IRA Notable Books for a Global Society selection
Hiding behind an armchair, five-year-old Emma does not witness the murder of her mother, but she hears everything. And when the assassins finally leave, the young Tutsi girl somehow manages to stumble away from the scene, motivated only by the memory of her mother's last words: "You must not die, Emma!"
Eventually Emma is taken in by an old Hutu woman who risks her own life to hide the child. Emma stays with the old woman and a quiet bond forms between the two, but long after the war ends, the young girl is still haunted by nightmares.
When the country establishes courts to allow victims to face their tormenters in their villages, Emma is uneasy and afraid. But through her growing friendship with a young torture victim and the gentle encouragement of an old man charged with helping child survivors, Emma finds the courage to return to the house where her mother was killed and begin the journey to healing.
Combres' story offers readers intimate access to this chapter of history as well as considerable potential for discussion. - Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books
...a short, easy-to-read novel about a Tutsi girl's survival during...shocking times. - CM Magazine
It is a compelling story that would be an excellent addition to any school or public library collection. - VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
This short, spare novel, translated from the French and based on the author's interviews with survivors, tells of the massacre and then the trials and aftermath, all from the viewpoint of a child...the child survivor's authentic experience makes this an excellent addition for the high-school Holocaust curriculum. - Booklist
With simple, straightforward language, Combres gives her readers a glimpse into the inner landscape of trauma that a girl such as Emma would have suffered, and the ways by which she might emerge from it. - Toronto Star
...a gentle narrative...well-focused...[readers] will find this brief work approachable and evocative. - Kirkus Reviews
Gracefully composed. - Resource Links
Broken Memory shows what it takes to overcome trauma yet not remain defeated by it. - Yoo Kyung Sung, WOW Review
An email has been sent out with instructions for resetting your password.