From Publishers Weekly
Do you see our invisible children?" writes Huang, at the conclusion of his touching and sometimes painful book about the street children of La Paz, Bolivia. Huang, the founder of the Bolivian Street Children Project and an attending physician at Boston Medical Center, went to Bolivia to work with homeless children when he was fresh out of Harvard medical school. Looking to fulfill a sense of Christian mission as well as to come to grips with some of his personal history, he committed to spending a year caring for homeless children in an orphanage. His ministry quickly expanded from daytime medical care at the orphanage to nighttime care for the children on the streets of La Paz, and it is these later stories that Huang tells. He gives only enough of his own story to let the reader understand his lens, but it is the children's stories Huang cares about. Told simply and without exaggeration, each child's account speaks for itself, demonstrating the humanity of those who are usually invisible. Always honest about his own anger, frustration, confusion and even his doubts about God at times, Huang inspires readers to reach out, even to just one child, and make a difference in a life. (Oct.)
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Pediatrician and internist Huang is a self-described angry man who traveled to La Paz, Bolivia, to work in the streets as a fourth-year Harvard medical student in 1997. He wanted to do something about the thousands of Bolivian children who live in filth, disease, and squalor. He learned, among other things, that street children are far from innocent. But that doesn't begin to justify, he says, their unspeakable living conditions. Indeed, the stories he tells range from the appalling--a street infant starved to death in a hospital because it was up to her mother to provide food; when she failed to do so, hospital staff watched the baby die--to the sickening: 89 percent of street children, including those as young as four, inhale paint thinner to stay warm through the frigid Andean nights. And worse: vigilantes rape, beat, and even kill street children to "cleanse" the streets. Huang's powerful testimony sounds a clarion call and ends with a plea for support for his Bolivian Street Children Project. Donna ChavezCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved