A House in the Sky

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by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett

Captured by rebels in Somalia and held for ransom,freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout survived 460 days in captivity, part of the time in utter darkness. I don’t want to give away details that would detract from the impact this book has on the reader. I really couldn’t set it aside.

Amanda kept sane by escaping in her mind to a “house in the sky” where she relived all her beautiful memories and “met” with her family. It is amazing how positive she could be and that she survived such an ordeal.  With the shocking and sad news of journalist Steve Sotloff’s execution at the hands of his captors so fresh in our minds, this story seems very relevant today. We can gain insight into how it is for the family of the captive desperately negotiating for the release of their child with little cooperation form their government.

Amanda Lindhout, survivor!

Amanda Lindhout, survivor!

Lindhout has since formed an organization, the Global Enrichment Foundation, to help educate young people in Africa. I think you should read this book!

A Long Way Gone : Memoir of a Boy Soldier

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by Ishmael Beah

Caught up in the civil war in SIerra Leone at the age of twelve when his village was burned, Ishmael Beah was separated from his family and walked for days and days with four friends. The bloodshed and horror that he witnesses causes him to have terrible migraines and spend sleepless nights. Forcibly inducted into the army, he is taught to handle a AK-47 and given white tablets which make him stay awake and energized. The boy soldiers are encouraged to use cocaine Ishmael becomes addicted to a mixture of drugs,then trained to kill mercilessly.

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Nevertheless, this is a story of redemption and renewal. Ishmael is rescued and given a chance to receive counseling and help in readjusting to society. In the end it is a success story and we feel touched and encouraged by his resilience and his ability to make it back even though he was truly a long way gone from humane society. Bravo! An important story to read!