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In this powerful memoir, Sandra Uwiringiyimana, a girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, tells the incredible true story of how she survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and overcame her trauma through art and activism. Now in paperback.

Sandra Uwiringiyimana was just ten years old when she found herself with a gun pointed at her head. The rebels had come at night—wielding weapons, torches, and machetes. She watched as her mother and six-year-old sister were gunned down in a refugee camp, far from their home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The rebels were killing people who weren’t from the same community, the same tribe. In other words, they were killing people simply for looking different.

“Good-bye, life,” she said to the man ready to shoot her.

Remarkably, the rebel didn’t pull the trigger, and Sandra escaped into the night.

Thus began a new life for her and her surviving family members. With no home and no money, they struggled to stay alive. Eventually, through a United Nations refugee program, they moved to America, only to face yet another ethnic disconnect. Sandra may have crossed an ocean, but there was now a much wider divide she had to overcome. And it started with middle school in New York.

In this profoundly moving memoir, Sandra tells the story of her survival, of finding her place in a new country, and of her hope for the future.

About the Author:

Sandra Uwiringiyimana is a student at Mercy College in New York City. Along with her family, she formed the Foundation of Hope Ministries, a group that helps survivors of the Gatumba massacre. In telling her story, Sandra has shared the world stage with Charlie Rose, Angelina Jolie, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Tina Brown at the Women in the World Summit.

She addressed the United Nations Security Council at the request of Ambassador Samantha Power to plead with world leaders to act on the pressing issue of children in armed conflict.

Abigail Pesta is an award-winning journalist who has lived and worked around the world, from New York to London to Hong Kong. Her investigative and feature reporting has appeared in global publications including Cosmopolitan, the New York Times, Marie Claire, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Glamour, the Atlantic, New York magazine, and many others. She is a vice president of the Overseas Press Club of America.

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • Young Adult Nonfiction / Social Topics / Emigration & Immigration
  • Ages 13 And Up, Grades 8 And Up