Cover image for Out of war : true stories from the front lines of the Children's Movement for Peace in Colombia
Out of war : true stories from the front lines of the Children's Movement for Peace in Colombia
Cameron, Sara (Sara J.)
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
186 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Introduction -- Juan Elias: peace is the best revenge/18 -- Farlis: the line between now and tomorrow/19 -- Mayerly: after Milton/16 -- Beto: falling in love with life/16 -- Maritza: one foot in violence, one foot in peace/17 -- Johemir: journeys far from home/16 -- "Alberto": letters from the jungle/15 -- Herminsul: a way of being free/15 -- Wilfrido: saved from drowning/17 -- Where are we now?
Reading Level:
910 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.3 6.0 72231.

Reading Counts RC High School 6.5 11 Quiz: 25633 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ784.V55 C35 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In conjunction with UNICEF, this collection of first-person narratives and black-and-white photos of nine young Colombians describe their experiences of violence and peace during the country's long civil conflict and share intimate details of their lives and their work.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-12. In 1998, Cameron, known for her adult fiction, traveled to Columbia on behalf of UNICEF to write about the Children's Movement for Peace that was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She chose the stories of nine members of the movement for the personal essays that make up this collection. In their own words, these young people describe what it means to live amidst the violence of their country's 40-year-old war. They've lost their homes, land, and livelihood and have watched assassinations of parents and other family members. Most amazing are the stories of how each person learned to step beyond the desire for retribution. The language is immediate, frank, and unsensationalized, and each gripping story is both specific to its Columbian setting and universal. Even though most readers won't know the fear of living during wartime, urban teens can relate to the violence in their own neighborhoods and find inspiration in young people working effectively towards peace. --Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

Cameron here collects the poignant stories of nine articulate teenagers who describe the long and diffuse internal war raging in Columbia for over 40 years, in which various armed groups vie for control of land and power. The genesis of the Children's Movement of Peace, created in response to the war, is framed with their personal and agonizing accounts of loss, hope and the understanding that endemic violence must be fought through personal forgiveness as well as through organized efforts against poverty and racism. Juan Elias, one leader of the movement, realizes after his own father's and cousin's murder, "No matter how much you want peace, you take a step toward violence when the war hits you personally." Johemir, whose mother left him to live alone when he was only 10, helps to create art programs so other children can express their sorrow and wishes for peace. The stories display a depth of insight about the limits and possibilities for creating a more peaceful country as well as the fragility of commitment in the face of the ongoing violence and despair. Yet they continue to work against violence because, as Maritza (who lives in violence at home as well as on the streets) put it, "I know that making peace is our only hope." Young adults will find this an inspiring book about the courage of people their own age who have devoted themselves to the cause of ending violence. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-From humble beginnings in 1996, the Children's Movement for Peace in Colombia has grown to more than 100,000 active members. Nine teenagers describe how their involvement with it has helped them cope with the harsh realities of living in a country awash in violence. Readers will be moved by their stories and their hope. At 14, Juan Elias attended the UNICEF-sponsored meeting that laid the groundwork for the organization and its first activity, a nationwide election in October, 1996, in which children between the ages of 7 and 18 chose life and peace as their most important rights. Shortly after that meeting, his father was murdered. Beto, also a victim of family violence, runs child-rights groups and organizes recreational activities for adolescents. His friend Maritza is less clear; on a trip to Holland to talk with schoolchildren about the violence in Colombia, she was "afraid to admit that no matter how much you try to make peace," she finds it easy to be dragged back into violence at home and on the street. Johemir uses puppets in Return to Happiness workshops to help younger children recover from traumatic experiences. Through this selection of tangentially connected lives, Cameron has told the larger story of the breadth of violence and the growth and work of this coalition. The book concludes with a helpful list of resources about the movement and its supporters. Thought-provoking reading both for teenagers and the adults who serve them.-Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Juan Elias: Peace is the Best Revenge/18p. 5
Farlis: the Line Between Now and Tomorrow/19p. 30
Mayerly: After Milton/16p. 54
Beto: Falling in Love with Life/16p. 74
Maritza: One Foot in Violence, One Foot in Peace/17p. 91
Johemir: Journeys Far from Home/16p. 109
"Alberto": Letters from the Jungle/15p. 126
Herminsul: A Way of Being Free/15p. 138
Wilfrido: Saved from Drowning/17p. 155
Where are We Now?p. 172
Author's Notep. 177
Resourcesp. 182
Acknowledgmentsp. 184