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UNDER THE SUN by Arthur Dorros


by Arthur Dorros

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8109-4933-4
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

This middling war story, placed in Bosnia and Croatia in the early 1990s, follows a boy displaced and scrambling for survival. Thirteen-year-old Ehmet lives in Sarajevo, but when it becomes too dangerous, his father sends him and his mother to the countryside. They’re attacked and his mother beaten; they flee and begin walking west towards the Croatian border. Along the way, his mother becomes ill and dies, leaving Ehmet alone to negotiate roving soldiers. He’s placed in a refugee camp, but escapes and reaches a tiny village in the Croatian mountains where war orphans have a chance for new lives. Dorros eschews subtlety with over-direct points like “No group seemed to have a monopoly on doing harm or helping.” Ehmet is fairly generic, as is the whole text: if not for repeated narrative use of the words “Muslim,” “Croat,” “Serb,” and “Bosnian,” the whole thing could take place in any war setting. (map, author’s note) (Fiction. 10-13)