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How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child

Review

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child

HOW DARE THE SUN RISE is a deeply moving and powerful book about strength, resilience and the truth about the American Dream.

In Sandra Uwiringiyimana’s first book, she tells the story of her early childhood in the Democratic Republic of Congo, her immigration to the United States following a massacre of her refugee camp and how she dealt with the loss of members of her family in a foreign and new place.

"HOW DARE THE SUN RISE is a thought-provoking book about the lives of refugees which shines a critical light upon the culture of America and how we view situations in other countries."

Sandra Uwiringiyimana is culturally part of a tribe called the Banyamulenge that have been discriminated against in the region for many years. Since the Banyamulenge were historically from Rwanda, they were always seen as outsiders and therefore treated as second class citizens. In 2004, Sandra and her family fled their hometown of Uvira to a refugee camp, due to rising tensions within their hometown. In her book, Uwiringiyimana talks about the demoralizing nature of the refugee camp and about standing in line for hours just to get a jug full of water. Then came the massacre. In the middle of the night, rebels from Burundi opened fired on the camp and killed 166 men, women and children, and injured 116 others.

While giving background to the culture of her people and the country, and clearly explaining the history and her experiences, Sandra Uwiringiyimana paints a picture of war and of America very plainly. Sandra worked hard to ensure that her people’s story was told, and through activism and creativity she became one of the few people trying to make a difference against all of the hate in the world.

This is not a very happy book. Although Sandra and what's left of her family eventually get the opportunity to come to America, they still have to deal with the repercussions and guilt from this terrible night while living as refugees in a foreign country. Although she doesn’t delve into the gory details of her life, if overly sad books aren't really for you I would set this one aside and instead research a little about this topic. But I do urge you to at least try this book --- too many atrocities go unnoticed and unpunished in our world --- since it is extremely compelling and well-written. I read the whole book in one go; I couldn’t put it down.    

HOW DARE THE SUN RISE is a thought-provoking book about the lives of refugees which shines a critical light upon the culture of America and how we view situations in other countries. It tells the story about how anyone, no matter how small, can make a difference within their community and become an advocate for what they believe in. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about refugees and what it’s like to be a refugee in America. Especially in the world we are living in now it is especially important to be aware and educated on the situations and living conditions of war refugees.

Reviewed by Zoe I., Teen Board Member on June 7, 2017

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child
by Sandra Uwiringiyimana with Abigail Pesta

  • Publication Date: May 16, 2017
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • ISBN-10: 0062470140
  • ISBN-13: 9780062470140