Agabande, Rwanda, April 1994.
The children in the village are doing childlike things, playing with toys they make themselves, going to school and church on Sunday. Doing their chores. But there are whispers and looks, and messages of hate on the radio, and people are leaving.
Pascal is a good boy, trying his best, but the world he knows is about to change forever.
This genocide occurs at the end of the novel with most of the book covering Pascal’s peaceful existence and also looks at his life 5 years later in short chapters, where he is talking to a counsellor about these earlier days. Snippets of change are shown to us but never in detail and never a ‘why did this happen’?
It is based on the co-author Noel Zihabamwe’s real life experience and will open class discussions and research into this terrible atrocity.
This is a wonderfully written, poignant story that needs to be told so that we might learn.
Suitable and recommended for all secondary students.
Reviewed by Rob