While reading Say You’re One of Them I became emotionally drawn to the characters. I found that the short stories were a sad and harsh reality check. This could be because all of the stories were written in the perspective of a child, or the issues involved. Uwem Akpan tells very saddening stories about prejudices against religion, and ethnicity, and the violence that goes along with that. He also tells about the everyday struggle of poverty between families. I was aware that these issues occurred, not only foreign countries, but in the United States as well, but I never had a first hand look at the personal effects it had on families.
While reading What Language is That? I found that I could really relate to the young girls. I remember being that age and having an inseparateable best friend, someone who just knows everything about you. I could not imagine one day, out of nowhere being told to just forget about them. I was pleased to find out that the girls followed their hearts instead of listening to their parents.
What compelled me most though, was the pure innocence of the girls. They did not care about the differences their parents did, they only knew the importance of their friendship. I think it is really sad to put distorted ideas and feelings onto a child. Children do not discriminate against race, ethnicity, or religion; they only see what really matters, which is someone’s personality.
It is almost an everyday occurrence to hear about atrocities based on religious disputes. For myself, especially after 9-11, I pay more attention to it on local and world news. I think it is completely ridiculous to judge and ultimately harm someone because of what they believe in or because they act differently. It is upsetting to come to terms with knowing that children are being told who they can or cannot be friends with because of these differences. When parents do this they are literally passing their negative ways of thinking onto...