Title: Here I Stand
Author: Many Authors collected by Amnesty International
Rating: 5/5 stars
Page Count: 320 pages
Genre: short stories, freedom, injustice, human rights
This is a collection of short stories, poems and comic strips all to do with human rights and freedom. These incredibly inspirational stories are from Frances Hardinge, Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell, Matt Haig and many more fantastic authors, illustrators and poets.
HERE IS A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW
I Believe by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell
The first story I want to talk about is I Believe by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell. Although this is only a few pages and few words it conveys the most powerful message of all which is about freedom of speech and imagination. It is just so simple but also powerful and beautiful.
The Invention of Peanut Butter by Matt Haig
I really enjoyed this story as it was about a town that lived on peanuts but then someone started to innovate and make peanut butter but someone has been eating more than his fair share I wonder who it could be? He managed to encompass so many issues with just a peanut which is true for modern-day society you take away something essential to our lives and we go into chaos. Beautifully written story with a powerful message.
Stay Home by Sita Brahmachari
It was such a heartbreaking story written with such compassion. It is about a girl who has to support and care for her mother while being a child. It just showed how important it is to support and having family around at hard times but also that we need to do something to help relieve the pressure from these children.
A Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library by Jack Gantos
This story is about this young boy is a suicide bomber and he is just sitting in the library observing and contemplating his task. I cried after reading this story you just felt so much anger and emotion but at the same time there was a beauty in his words.
Bystander by Frances Hardinge
This story is about modern-day witchcraft as this girl is being accused of being a witch and their methods of excommunication are appalling. This was for me a very enlightening story as I knew of it still being around but not to the extent that this story explains. So stunningly written and hopefully will raise a lot of awareness to stop this torture in modern-day life.
Speaking Out for Freedom by Chelsea Manning
This was an interview with Chelsea Manning about how she leaked information she gained from the US army. This interview was so sad but thought-provoking in the way we look at freedom of opinion and expression.
Sludge by Sarah Crossan
It was another heartbreaking story about an oil spill that happens near Rax and Sula’s families homes and it turns their worlds upside down. I loved that she intertwined friendship into the story it gave it so much more depth. This story also made me so angry because there was no responsibility taken by those who made the spill happen. So there is no one sent in to help repair the village so the people of the village have to move on. Not only that but the nature of the village may never repair to its original state. It just shows the devastation of the modern world when help is not given.
This collection of short stories broke me emotionally and opened my eyes to situations in the world that I had no idea about. They are all beautifully written with such power and depth of understanding. These were just some of my favourite stories but there are many more fabulous stories, poems and comic strip in this book. Hopefully if you read this book it will inspire you to help Amnesty International in any of their projects even the smallest bit helps. I do have to say one more thing Frances Hardinge and Sarah Crossan stories were beautifully written and I really think they should be their next books!
If you have read Here I Stand or are wanting to read it and have any questions let me know in the comments below. Also on Amnesty International’s website they have teachers notes for these stories here is the link: