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How Dare the Sun Rise

Memoirs of a War Child
Narrated by: Sandra Uwiringiyimana
Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (109 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Junior Library Guild Selection * New York Public Library's Best Books for Teens * Goodreads Choice Awards Nonfiction Finalist * Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books for Teens: Nonfiction * 2018 Texas Topaz Nonfiction List * YALSA's 2018 Quick Picks List

"This gut-wrenching, poetic memoir reminds us that no life story can be reduced to the word 'refugee.'" (New York Times Book Review)

"A critical piece of literature, contributing to the larger refugee narrative in a way that is complex and nuanced." (School Library Journal)

This profoundly moving memoir is the remarkable and inspiring true story of Sandra Uwiringiyimana, a girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who tells the tale of how she survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and overcame her trauma through art and activism. 

Sandra was just 10 years old when she found herself with a gun pointed at her head. She had watched as rebels gunned down her mother and six-year-old sister in a refugee camp. Remarkably, the rebel didn't pull the trigger, and Sandra escaped. 

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 memoir, Sandra tells the story of her survival, of finding her place in a new country, of her hope for the future, and how she found a way to give voice to her people. 

©2017 Sandra Uwiringiyimana (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Sandra's voice is mesmorizing!

How powerful to have Sandra read her own story! What a humbling perspective to realize how little we are told about the conflicts in Africa. Thank you to Sandra for sharing in vulnerability the sense of loss, depression, and struggle refugees around the world feel. Let us not forget.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Timely Child Memoir on Immigration

Would you listen to How Dare the Sun Rise again? Why?

Absolutely, I know I will. It was a remarkable story of resilience in such a young child. I can't fathom what it's like to grow up in a place where war is the norm.

What was one of the most memorable moments of How Dare the Sun Rise?

I love how she went away to find her own voice. We can teach our children lessons non-stop but there's a point where they need to start listening to their own voices.

Which character – as performed by Sandra Uwiringiyimana – was your favorite?

I loved her Mom because I can relate to her in that she always wanted the best for her child, though she didn't always know what that was.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I did listen to it in one sitting. It's easy to get wrapped up in. I wanted to know how it ended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing and powerful book

Such a wonderful story told by a brave and heroic girl. Wise beyond her years. We could all take a page from her life lessons.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very deep and authentic

Thank you Sandra; your book has inspired me and put me in tears; I was born in the South East of Congo and had so many of my friends who’s ancestors came from Rwanda; I just relived the atrocity that I witnessed from them being targeted... my neighbors, friends, classmates that I’ll never see; all that because someone hated them for no valid reason... thanks for your courage, your bravery. You’re my hero!! May God bless you and your family

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Important read

Sandra’s voice and accent are beautiful. It was heart wrenching but helpful to see how a family navigated such intense trauma. It’s also a great way to gain perspective on how to respond to the refugee crisis in the world.

I also felt like this book needs a part 2 in another 10 years. It’s clear that Sandra’s work is not finished and, in some ways just starting. She is also still working toward finding forgiveness in her quest for justice. I would love to read more should she ever write a second book.

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Amazing. Devastating. Eye opening.

How Dare the Sun Rise is written so beautifully and poetically. I cried several times throughout the book at the terrible injustices Sandra and her family experienced. Even though her story is completely different from mine, I felt I could relate to her. Her story is relevant to our lives today. The story of seeking justice and love is the ongoing story of the world, and I’m so thankful she shared her unique perspective.

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  • 04-20-19

I grew from this book

Miss Sandra‘s book was read by my daughters 11th grade English class. I heard her listening to it and thought to myself that I should read it one day because it sounded interesting. It was far more than interesting. This book is uplifting yet heartbreaking, Enlightening and familiar Giving a perspective that I had never heard before. I hope more teenagers will read this before they finish school. I hope their parents will read it as well. I guess I hope everyone will.

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Loved it!

This book was a powerful look at what it can mean to be a refugee in America. I’m so glad Sandra wrote t!

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Powerful.

Loved it. Powerful and beautiful. I look forward to hearing more about Sandra in the future.

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Memoir of the Year

I was absolutely hooked to this audio from the very first sentence. Sandra's message of love overcoming fear is inspiring and a wonderful dedication to the sister she lost. Highly recommended!