Title: The Red Pencil
Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrator: Shane W. Evans
Reviewed by: Michaelene M
Amira just turned twelve, and with the gift of her turning-twelve-twig in hand, Amira draws a world of possibilities. However, when the Janjaweed militia rips through her town, Amira’s world shifts, making her wonder if it will ever be right again.
The Red Pencil takes place in Sudan during the Darfur conflict. Amira and her family find themselves displaced and traveling to a refugee camp. They have to start anew, and it’s with a vital piece of their family missing. The healing of this rift is a big part of Amira’s story, especially in the exploration of how she uses art to heal.
Pinkney tells the story in verse, using vivid imagery and vocal language that connects the story to younger audiences and makes the heavier topics more accessible. The illustrations are direct, giving readers an inside look into Amira’s experiences and dreams. All the elements combine to make The Red Pencil a moving story of healing, hope, and art.
A brief history of the Darfur conflict as well as a glossary and pronunciation guide are at the back for further context to Amira’s journey. Parents and teachers can also find a discussion guide to help start conversations.
This title is available as a physical book in the library. Call us at 580-234-6313 to reserve.