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Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda's Children

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For several decades a brutal army of rebels has been raiding villages in northern Uganda, kidnapping children and turning them into soldiers or wives of commanders. More than 30,000 children have been abducted over the last twenty years and forced to commit unspeakable crimes. Grace Akallo was one of these. Her story, which is the story of many Ugandan children, recounts h For several decades a brutal army of rebels has been raiding villages in northern Uganda, kidnapping children and turning them into soldiers or wives of commanders. More than 30,000 children have been abducted over the last twenty years and forced to commit unspeakable crimes. Grace Akallo was one of these. Her story, which is the story of many Ugandan children, recounts her terrifying experience. This unforgettable book--with historical background and insights from Faith McDonnell, one of the clearest voices in the church today calling for freedom and justice--will inspire readers around the world to take notice, pray, and work to end this tragedy.


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For several decades a brutal army of rebels has been raiding villages in northern Uganda, kidnapping children and turning them into soldiers or wives of commanders. More than 30,000 children have been abducted over the last twenty years and forced to commit unspeakable crimes. Grace Akallo was one of these. Her story, which is the story of many Ugandan children, recounts h For several decades a brutal army of rebels has been raiding villages in northern Uganda, kidnapping children and turning them into soldiers or wives of commanders. More than 30,000 children have been abducted over the last twenty years and forced to commit unspeakable crimes. Grace Akallo was one of these. Her story, which is the story of many Ugandan children, recounts her terrifying experience. This unforgettable book--with historical background and insights from Faith McDonnell, one of the clearest voices in the church today calling for freedom and justice--will inspire readers around the world to take notice, pray, and work to end this tragedy.

30 review for Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda's Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    This book had such potential, but failed. The religious diatribe dispersed throughout the historical and cultural background of this book about the struggles in Uganda really dishonors the courage and persistence displayed by the people who live it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    dianne

    This was written jointly by an Islamophobic "christian" and a young woman who was kidnapped by the LRA (one of the "Aboke girls"). Occasionally the writing is engaging, but the frequent side-trips to simplistic Islam (bad) vs Christian (good) excuses for all that plagues northern Uganda are irritating. Frequently statements are made with absolutely no reference given: "the mortality rates in northern Uganda are double those for displaced person camps for the Darfurians of western Sudan". i did, h This was written jointly by an Islamophobic "christian" and a young woman who was kidnapped by the LRA (one of the "Aboke girls"). Occasionally the writing is engaging, but the frequent side-trips to simplistic Islam (bad) vs Christian (good) excuses for all that plagues northern Uganda are irritating. Frequently statements are made with absolutely no reference given: "the mortality rates in northern Uganda are double those for displaced person camps for the Darfurians of western Sudan". i did, however, thoroughly enjoy the description of a spirit that inhabited Alice Lakwena who went by the name Wrong Element: "Wrong Element identified itself as a spirit from the United States. This spirit lead the HSMF (Holy Spirit Mobile Forces) medical training facility and was in charge of intelligence as well as A Company. Dr. Wrong Element, as he was addressed, was described by former HSMF members as having a very loud voice with a strong American accent. He liked to quarrel and scold and was very impolite. The soldiers were afraid of him." Sounds American to me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shakaela

    "Girl Soldier" was a very intriguing book that helped me answer some of the questions I had about the wars in Africa and what is going on in there. Grace Akallo's story was an eye opener for me of the horrific trauma going on in places like Africa, without much of the world's knowledge. I never knew much of what was happening in Africa before reading this book, I couldn't understand also why the news barely ever tells of what is happening in the other side of the world. I felt Grace's pain in th "Girl Soldier" was a very intriguing book that helped me answer some of the questions I had about the wars in Africa and what is going on in there. Grace Akallo's story was an eye opener for me of the horrific trauma going on in places like Africa, without much of the world's knowledge. I never knew much of what was happening in Africa before reading this book, I couldn't understand also why the news barely ever tells of what is happening in the other side of the world. I felt Grace's pain in this book, and it it is a great relief to know that she is free from the horrors that once held her. I am very happy for her to be now trying everything she can to prevent other children like she was from experiencing the same things. I recommend this book to people who want a bit more insight to what is going on in the world and people who want to help out others in countries such as Uganda. This book is fact, not fiction and isn't consistently 'exciting' all the way through. But it's not meant to be. I think it was a good account of what one girl soldier faced and overcame, she is an inspiring person.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christie

