This book is the perfect read for this season. I’m not saying that it has anything to do with the holidays, but it put me in perspective. How can I be so materialistic, wanting so much stuff, when there are people, CHILDREN!, fighting wars in Africa?

Chanda’s Wars hit me really hard last night after reading it. It is the kind of book that makes you want to get up and do something about the violence in the world. Chanda is a great character, because most people can connect with her.

I haven’t read the first book, Chanda’s Secrets, but I found that it really didn’t matter. Chanda is grieving her mother, who was abused by her own family and died of AIDS. Now Chanda has the care of her brother Soly and her sister Iris, so she must drop out of school.

I can’t tell too much, or else I’d give the plot away. Stratton describes the brutal child soldiers and what happens afterwards with heart wrenching accuracy. Chanda’s Wars is a very hard book to read, because half the time, you don’t want to know what happens next. You’re too afraid for Chanda, Soly, and Iris.

I really didn’t expect to read this book so fast. I was saving it for Christmas Holiday, but I started, and just couldn’t stop. This book has started me thinking about many things, and now I really want to help somehow the child soldiers in Africa.