Our Stories Our Songs: African Children Talk About AIDS

Category: Book
By (author): Ellis, Deborah
Subject:  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Black Studies (Global)
  YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Death & Dying
  YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION / Social Science / General
Audience: young adult
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Published: August 2005
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 112
Size: 9.18in x 7.48in x 0.32in
Our Price:
$ 17.95
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Stories of survival.

Songs of hope.

Children you'll never forget.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are more than 11.5 million orphans. The AIDS pandemic has claimed their parents, their aunts, and their uncles. What is life like for these children? Who do they care for, and who cares for them?

Come and meet them. They might surprise you.

Royalties from this book will be donated to UNICEF

Awards and Nominations:

  • Winner, Book Link Best Book for the Classroom, 2005
  • Winner, School Library Journal Best Book of 2005
  • Finalist, 2006 Information Book Award
  • Runner-up, National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Book Award for 2005
  • 2006 Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award short list
  • 2006 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction finalist
  • Red Maple Award for Non-fiction shortlist, 2007
  • Garden State Teen Book Awards nominee 2008

Review Quote*
"The authentic details speak of loss, fear, and grief; incredible kindness; and courage, as well as hope for the future ('I would wear clean clothes every day and be paid every week'). The readable design includes informative boxed insets ('How not to catch AIDS,' 'Poverty') and quotes, side-by-side with each child's immediate experience. Readers older than the target audience will want this, too, for both the basic information and the heartrending stories."
-- Booklist starred review

"This powerful book succeeds remarkably well in its goal of putting a face on unimaginably large numbers, such as the estimated 20 million children who will have been orphaned by AIDS by 2010."
-- Quill & Quire

"The simply written first-person vignettes tell of poverty, life on the streets, loss of parents and dreams, personal infection with HIV, fears and hopes, with sepia-toned photographs of the speakers putting actual faces on an overwhelming tragedy. Despite their difficult, even desperate circumstances, the children speak with dignity, courage, and hope of their daily lives and future plans, several wanting to help effect true change in the world. Sidebars feature facts about AIDS, making this a valuable resource for health and social studies classes. . . This is a call-to-action book which can spur research into practical ways in which U.S. students can make a difference in Africa's AIDS crisis."
-- School Library Journal

"Every entry is laden with insight, potent with devastating unselfconsciousness. . .This collection should be part of every child's adolescence, and to my mind, it's a hands-down winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction."
-- Toronto Star

"Heart-wrenching, resilient and inspiring young voices put faces to the African AIDS pandemic."
-- Today's Parent

"Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk About AIDS, by Deborah Ellis, is a collection of first-person accounts by young people, ages seven to 17, describing the effect HIV/AIDS has had on their schools, families, lives and futures. This could be a sad or ugly book, but it is not. It is about the power of the human spirit to endure and hope for a better tomorrow."
-- The Review (Niagara Falls)

Biographical NoteDeborah Ellis was born in Northern Ontario but grew up in Paris, Ontario. Like many writers, she was a creative loner as a child, at odds with formal education in her youth, and a voracious reader at all times. As an adult, Deborah has been occupied with many issues of interest to women, such as peace, education and equality in society at home and abroad. She works at a group home for women in Toronto, reading and writing in her spare time. In 2006 Deborah was named to the Order of Ontario.