    Swapping chapters Grace Akallo describes her horrific story of being abducted as a child by the Lord's Resistance Army lead by Joseph Kony in Northern Uganda while Faith McDonnell gives a historical account of this history along with Christian commentary. I was hoping for more of an emphasis on Grace's story but there seemed to be more pages from Faith with an over-active Christian vocabulary and commentary. Swapping chapters Grace Akallo describes her horrific story of being abducted as a child by the Lord's Resistance Army lead by Joseph Kony in Northern Uganda while Faith McDonnell gives a historical account of this history along with Christian commentary. I was hoping for more of an emphasis on Grace's story but there seemed to be more pages from Faith with an over-active Christian vocabulary and commentary.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Wilk

    Every other chapter was easy/interesting to read as the story of a child torn from her home and made into a soldier unfolded. The opposite chapters told the history of the Ugandan war and were pretty dry. About half-way through it became easier to read and more enjoyable. I'm glad I stuck with it, but I enjoyed reading "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" more. Every other chapter was easy/interesting to read as the story of a child torn from her home and made into a soldier unfolded. The opposite chapters told the history of the Ugandan war and were pretty dry. About half-way through it became easier to read and more enjoyable. I'm glad I stuck with it, but I enjoyed reading "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    I almost stopped reading this book when I started it: I found its blatantly "hallelujiah" style distracting at best. But eventually I got into it and learned a lot about the country I recently lived in for nearly 4 months this past summer. It's written by two authors: a former LRA child soldier and an American humanitarian/activist who gives a historical perspective throughout. Both authors don't write terribly well - referencing things of interest without explaining them, skipping large portion I almost stopped reading this book when I started it: I found its blatantly "hallelujiah" style distracting at best. But eventually I got into it and learned a lot about the country I recently lived in for nearly 4 months this past summer. It's written by two authors: a former LRA child soldier and an American humanitarian/activist who gives a historical perspective throughout. Both authors don't write terribly well - referencing things of interest without explaining them, skipping large portions of time in the chronology of events, and focusing on history with little to no information about the present. But I still learned a great deal about the Northern Uganda conflict and was especially interested to read about the different things people are doing to help the people there.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    not well researched or informative. it is mostly a christian story with a story of a child soldier on the side (which isn't the point). the real aim of the book appears to be to promote religion rather than telling the story of this girl. I found this disappointing as i'm sure she has an incredible story to tell us all. not well researched or informative. it is mostly a christian story with a story of a child soldier on the side (which isn't the point). the real aim of the book appears to be to promote religion rather than telling the story of this girl. I found this disappointing as i'm sure she has an incredible story to tell us all.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Dove

    I suppose timing is everything right now, and I downloaded this book on Kindle when it was free quite a while ago, but did not start reading it until this week. With the viral explosion of Kony 2012 on YouTube, and the upcoming world-wide event that will try to bring to light the decades old atrocities that this man has perpetrated on the children (the invisible children) of Uganda, it is timely I would read this book. When a book is written by two authors (as this one is), it is oftentimes diffic I suppose timing is everything right now, and I downloaded this book on Kindle when it was free quite a while ago, but did not start reading it until this week. With the viral explosion of Kony 2012 on YouTube, and the upcoming world-wide event that will try to bring to light the decades old atrocities that this man has perpetrated on the children (the invisible children) of Uganda, it is timely I would read this book. When a book is written by two authors (as this one is), it is oftentimes difficult for a story to "flow", and certainly such was the case with this book, however, I appreciated the historical details that made up at least three quarters of the book. Sprinkled in between the historical and political background of Uganda as a nation torn apart by civil, and tribal war and the rise of tyranical bullies like Joseph Kony, is one young girl's story of being abducted and then indoctrinated into the child army of Kony. As a westerner reading the book, I cannot imagine the life the children of Uganda are experiencing nightly as countless thousands "commute" to cities to sleep because of their fear of being abducted from their families every night. We have no concept in the U.S. and Canada what it is like for all Ugandans at this time in their history. Books of this nature, are important to bring the plight of a nation to our conscious awareness. Read the book and pray for those children daily. God is still in control, even in the midst of such hardship.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ian King

