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Abe in Arms (Reach and Teach) Paperback – June 1, 2010
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
"Powerful books like Abe in Arms will help inspire younger and older readers to help put an end to children being trapped in the nightmare of war." Craig Wiesner, cofounder, Reach And Teach
"A gripping tale that takes its place in the sad but necessary literature of Africa’s child soldiers, joining such classics as What Is the What, Dave Eggers’s fictionalized story of Sudanese child soldier Valentino Achak Deng." Times Union (Albany, New York)
"Author Pegi Deitz Shea tells Abe’s story with compassion, educating readers both about the Liberian conflict and about posttraumatic stress disorder and its treatments." Teaching Tolerance
About the Author
Pegi Deitz Shea teaches at the Institute of Children’s Literature and the University of Connecticut and has presented at more than 350 schools, libraries, and conferences across the United States. She is the author of The Carpet Boy’s Gift, Patience Wright, Tangled Threads, Ten Mice for Tet, and The Whispering Cloth, which have been made Notables by organizations including the International Reading Association, National Council for the Social Studies, and the New York Public Library. She lives in Vernon, Connecticut.
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Top customer reviews
After surviving the wars in Liberia, Abe has been adopted by a doctor and his family in America. Though therapy helped him deal with the loss of his family and helped him accept his new life, there are deeper memories of his life in Africa threatening to surface. Memories that could destroy him and everything he's come to love.
Though he's a high school track star, Abe has to stop running and face his past in order to move forward with his new life. But will his past catch up with him before he's ready?
ABE IN ARMS amazed me. In spite of the horrors of child soldiers, war, and struggles to come to terms with who he is and where he came from, Abe is easy to relate to. I found myself turning the pages without realizing I was even doing it. The story drew me in and kept me mesmerized as I learned more about Abe and his life.
This isn't the type of story I would normally read; I'm much more into fantasy and lighthearted fun. However, the truth of Abe's experiences in a war-torn country, and the struggles he faces as he deals with memories he'd much rather forget, compelled me to keep reading until I couldn't help falling in love with ABE IN ARMS.
This eye-opening novel is a must-read! I don't often want to pick up a book and read it again, but I have a feeling I'll be opening ABE IN ARMS again in the near future.
Reviewed by: Joan Stradling
I'm glad to see this kind of writing targeting teens. I read "What is the What" by Dave Eggers. This made the same point, but in a more coherent story. I think it opens up such understanding and such sympathy for PTSD and the courage it takes to survive war. There's such stigma about going to a mental hospital rather than honor in overcoming such devastation. I finished the book in the middle of the night and had to get up to blow my nose.
The writing is so vivid. I could picture the characters, the track meets, the suburban house, the Maryland landscape, the factory grounds - it was all so real. It had just the right amount of sex, temptation, drugs and language to keep it real for a young person. The courage it takes for Abe to survive such horrors certainly puts teen angst in perspective. Pegi Deitz Shea hit the nail on the head.