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One Day the Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War Paperback – October 16, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0061463150 ISBN-10: 0061463159 Edition: 1st

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One Day the Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War + The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook--What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061463159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061463150
  • ASIN: 0061240478
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,832,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

London, working with the nonprofit organization Refugees International, interviewed child soldiers and other young people affected by ethnic conflict in Africa, Burma and the Balkans to bring their plight to the attention of his fellow Americans. The narrative that emerges is a fine accomplishment, tying together the horrific stories of countless children against a merciless landscape of undersupplied refugee camps, belligerent authority figures and the constant threat of renewed violence. London tells of children forced into prostitution and military service, Burmese refugees unable to leave their dreary Bangkok apartments for fear of deportation and other tragic consequences of conflict; the stories are chilling and London is an able interviewer, getting children to open up by joining their soccer games and getting them to draw pictures. London began his project at age 21, and has a neophyte's penchant for self-regard and melodrama ("She is looking though her life, to some place else, some future bliss that is forever out of reach"); letting the stories speak for themselves would have bolstered their resonance. Regardless, this is a moving and important account of war's youngest victims in a region that too rarely enters the American consciousness.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Today there are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers around the globe. American college student London has spoken with some of them, as well as with young war refugees in East Africa, Thailand, and the Balkans about their suffering both as targets of violence and as combatants. In eastern Congo, Xavier, 14, plays soccer in flip-flops: How many people has he killed? Karl from Kosovo, who saw his father gunned down, says, I probably won't live to be a grown-up. Patience, 14, from southern Sudan, has been raped repeatedly. Exiled in Thailand, Nicholas, 13, from Burma, has seen crucifixions, executions, abductions. London weaves together these stark individual narratives with the statistics and reports from international refugee organizations. But it is his passionate personal engagement that will get readers thinking about elemental issues, especially when he stops himself from dangerous, ridiculous, greeting-card idealization and confronts the truth: the image of childhood innocence is for the wealthy and the safe. Rochman, Hazel

More About the Author

After dying his hair green during stint as an exchange student in Berlin in High School,Charles London moved from his hometown of Baltimore, to New York City. By then he knew, he suffered from insatiable wanderlust. During the summer of 2001, he began working with the advocacy organization, Refugees International, doing the research that would become his first book, One Day The Soldiers Came (Perennial, 2007), based on his experience with children affected by armed conflict around the world. What he thought would be a summer of work, turned into five years of research and writing, meeting young people all over the globe who were surviving the ravages of modern wars. He held a lot of odd jobs to support himself between research trips--working as an after-school program coordinator, an assistant to a talent agent, and a young adult librarian in the New York Public Library.


When the opportunity came to write his second book, he was reminded of a remarkable group of young people he met in Bosnia, who were part of an interfaith summer camp run by the Jewish community of Sarajevo. Inspired by the story of that community's survival, he set out for a year of visiting other Jewish communities around the globe who were defying the odds of history, geography, and politics. Through this journey, he discovered a Jewish spirituality and sense of place he had never before felt, and deepened his commitment to peace and reconciliation. The result is Far From Zion: In Search of a Global Jewish Community, which was a Finalist for the 2009 National Jewish Book Awards.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Anya on October 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
Charles London has written a compelling and disturbing book speaking for children who are victims of wars created by the adults around them. His writing style is engaging and the children's stories are clearly told. This book is an important read for anyone who cares about children and their place in the world.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca N. Phillips on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
A good basic read around some of the worlds most current conflicts (Burma, Bosnia, Congo), with some basic history that the world hasn't changed that much since roman times. I would recommend it as an introduction to how war affects children and their families and some of the history of what these conflicts have been based around.

It has made me want to improve my world histroy further as I'm not sure too many people have a grip on the actual vs what the general media feeds us.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on January 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a project in graduate school. Of all the books I read during the 2-year program, this was my favorite. It is amazingly touching and full of all sorts of emotions. The center section with pictures and drawings really makes the stories come alive. I would love to meet the author and talk about his work even more.

Just be aware, this is not a novel, nor would I recommend it for anyone with a weak stomach or anyone under 18 years old. The stories can be very intense!
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