Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You

by Hanna Jansen

Author Hanna Jansen recounts the circumstances that led her adopted Rwandan daughter,... read more

Author Hanna Jansen recounts the circumstances that led her adopted Rwandan daughter, Jeanne, to their family in Germany. Jeanne’s chapters are told in the third person, and describe her life before, during, and after the wars in her native Rwanda that led her to be orphaned. Hanna’s chapters are told as her own first-person reactions to her daughter’s tragic experiences. Occasionally, she switches to second-person, addressing Jeanne directly, always with a mix of great sadness for what her daughter had to endure and love and admiration for the grace and strength with which she survived. As a memoir, it works, as Jeanne was only seven when the war began and had very little understanding of the sudden violence in her country. A brief timeline in the back highlights the major events up to 2005, although not much is said about the Tutsis and the Hutus, and why there was a conflict. Jeanne’s story is one of brutal violence and loss. The only person in her family to survive, she bears the scars of over a million Rwandans, both those killed and those that survive as refugees.

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2007

show less