Irrepressible Spirit

by Susan Kuklin

Kuklin begins by summarizing the processes she used to conduct interviews and gather... read more

Kuklin begins by summarizing the processes she used to conduct interviews and gather information about human rights activism, claiming no intention to single out or condemn any one nation or ideology. Irrepressible Spirit is organized according to types of human rights: Freedom of Expression, Freedom from Communal Violence, The Right to One's Life, Freedom from Bondage, The Rights of the Child, The Right to Vote, and The Road toward Democracy. Kuklin excluded abuses resulting because of cultural or religious practices and showed only a sample of the "many abuses inflicted on women and children all over the world." Activists telling their own or others' stories are Li Lu (China); David Moya (Cuba); Ivana Nizich (Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia); Monique Mujawamariya (Rwanda); Ben Penglase (Brazil); Joe Ingle (U.S.A.); Jeannine Guthrie (Burma, Thailand, Nepal, India); Chanrithy Ouk (Cambodia); Michelle India Baird (Jamaica); Fatemeh Ziai (Tajikstan); and Peter Volmink (South Africa). Each first person account is concluded with an activist's pithy advice to young readers. Usually the advice involves writing - to legislators, to national leaders, to dictators, to known violators of human rights. Often the advice is general: "Don't buy into stereotypes. Don't assume someone is evil because they are members of a certain religion, race, or ethnic group...Don't take for granted what everybody tells you, even your leaders..." (Ivana Nizich). Faces and stories are linked to the places about which Kuklin provides information, documentation and action possibilities to her readers. Relevant articles are listed at the end along with information about human rights organizations. The opening quotation is attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt: "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world." Such places and actions can be glimpsed in this dynamic volume. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1996

show less