How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child

This profoundly moving memoir is the remarkable and inspiring true story of Sandra Uwiringyimana, a girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who tells the tale of how she survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and overcame her trauma through art and activism.Sandra was just ten years old when she found herself with a gun pointed at her head. She had watched as r...

Title:How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0062470167
Format Type:ebook
Number of Pages:304 pages

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child Reviews

  • Gerard Villegas
    Dec 30, 2016

    Finished the ARC of this and I couldn't put it down. Refugee Sandra details her family's flight from the war torn Congo and their struggles as immigrants living in an urbanized landscape of America. Told with brutal honesty and an insightful look into the world as an outsider looking in, it is certainly one memoir every young person needs to read when it releases in the US in May. Highly recommended.

  • Andrea at Reading Lark
    Apr 23, 2017

    Review Posted on Reading Lark 4/27/17:

    This was a powerful memoir, but a difficult one to read. Sandra Uwiringiyimana is a young woman who grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. War was a constant worry for her and her family; they were often displaced as fighting broke out. Things were even worse for Sandra's family as they came from a tribe that faced severe persecution in Congo. While Sandra's life in Africa, has many happy memories associated

    Review Posted on Reading Lark 4/27/17:

    This was a powerful memoir, but a difficult one to read. Sandra Uwiringiyimana is a young woman who grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. War was a constant worry for her and her family; they were often displaced as fighting broke out. Things were even worse for Sandra's family as they came from a tribe that faced severe persecution in Congo. While Sandra's life in Africa, has many happy memories associated with it, it also holds some of her deepest pain.

    The book begins in happier times when Sandra recalls playing with her pet monkey, laughing with her little sister, and getting into trouble with one of her older brothers. She describes life in her village and remarks on how much she loves attending school. Sandra's family is unique in the fact that they value education for females in a society that does not always see this as good use of time for girls. Many girls learn the basics and then begin to train for their lives as wives and mothers. Sandra's parents want their children to have options in life beyond becoming a spouse. I admired Sandra's parents and the way they operated their home and managed their large family. My heart also broke for them when Sandra's oldest brother, Heritage, was kidnapped and forced to fight in the army. Sandra's father refuses to rest until his son is returned home which will eventually happen, but Heritage will be plagued by his time as a young soldier and fitting into life with his family will take time.

    As the family is beginning to make headway with Heritage, war breaks out. At the age of ten, Sandra finds herself living in a refugee camp in Burundi after her family had to flee their home in Congo. Life in a refugee camp is stressful and tedious. There seems to be a good bit of boredom for the kids and the adults carry the heavy burden of figuring out what is next for their family. One night as Sandra is getting ready to sleep next to her youngest sister, Deborah, who is only six, men with guns invade the camp. A violent and bloody massacre ensues which will forever change Sandra's life and outlook on the world. When the sun rises the next morning, Sandra realizes that her family will never be the same. Her account of this event is heartbreaking and difficult to read. I kept thinking of how her mother must be feeling during the entire event as she didn't know where all of her children were and if they had survived the brutal night. As a mother, my heart broke for her; I cannot imagine living through something so horrible.

    I was also shocked as this massacre was not something I had heard about before. As Sandra states in the book, so many Americans don't realize what is happening in Africa. I'm guilty of that. The news tends to dominate political matters and focus on other regions of the world, but reading Sandra's story and learning more about the plight of her people makes me want to be more educated about the current situations in Africa.

    After the massacre, the family moves to Rwanda where things are difficult and they live in extreme poverty. Things begin to look up for them when they learn about a possible relocation to the United States. After multiple interviews, the family is relocated to Rochester, New York. Sandra believes that her family has been handed a golden ticket. She will finally be able to experience the freedom and wealth that she believes all Americans possess, but she quickly realizes that the America on tv isn't reality for all Americans. Her family lives in a poorer neighborhood which comes with its fair share of crime. Furthermore, Sandra quickly begins to realize that race in America is not a simple thing. Her honest and heartfelt dialogue on race in the U.S. was another aspect that was difficult for me to read. I know that race still plays a huge factor in how people interact with one another, but it still hurts my soul to know that people in 2017 make assumptions about others solely based on race. I can only hope that one day we will learn to embrace our differences rather than use them to continue to divide us.