    This is a very powerful story of the wickedness of Men (Joseph Kony to be precise.) Faith is the girl who has written this account of the girl soldier named Grace. Grace has been a child bride for Joseph Kony's closest men, and she has been shared with him in most degrading ways. She has been buried alive, raped, brutalized and made to witness the killing of parents and friends - she has been forced to carry out these desensitization acts herself, and still survived through her own grit and determ This is a very powerful story of the wickedness of Men (Joseph Kony to be precise.) Faith is the girl who has written this account of the girl soldier named Grace. Grace has been a child bride for Joseph Kony's closest men, and she has been shared with him in most degrading ways. She has been buried alive, raped, brutalized and made to witness the killing of parents and friends - she has been forced to carry out these desensitization acts herself, and still survived through her own grit and determination TO survive. This story is a shocking account of the horrors of child soldiers in Ughanda. The reality is far beyond our western worlds view and our own reality cannot compare. Here Grace shares her most awful story and eventual liberation from the horrors of her discipling into Kony's child armed forces. She talks candidly about her experiences and about her escaping into the open arms of Christ Jesus. A Jesus who helped her along the way and tracked her down. Even in her hellhole, He found Grace - He found his little lost sheep. And bought her home. This is not a pleasant story to be sure, but it IS a story of hope - found in hopelessness. It is quite significant that her name is Grace, and the women who is now her closest friend and author of this book is called Faith. Read it if you have the stomach for it, it will change YOUR world view.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Liralen

    I had mixed feelings about this book. The authors alternate chapters -- one chapter of memoir by Grace Akallo followed by a chapter of history and politics by Faith McDonnell, and so on and so forth. On the one hand, it's really helpful to have that history. I know the basics of the conflict in Uganda, but this gave more structure. On the other hand, it was incredibly biased. I think I was supposed to come out of reading that book thinking that Muslims are all evil and the only way to end the con I had mixed feelings about this book. The authors alternate chapters -- one chapter of memoir by Grace Akallo followed by a chapter of history and politics by Faith McDonnell, and so on and so forth. On the one hand, it's really helpful to have that history. I know the basics of the conflict in Uganda, but this gave more structure. On the other hand, it was incredibly biased. I think I was supposed to come out of reading that book thinking that Muslims are all evil and the only way to end the conflict / recover from trauma / survive in the first place is by turning to Christianity. McDonnell's writing is fine when she keeps from editorialising, but that's not often, and it brings down an otherwise interesting book. Akallo's sections are much, much stronger, and if they had made up more of the book I'd have given it a higher rating. Her voice is a little distant at times, and there's a lot left unsaid (another reason that I wish she'd been given more space!), but she lets the reader into the heart of her experience. I rather wish the history lessons had been woven into her personal history to make a more fluid portrait.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    story of teen girl abducted in Uganda around 2006. hard read - half of book is facts and figures (other half is Grace's own story), as well as hard to stomach the atrocities. worth a read to learn tragic history. story of teen girl abducted in Uganda around 2006. hard read - half of book is facts and figures (other half is Grace's own story), as well as hard to stomach the atrocities. worth a read to learn tragic history.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ginny Fanthome

    I picked up this book as I was hoping it was a biography of a girl soldier in Uganda. Her story is in here, albeit buried amongst other content. While I appreciate learning about the historical background of the Ugandan armies and the clash of religious ideologies, I think that part overtook the book. I also thought the gushing content about God woven throughout was a little heavy-handed, especially given what I've just mentioned above. What I did like was reading about Grace's story, although I I picked up this book as I was hoping it was a biography of a girl soldier in Uganda. Her story is in here, albeit buried amongst other content. While I appreciate learning about the historical background of the Ugandan armies and the clash of religious ideologies, I think that part overtook the book. I also thought the gushing content about God woven throughout was a little heavy-handed, especially given what I've just mentioned above. What I did like was reading about Grace's story, although I wish the entire book was about that or it was a collection of stories from former child soldiers.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nelia

