors believe that God is protecting the children of Uganda, sometimes working miraculous intervention to protect them—but they also spotlight activist groups, such as the Uganda Conflict Action Network, who are doing their part to make a difference in the lives of child soldiers. Readers are urged to pray for the end of war in Uganda, to join protest rallies, and to design awareness-raising bulletin boards in their churches. The alternating narrative voices create a disjointed reading experience, but otherwise this is a moving, informative and brave book.

From the Back Cover

More than 30,000 children have been kidnapped in Uganda. Now one of them has a voice.

When Grace Akallo was fifteen years old, rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army raided her school. Thus began her nightmarish existence as one of northern Uganda's thousands of child soldiers. Forced to endure savagery, starvation, abuse and other horrors with only her faith to sustain her, Grace eventually escaped to share her story with the world.

Faith McDonnell is an American activist and writer with a special concern for the future of the vulnerable Acholi people of northern Uganda. In Girl Soldier, Grace's personal account and Faith's historical and spiritual insights are woven together to tell the story of Uganda's forgotten children. Be inspired by this heartfelt account and moved to do your part in making sure that these children will not be forgotten.

"A precious gift from two women, both uniquely qualified to speak for the suffering children of Uganda, one an eloquent survivor and the other a fearless advocate. It is no coincidence that their names are Grace and Faith."--Michael Card, Bible teacher and musician

"Girl Soldier is not fiction, yet that fact becomes harder to believe with every page we turn. This book is more than just a call to action. It is a challenge to our moral compass."--Adrian Bradbury, founder and director, GuluWalk

"A much-needed reminder of the suffering and faith of the people of northern Uganda. Both have gone largely unnoticed for too long."--The Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan, bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh; moderator, Anglican Communion Network

"A poignant reminder that the darkness of the soul and the cruel behaviors it leads to are more devastating than we could imagine. This is an incredible account that demands a hearing and invites a response."--Steven W. Haas, vice president, World Vision International

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Customer Reviews

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Since this book, I have read several others that confirm what this one said.
Elizabeth
I found Grace to be a very strong young woman with an unbelievable will to not only survive, but to bring the world's attention to these abused young people of Uganda.
The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
Grace Akallo, kidnapped as a child by Ugandan soldiers, teams with Faith J. H. McDonnell, one of the foremost advocates of justice for Ugandans.
Robert W. Kellemen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on July 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
In GIRL SOLDIER, an interesting collaboration, Grace Akallo and Faith J. H. McDonnell tell the story, which we almost never hear about, of the children of Northern Uganda. Faith gives the political and historical background and the `reasons' for the madness, while Grace gives her first-hand account of being one of those stolen children. She tells how they are forced into the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) where girls are made to be soldiers and/or given to commanders as `wives'. Along with other girls who were kidnapped from her high school, she is forced to march without food or water. Any attempt to escape means instant death, usually at the hands of the other children. The youngsters are forced to bite the escapee to death, beat with them sticks, or stab them with bayonets and many other horrendous acts. Grace, during her tenure with the LRA, was once buried alive because they thought she was dead. Fortunately, she clawed her way to the surface and survived.

GIRL SOLDIER is a heartrending story of atrocities that rarely make the US newspapers or other mass media. It is the hidden shame that is frequently ignored. I found Grace to be a very strong young woman with an unbelievable will to not only survive, but to bring the world's attention to these abused young people of Uganda. The book is well written and frightening. In addition to the political background, Faith also lists several things any ordinary American citizen can do to help ease the torture of these children. It is a must read book, even though it is extremely painful. Everyone needs to know of the horrors some children must survive every day of their lives.

Reviewed by Alice Holman
of The RAWSISTAZ(tm) Reviewers
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Long-time Christian reader on June 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
An astounding book that alternates between the girl soldier's story (in her understatement that paints a picture beyond belief) and background information from a Washington, D.C., advocate, including what we can do. Moving beyond words.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kellemen on July 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
What a fascinating collaboration. Grace Akallo, kidnapped as a child by Ugandan soldiers, teams with Faith J. H. McDonnell, one of the foremost advocates of justice for Ugandans. Together they tell not only Grace's story but a story of grace--God's grace in the midst of human atrocities.

For years rebel armies have been raiding Ugandan villages to kidnap children and force them into lives as soldiers or wives. More than 30,000 have been enslaved. This historically faithful account also is meant to inspire and inform: what can we do to stop such injustice?

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction , Spiritual Friends, and Soul Physicians.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on August 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is a must for understanding what is going on in Africa with the horror of "child soldiers." I could not believe what I was reading, nor imagine how one could heal from such an experience. We must become more informed about what is happening around the world and do what we can to help. Since this book, I have read several others that confirm what this one said.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sue on November 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book arrived in a very timely manner and in excellent condition. Amazing story, we are so Blessed in America. More people need to see & learn how others live and cope under impossible conditions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia Alejandro on June 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although it took little time to receive because I didnt pay for expedited service, when it finally arrived my daughter started to read it and she says it is great. The book was in very good condition (like new). Thank you so much!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Dove on April 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I suppose timing is everything right now, and I downloaded this book on Kindle when it was free quite a while ago, but did not start reading it until this week.

With the viral explosion of Kony 2012 on YouTube, and the upcoming world-wide event that will try to bring to light the decades old atrocities that this man has perpetrated on the children (the invisible children) of Uganda, it is timely I would read this book.

When a book is written by two authors (as this one is), it is oftentimes difficult for a story to "flow", and certainly such was the case with this book, however, I appreciated the historical details that made up at least three quarters of the book.

Sprinkled in between the historical and political background of Uganda as a nation torn apart by civil, and tribal war and the rise of tyranical bullies like Joseph Kony, is one young girl's story of being abducted and then indoctrinated into the child army of Kony.

As a westerner reading the book, I cannot imagine the life the children of Uganda are experiencing nightly as countless thousands "commute" to cities to sleep because of their fear of being abducted from their families every night. We have no concept in the U.S. and Canada what it is like for all Ugandans at this time in their history.

Books of this nature, are important to bring the plight of a nation to our conscious awareness.

Read the book and pray for those children daily. God is still in control, even in the midst of such hardship.
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25 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Kay Buie on February 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a preachy Christian missionary tract for the most part. If you're not interested in sermons skip it and read "A Long Way Gone", a much less biased account of child soldiers.
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