    I highly recommend this memoir as it touches on topics that are significant to current global and domestic issues. I could easily see it being used in a World History or US History class. Sandra's story deserves to be heard and Americans need to be informed about the current climate in Africa. I also applaud Sandra for being brave enough to share her story with the world. We need more young women like her speaking out and fighting to put a stop to injustice.

    One Last Gripe: My only complaint with this one is the pacing. Some sections I craved more detail as they sped by too quickly while other segments felt like they moved too slowly.

    Favorite Thing About This Book: This is one of those books that sticks with you. Days after I have finished it, I can't stop thinking about it and Sandra. No child should have to experience the trauma she endured.

    First Sentence: The night began softly.

  • Kai
    Mar 02, 2017

    First of all how do you rate someone’s life? You can’t give one or two stars and say things like “uh, didn’t like it” or “boring”. That’s not how it works.

    This is the first time that I’ve heard of Sandra Uwiringiyimana. Sandra is a young woman, born in the Cong

    First of all how do you rate someone’s life? You can’t give one or two stars and say things like “uh, didn’t like it” or “boring”. That’s not how it works.

    This is the first time that I’ve heard of Sandra Uwiringiyimana. Sandra is a young woman, born in the Congo. Her tribe, the Banyamulenge, come from a province in Congo called South Kivu. They have Rwandan origins and as their appearance, language and accents differ from Congolese and Rwandan people, they don’t belong to either nation and are often discriminated against.

    Sandra is working towards a broader awareness of her tribe’s situation. She spoke in front of the United Nations and was interviewed by Charlie Rose during the Women in the World Summit in 2012. She wants more fairness and to end the hate and persecution that her people suffer from.

    I don’t want to take away too much beforehand so let me just say a few things. This book tackles lots of important topics, including discrimination, persecution, feminism, mental health and family. It is moving and empowering and most of all: It’s real. I started reading Sandra’s book – about how she was raised, survived a massacre and later immigrated to the US – thinking only “Oh this sounds interesting.” I’m in a position where I have the luxury, the choice to face ugly news and truths or to blend everything out. Sandra could not. Further into the book I started to actually realize that this was real, that Sandra is someone who has left and is still leaving footprints. The events she describes in this book can be glimpsed on Youtube or Instagram. That’s when reality hit me. A reporter asked Sandra in an interview how she survived the horrors of her past, like having a gun pointed at your head, seeing people getting slashed and burned. It felt like such a terrible question. How could you ask anyone this? But what Sandra is doing is brave and crucial. She fights for justice and for acceptance.

    This book is a raw and emotional autobiography, and while I wished to read more about what lead to this books creation, and about Sandra’s work as a Global Ambassador, I think it’s an amazing biography.

  • Rachel Strolle
    Jan 16, 2017

    The most significant thing about How Dare the Sun Rise, is that it not simply the story of a "war child." It is the story of a girl who had to watch her 6 year old sister get gunned down. It is the story of a girl who was looked at as an outcast no matter where she went. It is the story of a girl who left behind everything she knew to come with her family to America. It is the story of a girl who felt she didn't fit in a culture that was so different from the one she had known. It is the story o

    The most significant thing about How Dare the Sun Rise, is that it not simply the story of a "war child." It is the story of a girl who had to watch her 6 year old sister get gunned down. It is the story of a girl who was looked at as an outcast no matter where she went. It is the story of a girl who left behind everything she knew to come with her family to America. It is the story of a girl who felt she didn't fit in a culture that was so different from the one she had known. It is the story of a girl who has to put her mental health before the approval of her family.

    This is a memoir you must read.

  • Leigh Collazo
    Jan 28, 2017

    More reviews at

    .

