The Girl Who Smiled Beads

The Girl Who Smiled Beads

A Story of War and What Comes After

Book - 2018
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"Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. It was 1994, and in 100 days more than 800,000 people would be murdered in Rwanda and millions more displaced. Clemantine and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, ran and spent the next six years wandering through seven African countries searching for safety. They did not know whether their parents were alive. At age twelve, Clemantine and Claire were granted asylum in the United States. Raw, urgent, yet disarmingly beautiful, this book captures the true costs and aftershocks of war: what is forever lost, what can be repaired, the fragility and importance of memory. A riveting story of dislocation, survival."--
Publisher: New York :, Crown Publishing,, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780451495327
Branch Call Number: 967.5710431 W243W
Characteristics: 274 pages : map ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Weil, Elizabeth 1969-- Author


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May 28, 2018

Clemantine was just six when she and her 15-year old sister were forced to flee the massacre in Rwanda. For six years they were repeatedly displaced through Africa, migrating through seven countries until they attained refugee status in the USA. Clemantine's story is harrowing, perhaps more so because we see these experiences through the eyes of a child who does not fully understand the political situation or events. Her memories focus on the most simple of human survival needs and the innocent whims of a child. The memoir is told in alternating chapters - between Clemantine's experience in Africa and life as a refugee in the USA. The alternating timeline helps to show how childhood trauma shapes who she is and influences her worldview, despite a life of relative privilege and comfort in the USA.

Clemantine's story is hard to put down and provides much to think about on the topics of genocide, forgiveness, and family.

May 23, 2018

Loved this book, but couldn't get a strong connection with the author at times. Wish it would go into more detail about the countries they fled too as it felt a lot was left out.


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May 23, 2018

Mya614 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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