Review Blog

Sep 11 2017

Here I stand : stories that speak for freedom by Amnesty International

cover image

Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406373646
(Age: 15+) In an eclectic collection of themes, forms and style, Amnesty presents short stories which invite us to walk in the shoes of those who suffer various injustices.
Whilst confronting, not all of the stories deal with the grimmest of subjects yet those which consider molestation, sex trafficking and suicide as a consequence of relentless bullying make this suitable for a 15+ readership.
Other situations are equally moving. An overworked public defender seeks the best legal outcome for a black youth entangled in gang culture. A young girl is tormented by the fact that her former best friend, with whom she shared a mutual devotion, now shows contempt and disgust for her sexual orientation. In a tale with a similar theme, a black youth is incredulous that his former best friend shows vile hatred towards him because of his skin colour. The very real situation of a child being embarrassed by having to interpret for her mother in delicate conversations with doctors and school teachers is the subject in another story.
A sliding doors moment is considered in the life a young migrant who is groomed to become a suicide bomber but also has the option to pursue the path of education and enlightenment towards a fulfilling life.
The brutality and futility of state sanctioned execution in a U.S. prison prompts a lawyer to ruminate on meaningful ways to manage 'redemption'. He imagines a remote island with a futuristic penal facility which protects wider society but enables prisoners to engage in environmentally productive work which generates income as compensation to victims of crime.
Industrial pollution destroys a river system in a developing country and completely devastates the communities which live upon its banks. No longer able to fish, these people starve in an unequal battle against a powerful international corporation with no concern for those who suffer from their negligence.
A recurring element in these stories is bullying which appears in various ways and on a range of levels. The trauma and pain caused is clearly evident but what I liked about this book is that the intention is to provoke thought and introspection. Despite the dark and harsh realities of many situations, these stories largely focus on the possibility for change and the creation of a safer, more just world.
Rob Welsh

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017
CBCA Awards 2017 winners
Environment Award for Children's Literature 2017
Speech Pathology shortlist 2017
2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals
2017 Branford Boase Award
2017 UKLA Book Awards

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates