Cover image for Crisis in Rwanda
Crisis in Rwanda
Freeman, Charles, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Austin, TX : Raintree Steck-Vaughn, [1999]

Physical Description:
64 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm.
Relates events in Rwanda after the murder of President Habyarimana including the genocide of the Tutsi, the ill-treatment of refugees, and the eventual reconciliation.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 9.1 2.0 24703.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DT450.435 .F74 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Readers examine important world events through engaging text, authentic photos, and quotes from people who experienced these turbulent times. The series gives an honest presentation of global crises, such as war, attempts at genocide, and manmade disasters. Each title traces history's defining moments from their roots to their inevitable outcome.


This text assumes no knowledge of African history or the circumstances of the 1994 massacres and what followed. It outlines the broad sweep of the history of the continent and of Rwanda, before going on to describe the build-up to genocide. The mass refugee movements to Tanzania and the former Zaire are also covered, as are the efforts of aid agencies and other international bodies. There are perspectives throughout from victims and perpetrators.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-12. Who are the killers? Who are the refugees? For all those shocked by the images of genocide in Rwanda and bewildered by the names and the politics, this is a stirring, nonexploitative, accessible account of what happened, written with clarity and fairness and a strong commitment to human rights. Part of the excellent New Perspectives series, the design is like a magazine article, with photos on every page and with boxed quotes from survivors, journalists, and aid workers who were there. They take us beyond snapshots of piled bodies and wandering orphans to stories of individual anguish. Always, there are moving survivor accounts of those who resisted the hate propaganda and risked their lives to hide the hunted. Freeman talks about causes and blame, both in the contemporary scene and in the colonial past, and he discusses the aftermath of the struggle for justice and reconciliation: when the killers become refugees, should they get aid or blame? He relates the Hutus' massacre of a million Tutsis to the Nazi's attempt to exterminate the Jews and to the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. Teachers will want to use this with the Holocaust curriculum, first to tell the history and then to examine the roles of victims, perpetrators, and bystanders in Rwanda and on the international scene. Why did it happen again? Could we have prevented this? Freeman says it quietly: "It does seem that the international community failed the civilians in Rwanda, as it did those in Bosnia in the Yugoslav civil war, at their time of need." --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10‘An examination of the genocide that swept this small African nation in the mid-1990s. In addition, background information on Africa, Rwanda's history and place in the context of the continent, and the role of the international community in responding to the crisis and reestablishing the country are given. Using United Nations definitions of genocide and its crimes, the author discusses the massacre of the Tutsi people and draws comparisons with the Holocaust in Germany. The text moves logically from one point to the next to show these connections. However, the author states, without documentation, that "perhaps as many as a million died" in Rwanda, while other sources put the number at 500,000. Practically every page has a large sidebar that presents quotes from citizens, government documents, or news sources. They provide perspective but make the actual text rather slim. Large, full-color illustrations, some of which are quite graphic, appear throughout. The writing often falls into a politically didactic tone, informing readers how the world should have responded to this situation and passing judgment on the nations and organizations that played roles in the relief efforts. A necessity only where there is an emphasis on African studies.‘Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.