Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

Shahana

Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

Shahana

Article excerpt

Title: Shahana

Author: Rosanne Hawke

Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2013

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Rosanne Hawke's Shahana is the first in a series of fiction titled Through my Eyes that aims to give young readers insight into the lives of other young people living in conflict zones around the world.

After losing her parents, grandparents and her older brother in the conflict, 13-year-old Shahana and her 9-year-old brother Tanveer are left as orphans. The siblings live in their grandfather's hut, isolated in the forest, near the dangerous Line of Control that divides Kashmir. The world around them is filled with soldiers and gunfire; it is not a safe place to be. Shahana takes responsibility for the life of Tanveer and does embroidery for a business owner in the nearby village to make money to buy food and medicine to get them by. The two rescue a boy, Zahid, who has come from the other side of the Line of Control, nursing him back to health and giving him shelter for the winter. Taking in Zahid leads to challenges for Shahana but the boy is able to give company to Tanveer and provide extra protection for them in the forest. Shahana is caught in her own conflict as she is forced to become more responsible and to live like an adult, while those around her still view her as a child who can be taken advantage of.

Shahana's experiences force her to grow up far quicker than any 13-year-old should be expected to. …

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