    This is the heart-rending yet ultimately triumphant story of Grace Akallo, who was abducted from her school in northern Uganda by members of Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. The chapters alternate between Grace's story and an in-depth accounting of the history of the mistreatment of the people of northern Uganda, written by co-author Faith McDonnell. Grace eventually came to the US, where she was a student at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. She had many opportunities while in the US to speak of the This is the heart-rending yet ultimately triumphant story of Grace Akallo, who was abducted from her school in northern Uganda by members of Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. The chapters alternate between Grace's story and an in-depth accounting of the history of the mistreatment of the people of northern Uganda, written by co-author Faith McDonnell. Grace eventually came to the US, where she was a student at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. She had many opportunities while in the US to speak of the horrors occurring in Uganda.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Very informative book about the plight of the Acholi people in Uganda, focusing particularly on the children who have been abducted and forced to become soldiers in the LRA. Told from the viewpoint of Grace Akallo, who was abducted from her school by the LRA, and was beaten, raped, & forced to kill or be killed, and Faith McDonnell, a writer who is with the Institute on Religion & Democracy. Part memoir by Grace & part historical documentation by Faith, it is an enlightening look at the tragedy Very informative book about the plight of the Acholi people in Uganda, focusing particularly on the children who have been abducted and forced to become soldiers in the LRA. Told from the viewpoint of Grace Akallo, who was abducted from her school by the LRA, and was beaten, raped, & forced to kill or be killed, and Faith McDonnell, a writer who is with the Institute on Religion & Democracy. Part memoir by Grace & part historical documentation by Faith, it is an enlightening look at the tragedy & violence inflicted on the Ugandan people by the LRA.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Belinda

    Too much centered around Faith and her ideas rather than talking about Grace's story. Too much centered around Faith and her ideas rather than talking about Grace's story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Smooth Via

    Obviously a bit outdated, but still a decent read. The writing is not great, but the life of Grace is riveting, and the history from Grace is helpful for context.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Zach Ross

    Girl Soldier is about the constant war going on in Uganda. The LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) has killed thousands of children and have turn many more into killers. Grace Akallo, a co-author, lived through this horrifying nightmare and is here to tell her story. This book was written to show people, like us Americans, that life is not always the same in every part of the world. Many, if not almost all, Americans probably never would have thought something like this was happening to humanity in ano Girl Soldier is about the constant war going on in Uganda. The LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) has killed thousands of children and have turn many more into killers. Grace Akallo, a co-author, lived through this horrifying nightmare and is here to tell her story. This book was written to show people, like us Americans, that life is not always the same in every part of the world. Many, if not almost all, Americans probably never would have thought something like this was happening to humanity in another region of the world. Ugandan children felt like the world and God had deserted them, everyone except Grace Akallo. Her incredible story shows that, even when there is no hope left, God is still there. The theme of the book is "there is always hope." It states it right on the cover, "A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda's Children." God helped Grace Akallo every moment she was with the LRA. Now that she made it out of those unthinkable condition, all other children feel like they can too. Grace knows that, without God, she would not have survived one near-death experience, let alone three. Even when things could not get any worse in Uganda, the children never lost hope. This book was very unique because it had co-authors. Grace Akallo wrote from real life experiences through a narration. She has a much better way of describing events than someone who just researches the topic because she was actually in it. This was a very effective way of portraying these events to audiences around the world. The other author is Faith J. H. McDonnell. She used pure facts throughout her entire writing. This was more of a description of the topic. This was much less engaging to the reader because everything was facts, facts, and more facts. Grace Akallo's writing kept me reading the book. I liked this book, but it was also very repetitive and boring. The chapters alternating from Akallo to McDonnell evenly was an interesting way to write a book that I had never seen before. I must say that, without Grace Akallo's view in the book, I probably would have put down the book and never picked it up again. Straight facts do not interest me; the suspensful action Akallo wrote about was what kept me involved. I liked the reasons that the book was written. If I could change one thing, I might tell Grace Akallo to write the entire book because her writing was some of the best I have read in a long time. Another thing I would change would be, Faith McDonnell use way too many initials. Examples would be: LRA, HSMF, SMU, FEDEMU, NRA, PLO, UPDA, UPDF, and UPDCA. These are just a few. There were enough initials that I could not hardly keep track of what was what. Overall this book was very informative about a topic that I had no idea was evening happening in Africa.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael Cameron

