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Groundwood Books

Broken Memory

Written by Elisabeth Combres

For kids - 13 years old | Published October 01, 2009 | ISBN 9780888998934
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / People & Places / Africa

Cover of Broken Memory

Regular price $9.95 CAD

144 pages | 7.500 in × 5.000 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Broken Memory

Elisabeth Combres

IRA Notable Books for a Global Society selection

Hiding behind an armchair, five-year-old Emma does not witness the murder of her mother, but she hears everything. And when the assassins finally leave, the young Tutsi girl somehow manages to stumble away from the scene, motivated only by the memory of her mother's last words: "You must not die, Emma!"

Eventually Emma is taken in by an old Hutu woman who risks her own life to hide the child. Emma stays with the old woman and a quiet bond forms between the two, but long after the war ends, the young girl is still haunted by nightmares.

When the country establishes courts to allow victims to face their tormenters in their villages, Emma is uneasy and afraid. But through her growing friendship with a young torture victim and the gentle encouragement of an old man charged with helping child survivors, Emma finds the courage to return to the house where her mother was killed and begin the journey to healing.

About the Author

Elisabeth Combres

Élisabeth Combres has lived in Paris, Toulouse, Grenoble and Lima, Peru. She has worked as a reporter in France, Latin America and Africa. She began writing for young people after working as editor-in-chief for the magazine Mikado. She is the author of several children’s non-fiction titles, including Mondes Rebelles Junior, winner of the Prix Sorcières in 2002. In 2004 she collected the accounts of adolescent survivors, psychologists and humanitarian aid workers to use as the basis for this book. Broken Memory is her first novel. She lives in Grenoble, France.

Awards and Praise
  • Commended IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, 2010
  • Commended YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2011
  • Commended USBBY Outstanding International Books, 2010
  • Commended Resource Links' Year's Best, 2010