    Though the subject matter was incredibly sad and violent, the conversational first-person narrative made this easy and engaging to read. I love Sandra's quiet power in how she compares her life in The Democratic Republic of the Congo and her new life as a middle-schooler in the USA. Some of the comparisons are funny, and some are just horribly sad.

    I love the bottom line message about how race in the USA is a much bigger deal than it is in Africa. Sandra t

    More reviews at

    .

    Though the subject matter was incredibly sad and violent, the conversational first-person narrative made this easy and engaging to read. I love Sandra's quiet power in how she compares her life in The Democratic Republic of the Congo and her new life as a middle-schooler in the USA. Some of the comparisons are funny, and some are just horribly sad.

    I love the bottom line message about how race in the USA is a much bigger deal than it is in Africa. Sandra talks about how she never really thought about her skin color in Africa, even though there were many different skin tones and even white people in Africa, it wasn't a big deal until she got to the USA.

    She also tackles large issues like poverty, everyday racism, PTSD, and depression.

    I loved this book for it's strong narrative voice and its ability to tell a very needed story in a simple and engaging way. This book is easy to get into right from the start and stays poignant all the way through to the very end. Though she hobnobs with celebrities by the end of it all, Sandra remains a humble person and simply wants to get her voice out there and make a difference for the millions of displaced individuals in Africa and around the world.

    war, race, poverty, family, death, PTSD, depression, refugees, rape

    A must-have for any middle or high school library.

    tackles important issues like war and race with quiet dignity and hope. Beautifully-written and moving.

    On-order.

    Overall: 5/5

    Creativity: 5/5

    Characters: 5/5

    Engrossing: 5/5

    Writing: 5/5

    Appeal to teens: 5/5

    Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

    Language: none

    Sexuality: mild; talk of menstruation and tampons taking your virginity

    Violence: high; attempted child rape, bloody massacre, arson, bullying, everyday racism

    Drugs/Alcohol: none

  • Ashley
    Apr 13, 2017

    I was approved for this book for review. All thoughts are my own.

    This was such a powerful book! I loved it, I mean I really loved it! To hear what Sandra has been through was heart breaking, but it also opened up my eyes to other atrocities that plague the world and how they go unnoticed or forgotten by the public. Sandra reminds us that although it may not be happening to us it definitely is happening all over the world. This is such an inspiring story that I want to read more about young adul

    I was approved for this book for review. All thoughts are my own.

    This was such a powerful book! I loved it, I mean I really loved it! To hear what Sandra has been through was heart breaking, but it also opened up my eyes to other atrocities that plague the world and how they go unnoticed or forgotten by the public. Sandra reminds us that although it may not be happening to us it definitely is happening all over the world. This is such an inspiring story that I want to read more about young adults like her as well as adults who have grown up in war torn countries.

  • Maya B
    Jun 11, 2017

    This was a great non fiction read. The first few chapters were repetitive but it quickly picks up after that. I love how the author described everything in great detail. This is the story of a African war child and her move to America. A true testimony of a survivor. My favorite part of this book was her transition to America. The author describes everything when it came to food, culture, and race. Most of which I felt was very accurate.

  • Melle
    Jun 18, 2017

    While the writing is mediocre, this is a story, a perspective, that needs to be read, especially when global issues have local impacts. Sandra Uwiringiyimana and her family's experiences are profound but, sadly, not uncommon, and the more we all as global citizens familiarize ourselves with what our brothers and sisters are facing in war-torn countries, the more compassionate we may be and the better and more efficient support systems and services we can enact. A good book to get into the hands

    While the writing is mediocre, this is a story, a perspective, that needs to be read, especially when global issues have local impacts. Sandra Uwiringiyimana and her family's experiences are profound but, sadly, not uncommon, and the more we all as global citizens familiarize ourselves with what our brothers and sisters are facing in war-torn countries, the more compassionate we may be and the better and more efficient support systems and services we can enact. A good book to get into the hands of thoughtful teens.

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