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As a child in a small rural village in Sierra Leone, Mariatu Kamara lived peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Rumors of rebel attacks were no more than a distant worry. But when 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soldiers, many no older than children themselves, attacked and tortured Mariatu. During this brutal act of senseless violence they cut off both her hands. Stumbling through the countryside, Mariatu miraculously survived. The sweet taste of a mango, her first food after the attack, reaffirmed her desire to live, but the challenge of clutching the fruit in her bloodied arms reinforced the grim new reality that stood before her. With no parents or living adult to support her and living in a refugee camp, she turned to begging in the streets of Freetown. In this gripping and heartbreaking true story, Mariatu shares with readers the details of the brutal attack, its aftermath and her eventual arrival in Toronto. There she began to pull together the pieces of her broken life with courage, astonishing resilience and hope.
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Promotional Information

Mariatu Kamara will be in London during publication to promote the book and to talk about her incredible story Mariatu Kamara's extraordinary courage and resilience is an inspiration for both adults and young adults alike

About the Author

Mariatu Kamara was born and raised in Sierra Leone. She became a child victim of the country's civil war, and since being named a UNICEF Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflicts now speaks to groups across North America about her experiences. She lives in Toronto, where she is a student at George Brown College. www.mariatufoundation.com Susan McClelland is a freelance magazine journalist based in Toronto. She has won and been nominated for numerous investigative reporting and feature-writing awards, and is the recipient of the 2005 Amnesty International Media Award. www.susanmcclelland.com

Reviews

'Powerful and timely ... in my culture, every story is told with the purpose of either imparting knowledge, reparing a broken bond, or transforming the listener and teller. Mariatu's story embodies all of these elements' Ishmael Beah, author of the Number One New York Times bestseller A Long Way Gone 'Deeply personal yet devoid of self-pity. As it aims to correct misperceptions about Sierra Leone and to raise awareness of the needs of child victims of war, this book will unsettle readers - and then inspire them with the evidence of Mariatu's courage' Publishers Weekly

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