    This book is very interesting because it is real. I chose to read this book because I did not know as much about life in Africa as I wanted to. It is about a teenage girl who lived in Uganda and was kidnapped from her school by rebels, or Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. This girl's name was Grace Akallo, who is one of the authors. The other author of this book is Faith McDonnell, who talks about the life and war in Northern Uganda. The chapters alternated authors throughout the whole book; This book is very interesting because it is real. I chose to read this book because I did not know as much about life in Africa as I wanted to. It is about a teenage girl who lived in Uganda and was kidnapped from her school by rebels, or Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. This girl's name was Grace Akallo, who is one of the authors. The other author of this book is Faith McDonnell, who talks about the life and war in Northern Uganda. The chapters alternated authors throughout the whole book; one chapter was written by Grace Akallo, the next was written by Faith McDonnell. This kind of made the book a little difficult and confusing to read. I really enjoyed reading the chapters Grace Akallo wrote because she talked about what she went through as a child and it was very sad. The things the army did to her were so terrible and disturbing it seemed unreal, which is what made it interesting. The chapters written by Faith McDonnell were not as interesting. They were very informational but very boring. I believe the author's purpose in writing this book was to help us remember the lives that were lost by the Ugandan Army and for us to realize how lucky we are and how thankful we should be to be living in a free country that is the total opposite of Uganda. Also that we should enjoy life and not take it for granted because it could be a lot worse. The theme of this book is very hard to determine. It is not very well stated. I would say that the theme is to see if anybody who read the book will do anything about what is going on in Northern Uganda and try to help stop it. If that's too much to ask for then to just know that these kind of things are happening out there in the world. The style of this book is a narration because the author is telling about the events she went through as a child and what exactly happened. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book. I learned a lot of things I did not know about such as the terrible things that happened to children in Northern Uganda. I rated this book a three out of five because it was very informational and interesting, but also very confusing. I disliked how every other chapter was switched between the two author's. I also did not like how they used over ten different armies of Uganda. It made the story very confusing because it was hard to remember which army was which. If I were to change this book I would not switch up the author's every chapter, I would do one at a time. I have not read another book like this one before.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Stiver

    I liked the book. It was worth the read and added a layer of understanding when it comes to the issues facing the Acholi people and children in Northern Uganda. It's always powerful to learn the first hand experience of someone like Akallo and I'm grateful for the advocacy that came out of their efforts. I'm reading this book over a decade after it's release so the LRA is not nearly what it used to be, but the topics of geopolitical pressures, vulnerable communities and conflict seem ever-presen I liked the book. It was worth the read and added a layer of understanding when it comes to the issues facing the Acholi people and children in Northern Uganda. It's always powerful to learn the first hand experience of someone like Akallo and I'm grateful for the advocacy that came out of their efforts. I'm reading this book over a decade after it's release so the LRA is not nearly what it used to be, but the topics of geopolitical pressures, vulnerable communities and conflict seem ever-present so the topic is still pertinent. It's hard to co-write a book and since they followed two narratives laid on top of each other, there were times that it seemed disjointed between Akallo's personal narrative and McDonnell's historical and situational narrative. One critique for me from studying Sub-Saharan African children's issues and history, is that you can't honestly gloss over the effects of colonialism. There is a certain lack of historical integrity to want to focus on Ugandan maniacal leaders and go from the king of Buganda to Idi Amin without getting into the destabilized environment brought on by colonial powers moving out in the sixties (after years of their exploitation). I understand that this book caters to a white evangelical audience who might not like to hear about how colonialism (or neocolonialism for that matter) is bad and has been debilitating to places like East Africa, but you need to get into it nonetheless.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Like many, I first learned about the atrocities committed by the Lord's Resistance Army against children and adults in Uganda through the campaign against Kony on YouTube. I wanted to find out more and so purchased this book. I wasn't disappointed. It is written by two authors Grace Akallo, who is a survived being abducted by the LRA and tells of her experiences, and Faith McDonnell, who provides the history leading up to the formation of the LRA and an overview of their modus operandi. The two Like many, I first learned about the atrocities committed by the Lord's Resistance Army against children and adults in Uganda through the campaign against Kony on YouTube. I wanted to find out more and so purchased this book. I wasn't disappointed. It is written by two authors Grace Akallo, who is a survived being abducted by the LRA and tells of her experiences, and Faith McDonnell, who provides the history leading up to the formation of the LRA and an overview of their modus operandi. The two accounts are interleaved in alternating chapters. I found both of them compelling reading. Grace's story is heart wrenching. It's unbelievable what she endured. But her story is also one of hope and of how God saved her out of an impossibly hopeless situation. Faith's commentary is very illuminating. It reveals the events that lead up to the current atrocities. It reveals that there are bigger and darker forces at work than just evil men like Idi Amin Dada and Joseph Kony. In the final chapters of the book she also describes ways that readers can make a difference. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to find out more about what really occurred (and is continuing to occur)in Uganda.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Adeena

