Article Title

The Milk of Birds


Outstanding, Young Adult, Sylvia Whitman, Friendship, Pen Pal, Darfur, Sudan, Refugees, Genocide, Letters

Document Type

Book Review


Nawra is a young woman living in a refugee camp in Sudan. In a country that is ravaged by war, Nawra has been subject to abuse, poverty, hunger, and the emotional absence of her mother. When an American charity program comes to her camp promising financial and emotional help for girls, Nawra signs up. On the other side of the world, KC is a young woman living in Virginia. KC struggles in school, has a difficult time focusing, and is eventually diagnosed with a learning disorder. When her mother signs her up for a pen pal program called Save the Girls, KC becomes invested in helping her pen pal Nawra as best as she can. Through a year’s worth of letters to each other, KC and Nawra develop a remarkable friendship that brings Nawra joy in her afflictions and introduces KC to a passion she’s never known before. When the year comes to a close, the girls have gained a bond that stretches over oceans and, ultimately, saves both of them.