“Amira, look at me,” Muma insists.
She collects both my hands in hers.
“The Janjaweed attack without warning.
If ever they come run.”

Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in NyalaAmira’s one true dream.

But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mindand all kinds of possibilities.

New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney’s powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans’s breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl’s triumph against all odds.

What's Inside

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A New York Times Notable Book
A New York Times Editors’ Pick
An NAACP Image Award Nominee
A School Library Journal Best Book
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book
A Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
An American Library Association Notable Book
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Center for the Study Multicultural Children’s Literature Best Book
Children’s Africana Book Award winner
Kids’ Indie Next citation – “Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Independent Booksellers”

* "Pinkney uses deft strokes to create engaging characters through the poetry of their observations and the poignancy of their circumstances... A soulful story that captures the magic of possibility, even in difficult times." —Kirkus Reviews


* "Pinkney faces war's horrors head on, yet also conveys a sense of hope and promise." —Publishers Weekly


* "Amira's thoughts and drawings are vividly brought to life through Pinkney's lyrical verse and Evans's lucid line illustrations, which infuse the narrative with emotional intensity.... An essential purchase." School Library Journal

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