    this book shared the true life experience of a teenage girl kidnapped by rebels and forced into a life of war in Uganda. it tells of her day to day endurance by keeping her fiath. she is forced to do things that she never wanted to do like marry an older man who beat her and abused her. in the end she finds a escape route with someother kids and she is able to help free captured teenagers. she then gets recognized for her great work and visits important people in and near our country. i recomend this book shared the true life experience of a teenage girl kidnapped by rebels and forced into a life of war in Uganda. it tells of her day to day endurance by keeping her fiath. she is forced to do things that she never wanted to do like marry an older man who beat her and abused her. in the end she finds a escape route with someother kids and she is able to help free captured teenagers. she then gets recognized for her great work and visits important people in and near our country. i recomend this book to anyone that wants to learn about war by reading the actual experience of a girl forced into it. no one had introduced to to this book i just happened to find it and i'm glad i did because ther's more to it than the cover and the review at the back of it. this author wrote this book with emotions that you can also feel while reading the book. some might joke about the things talked about in this book but these are actual events that should be taken maturally, this book is not ment for immature people.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    3.5 stars This book gives us historical accounts on Uganda's history of bloodshed leading up to Joseph Kony's LRA horrors and why it is that he has targeted the Acholi people in order to have a sort of ethnic cleansing through kidnapping children and making them kill their families and neighbors. Since the 1980s he has brought horror to each village in Uganda and into even parts of the Congo now. A survivor of the LRA, Grace Akallo writes about her childhood, her kidnapping, and how God led her o 3.5 stars This book gives us historical accounts on Uganda's history of bloodshed leading up to Joseph Kony's LRA horrors and why it is that he has targeted the Acholi people in order to have a sort of ethnic cleansing through kidnapping children and making them kill their families and neighbors. Since the 1980s he has brought horror to each village in Uganda and into even parts of the Congo now. A survivor of the LRA, Grace Akallo writes about her childhood, her kidnapping, and how God led her out of these dark places where she sought freedom or death but He kept His hand on her and helped her find deep trust in Him. It was really a beautiful story and I love how her story tied in with learning the history in this book written by Faith McDonnell. This is a Christian book and gives you perspective on how to pray even for the children suffering there still. While Grace found freedom in 1997, there are still many children today who are being tormented. We are shown ways that we can help end this suffering. It was definitely well presented!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Told alternately between Grace's first hand experience and Faith's historical perspective, Girl Soldier tells the story of the war in northern Uganda and the child abductions of Joseph Kony's LRA. Grace was abducted by the LRA from her high school in 1996 and held as a child soldier and wife for seven months. During that time she was starved, raped, forced to brutally kill other children, and was left for dead on several occasions. In the chaos of battle one day she escaped with nothing but her g Told alternately between Grace's first hand experience and Faith's historical perspective, Girl Soldier tells the story of the war in northern Uganda and the child abductions of Joseph Kony's LRA. Grace was abducted by the LRA from her high school in 1996 and held as a child soldier and wife for seven months. During that time she was starved, raped, forced to brutally kill other children, and was left for dead on several occasions. In the chaos of battle one day she escaped with nothing but her gun and prayers. Eventually, she shed her gun and her prayers led her into the hands of the Sudanese army, who helped unite her with World Vision to be rehabilitated and resocialized into society. Although the book is written with a definite religious bent that can be tedious at times, it does shed light on the war and bring to life the horrors that the Acholi people of Uganda face; from both the LRA and the neglect of their own government.

  24. 5 out of 5

    bjneary

    Grace Akallo is a 15 year old Acholi girl who is wrenched from her school at night and forced to become a soldier in Joseph Kony's Lord's Resisitance Army in Uganda. In alternating chapters, we hear Grace's voice which has faith in God but it is tested when she is raped, beaten and forced to kill others. The other chapters are written by Faith McDonnell and she tells the history of Uganda's forgotten children. I learned that countries in Africa suffer from the crazed notions of leaders who only Grace Akallo is a 15 year old Acholi girl who is wrenched from her school at night and forced to become a soldier in Joseph Kony's Lord's Resisitance Army in Uganda. In alternating chapters, we hear Grace's voice which has faith in God but it is tested when she is raped, beaten and forced to kill others. The other chapters are written by Faith McDonnell and she tells the history of Uganda's forgotten children. I learned that countries in Africa suffer from the crazed notions of leaders who only want to wipe out people they deem nothing and because of this, many times the world is not aware or finds out when it is almost too late. This book is a wake up call to all that we cannot forget about these precious lives and that there is always something that can be done.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charryse Fredrick

