The powerful story of one girl's triumphant journey, inspired by true tales of life in Sudan — now in paperback.
Life in Amira's peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when Janjaweed attackers arrive, unleashing unspeakable horrors. After losing nearly everything, Amira needs to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. She begins to lose hope, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind — and all kinds of possibilities.

What's Inside

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A New York Times Notable Book
A New York Times Editors’ Pick
An NAACP Image Award Nominee
A School Library Journal Best Book
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book
A Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
An American Library Association Notable Book
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Center for the Study Multicultural Children’s Literature Best Book
Children’s Africana Book Award winner
Kids’ Indie Next citation – “Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Independent Booksellers”

* "Pinkney uses deft strokes to create engaging characters through the poetry of their observations and the poignancy of their circumstances... A soulful story that captures the magic of possibility, even in difficult times." —Kirkus Reviews


* "Pinkney faces war's horrors head on, yet also conveys a sense of hope and promise." —Publishers Weekly


* "Amira's thoughts and drawings are vividly brought to life through Pinkney's lyrical verse and Evans's lucid line illustrations, which infuse the narrative with emotional intensity.... An essential purchase." School Library Journal

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