Emmanuel Jal became a child soldier while he was still shorter than his AK-47. Before that, he had seen his villagers sliced, shot, torn apart by bombs, RPG's, and grenades. He saw the women in his family raped and felt hunger for months.
His father abandoned him, and he was sent to train. The rage that filled him from the things he'd seen done to his people drove him. He thought God had abandoned him and forgot what love was.
But one aid worker, Emma McCune, saw something in him. Now he is an international rap star, rhyming about Jesus and peace and war and hope. His music refuses to stay in the background as I study.
I just finished his book, War Child, and bought his album by the same name. This man has much to teach us: he learned more before he was seven than I could ever hope to learn. Yet no one should have to learn like that.
If I could recommend one book, other than the Bible, it would be this one.
"Children should be going to school, not fighting in battles, because they will still lose their life even if they survive." (Jal 256)