    The title of this book stopped my in my tracks, along with the alluring eyes of the girl pictured on the cover, as I browsed through books in Barnes & Noble, searching for something. I found this non-fiction book by authors, Grace & Faith, and from the moment I read the back cover and looked inside, I new I needed to read the story told on the pages. The unique telling of Grace's experience as a child soldier in Africa, after being abducted in the night, and the history of the conflict, explained The title of this book stopped my in my tracks, along with the alluring eyes of the girl pictured on the cover, as I browsed through books in Barnes & Noble, searching for something. I found this non-fiction book by authors, Grace & Faith, and from the moment I read the back cover and looked inside, I new I needed to read the story told on the pages. The unique telling of Grace's experience as a child soldier in Africa, after being abducted in the night, and the history of the conflict, explained in detail by Faith, is compelling. I've read a few chapters, and I am in awe of the atrocities described. If I didn't know better, I'd think I was reading fiction.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    This book is very interesting and informative. The chapters alternate authors, so every other chapter was written by the point of view of either Grace (the former child soldier), or Faith (activist). I enjoyed reading Grace's accounts more, but Faith included important facts and history about the war in Uganda that helps explain Grace's situation. Many parts are heartbreaking and difficult to read, but Grace's strength to overcome adversity and triumph after all she has been through is inspiring This book is very interesting and informative. The chapters alternate authors, so every other chapter was written by the point of view of either Grace (the former child soldier), or Faith (activist). I enjoyed reading Grace's accounts more, but Faith included important facts and history about the war in Uganda that helps explain Grace's situation. Many parts are heartbreaking and difficult to read, but Grace's strength to overcome adversity and triumph after all she has been through is inspiring.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    This true story gives a vivid account of what girls go through in Northern Uganda. Unfortunately, we don't hear these story's in our country. If we did, many Americans might push our government to do more for these children. If Northern Uganda has vast minerals, such as oil, we would be in this country fighting for them to have a democratic country. Instead, we don't appear to give a damn and allow the people of this country to be slaughtered and the children to be forced to kill or be killed. This true story gives a vivid account of what girls go through in Northern Uganda. Unfortunately, we don't hear these story's in our country. If we did, many Americans might push our government to do more for these children. If Northern Uganda has vast minerals, such as oil, we would be in this country fighting for them to have a democratic country. Instead, we don't appear to give a damn and allow the people of this country to be slaughtered and the children to be forced to kill or be killed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gabi MacNaughton

    Okay so I really liked this book and I thought that the message that it sent was good but I thought that it would have been better if Grace's voice had been stronger and Faith's a little less present because Grace's recollections of her past were extremely interesting and drew me in and then Faith's sections of the novel were a bit too long, factual, Christian biased, and even a bit redundant. Over all good and would recommend it to only certain people. Okay so I really liked this book and I thought that the message that it sent was good but I thought that it would have been better if Grace's voice had been stronger and Faith's a little less present because Grace's recollections of her past were extremely interesting and drew me in and then Faith's sections of the novel were a bit too long, factual, Christian biased, and even a bit redundant. Over all good and would recommend it to only certain people.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sam Taylor

    Grace's words were compelling and eye-opening. I think her story would have been better served if the co-writer and editors of this book had trusted Grace's story and experience to stand more on it's own, than to be interspersed between (much lengthier) chapters of background explanation and interpretation. But Grace's chapters can present a chilling narrative of her time as s forced child solider for the LRA. Grace's words were compelling and eye-opening. I think her story would have been better served if the co-writer and editors of this book had trusted Grace's story and experience to stand more on it's own, than to be interspersed between (much lengthier) chapters of background explanation and interpretation. But Grace's chapters can present a chilling narrative of her time as s forced child solider for the LRA.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    This is a really great book because it was written by two authors. The chapters switch back and forth between the history of the conflict in Uganda and the personal account of a young girl who was abducted by the LRA, raped, and forced to kill at age 13. This is a Christian book so it talks alot about the young girl's faith and the history of Christian Martyrs in the region. This is a really great book because it was written by two authors. The chapters switch back and forth between the history of the conflict in Uganda and the personal account of a young girl who was abducted by the LRA, raped, and forced to kill at age 13. This is a Christian book so it talks alot about the young girl's faith and the history of Christian Martyrs in the region.

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