Eight Days: A Story of Haiti

Edwidge Danticat, illus. by Alix Delinois, Scholastic/Orchard, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-27849-2
Haitian-born author Danticat (Behind the Mountains) offers an uplifting story, told in the ingenuous voice of Junior, a boy pulled from the rubble of his former home eight days after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince in January 2010. Looking back, he acknowledges that he was afraid when “the earth shook again and again,” but relied on his imagination and memories to survive. In loose, emotive, mixed-media illustrations, Delinois (Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champion) chronicles the joyful, daily reminiscences that Junior clings to each day, instead of portraying the damage caused by the earthquake. “On the morning of the third day, I teased Justine by pulling her pigtails,” reads Junior’s imagining as Delinois shows the siblings running through their bright and cheerful home. Despite the upbeat imagery and focus on the close bonds Junior shares with his family and friends, harsh reality surfaces, too, as Junior imagines playing soccer with his best friend. “Oscar felt really tired and went to sleep. He never woke up. That was the day I cried.” It’s a moving celebration of hope, determination, and resilience. Ages 4–7. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
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