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The Red Pencil

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Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney  |  Illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Finally, Amira is twelve. She wants to learn to read and write, to set free all the big ideas she finds herself sketching in the sand. But girls like Amira don't go to school. Still, she can't help but hope for something more. 

But dreams and life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed militia arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey - on foot - to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind - and all kinds of possibilities.