Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav

One Day the Soldiers Came

Cover of One Day the Soldiers Came

One Day the Soldiers Came

Voices of Children in War
Borrow Borrow Borrow

Today, in violence-torn regions across the globe, 20 million children have been uprooted, orphaned, or injured by war, famine, and poverty. This is their story . . . and ours.

In this powerful and unforgettable book—by turns painful, funny, terrifying, and triumphant—Charles London takes us into the world of refugee children, celebrating their unique skills for survival and reflection. Their remarkable stories and drawings chill the blood and touch the heart, offering an indelible, first hand portrait of the war that rages beyond the headlines.

Today, in violence-torn regions across the globe, 20 million children have been uprooted, orphaned, or injured by war, famine, and poverty. This is their story . . . and ours.

In this powerful and unforgettable book—by turns painful, funny, terrifying, and triumphant—Charles London takes us into the world of refugee children, celebrating their unique skills for survival and reflection. Their remarkable stories and drawings chill the blood and touch the heart, offering an indelible, first hand portrait of the war that rages beyond the headlines.

Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBooks
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    9 - 12

Recommended for you


Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    "Innocent in the Ways of the World"

    Childhood and War

    It happened to Keto. He was sitting in school with his brother listening to the teacher recite their French lesson. Je m'appelle, tu t'appelle, il s'appelle. . . .

    It happened to Michael. He was at home with his mother and father. He sat in the back room doing whatever it is that teenage boys do in back rooms, daydreaming, making plans, goofing off.

    It happened to Nora on a sunny day. She was playing in the front of her house.

    Patience and Charity were too young to remember what they were doing when it happened.

    It happened to Nicholas, as it happened to the others. To his entire village, one day, it happened.

    The soldiers came.

    "It was a sunny day," Nora says, as if the weather were the most amazing thing. How could it happen on a sunny day?

    "They put a knife on my neck," she says, the little blonde. Picture her at eight years old, smiling and playing in the yard on a sunny day. They put a knife to her neck. "They wanted to rob us and they saw my mother's wedding ring and they told her to give it to them," she says. But the ring was hard to get off. Her mother struggled with it. The soldiers laughed. "Hurry up or we'll just cut off your finger!" they shouted. Her hands shaking, she got the ring off and they let her daughter go.

    They shot Nora's uncle, though.

    "They shot him with a silencer and then wrapped him in a carpet so his body would burn more easily." It happened on a sunny day in the Balkans when she was eight years old. When she was playing outside.

    Keto and his brother saw people running, cattle running, the entire village near Baraka in the eastern Congo on the move. They heard gunfire. The teacher told them to go home; it was time to flee. Keto ran, clutching his schoolbooks to his chest. Barely four feet tall, charging through hell.

    "The Mayi Mayi were yelling 'fire, fire,' commanding the village to be burned," Keto says. Flames tore at the thatched roofs of houses. People ducked low and tried not to catch the fury of the soldiers. They were looting the marketplace.

    "When I went home, I didn't find my parents. My brother and I didn't know where my parents or grandparents were." They stood for a while in their empty home, calling for anyone they knew. With gunfire and flames around them, the two boys decided they must escape on their own. They made their way to the lake still clutching their schoolbooks to their chests. "They were our only possessions when we fled. I still have them." He nods, proud that he had held on to his books all these years, through such a long journey, after so many people have died.

    Nicholas doesn't like to talk about what happened. He's thirteen years old, originally from Burma, though exiled in Thailand now. He has seen crucifixions, executions, abductions.

    Michael has seen the damage a machete can do to human flesh, his mother's flesh, his father's flesh.

    Patience, from southern Sudan, has been raped, repeatedly.

    They all draw pictures. Whether they like to talk or not, they jump at the crayons and markers, remake their world on paper. Their visions are at turns dark and painful, others are hopeful, light-hearted, nostalgic. It depends on the child, depends on the day. They all draw. We draw together. It's one of two activities we do. We draw and we play soccer. It is with soccer that everything begins.

    You cannot know the children of a world at war until you begin to play soccer. You can interview them, as many have done, as I have spent countless hours doing, and you can read reports and studies and you can watch them do all manner of things and you can hear and hear and hear about children in war from just about everyone: charities and warlords, generals and social workers, parents and...

About the Author-
  • Charles London is a former research associate with Refugees International and director of curriculum for War Kids Relief, a peace-building organization. He is the 1999 winner of the Rolling Stone College Journalism Award, and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, and other national publications. He has been a young-adult librarian for the New York Public Library and is the author of One Day the Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War. He lives in New York City.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 1, 2007
    London, working with the nonprofit organization Refugees International, interviewed child soldiers and other young people affected by ethnic conflict in Africa, Burma and the Balkans to bring their plight to the attention of his fellow Americans. The narrative that emerges is a fine accomplishment, tying together the horrific stories of countless children against a merciless landscape of undersupplied refugee camps, belligerent authority figures and the constant threat of renewed violence. London tells of children forced into prostitution and military service, Burmese refugees unable to leave their dreary Bangkok apartments for fear of deportation and other tragic consequences of conflict; the stories are chilling and London is an able interviewer, getting children to open up by joining their soccer games and getting them to draw pictures. London began his project at age 21, and has a neophyte's penchant for self-regard and melodrama ("She is looking though her life, to some place else, some future bliss that is forever out of reach"); letting the stories speak for themselves would have bolstered their resonance. Regardless, this is a moving and important account of war's youngest victims in a region that too rarely enters the American consciousness.

  • Ishmael Beah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

    "A profound and deeply moving journey into the minds of children who live with war."

  • Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

    "Charles London brings an uncomfortable truth to life. This book is often difficult reading, but attention must be paid."

  • --Ben Fountain, author of BRIEF ENCOUNTERS WITH CHE GUEVARA

    "The stories told by these children...are essential to our humanity..."

  • Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Eat, Pray, Love

    "An unblinking account of a peculiar human reality...a wise and captivating story."

  • New York Post, "Required Reading" reveiw

    "Shining a light on the horrors inflicted on those most vulnerable is noble work."

  • Kirkus Reviews

    "Eye-opening ...Searing and heartbreaking"

  • Baltimore Times

    "It is London's sincerity, discernment, feelings, and penchant for analysis that are always on display...Children as well as adults should read this book."

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    HarperCollins
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBooks
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 1 titles every 7 day(s).

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Enhanced Details

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Permissions

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Holds

Total holds:


Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
One Day the Soldiers Came
One Day the Soldiers Came
Voices of Children in War
Charles London
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel