Imprint:Groundwood Books - Toronto
Form detail:Printed dust jacket
Audience:Young Adult : Age (years) 13, Grade (CAN) 8, Grade (US) 8
Dimensions:8.25in x 5.44 x 0.75 in | 0.8 lb
Page Count:216 pages
In war-torn Sudan, a girl must make heart-rending choices as she fights for survival and a chance at a future.
“This short, quickly paced narrative will stay with readers for the rest of their lives.” School Library Journali, STARRED REVIEW
“Moving and necessary.” Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
For Poni, life in her small village in southern Sudan is simple and complicated at the same time. Stay in school. Beat up any boy who tries to show attention. Watch out for the dangers in the river. But then the war comes. And when soldiers arrive in her village and bombs begin to rain from the sky, there is only one thing for Poni to do. Run.
Poni runs for her life, and alongside thousands of refugees, she must then make a long, dusty trek across the east African countryside. Driven by the sheer will to survive, Poni finds her way to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, where she hopes to be reunited with her family. And if she is lucky, she will one day be able to convince the authorities that she is worthy to go to the land of opportunity. But the misery in Kakuma is almost overwhelming, and sooner than Poni could have imagined, she is on the run again.
With single-minded determination, Poni survives hell and back, but she cannot escape the war’s devastating psychological effects or her survivor’s guilt. In a heartbreaking final twist, Poni finds her mother just as she is about to leave for America—forcing her to make the hardest decision of all.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
This short, quickly paced narrative will stay with readers for the rest of their lives. - School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
Readers will come away with clear pictures of gender roles in Poni’s culture as well as the South Sudan conflict’s devastating physical and psychological effects. . . . Moving and necessary. - Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
Poni is such a fully realized and sympathetic character that she engages readers from start to finish. - Horn Book
This is a profound rendering of a southern Sudanese female heroine who must first go down into darkness before she can rise. Women around the world will savor this stunning book.