Outstanding, Young Adult, trauma, healing, rape, family, prison, siblings, love, war, Sierra Leone, Australia, relationships
Alice is fifteen and is broken. When she was twelve, she was raped and attacked by two men and saved by her family members just in time. In a blind rage, her grandfather took his gun and killed them both. Ever since then, Alice has been unable to speak properly. Instead, she writes her words and leaves them in bus shelters, on noticeboards, on fences. One day, Manny James finds one of her poems and memorizes its lovely words. Manny is broken, too. He saw the murder and rape of his mother and sister and was forced into becoming a child soldier in his home country of Sierra Leone. Now he's in a small town in Australia, and trying to forget about his past. When Manny and Alice find each other, they learn that while they are both broken, they are not useless or and less beautiful for it. They find comfort and solace in words both written and spoken and in silence.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
"The Stars at Oktober Bend,"
Children's Book and Media Review: Vol. 39
, Article 92.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cbmr/vol39/iss5/92