Author(s): J.L. Powers
Amina lives on the edges of Mogadishu. Her family's house has been damaged in Somalia's long civil war, but they continue to live there, reluctant to leave their home. Amina's world is shattered when government forces come to arrest her father because his art has been officially censored, deemed too political. Then rebel forces kidnap Amina's brother, forcing him to become a soldier in Somalia's brutal ongoing war. Although her mother and grandmother are still with her, Amina feels vulnerable and abandoned. Secretly, she begins to create her own artwork in the streets and the derelict buildings to give herself a sense of hope and to let out the burden of her heart. Her artwork explodes into Mogadishu's underground world, providing a voice for people all over the city who hope for a better, more secure future.
'This touching story brings home vividly the dangers of creating art that seeks to be true - and all the more so - during a vicious civil war, interwoven with religious extremism. Thankfully, Amina's teenage curiosity and courage also signal hope.' - Beverley Naidoo, author of Carnegie Medal Winner The Other Side of Truth.
The daughter of a geologist and a journalist, J.L. Powers spent much of her childhood camping and searching for fossils in the American West. She grew up on the U.S.-Mexico Border and, though she now lives in California, still considers El Paso home. Powers is the author of two novels, The Confessional (Knopf, 2007) and This Thing Called the Future (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011), and the editor of Labor Pains and Birth Stories (Catalyst Book Press, 2009) and the forthcoming anthology, That Mad Game: Growing up in a Warzone, Essays from Around the Globe (Cinco Puntos Press, 2012). Powers is also the fiction and non-fiction editor of The Fertile Source. She writes for The Pirate Tree, a blog on social justice and children's literature. A frequent contributor to New Pages, she is currently at work on other projects. She lives with her family in northern California. Lyn White has been a primary school teacher-librarian and ESL teacher for more than