What teachers and students have to say about Bullets, Blood and Stones:
Awesome projects and fantastic reviews from the grade 7&8 students at Al-Ameen Elementary School:
This book was an amazing book! Bullets, Blood, and Stones was very moving at times and made me think “what if i was in that position?”.Donna White did an incredible job writing Bullets, Blood, and Stones and it was a rollercoaster of emotions. This book showed me the reality of life!
I really enjoyed this book! There are some parts that make you happy and some parts that make you sad. This book tells you about the dangerous things the LRA made the Ugandan children do. I would definitely like to see this book turn into a movie! I really think that the author Donna White put a lot of time into writing this amazing book!
Wow what an amazing book ! Donna White showed us the ugly truth of the child soldier reality. I couldn't help but wonder what would I do in that situation. Definitely this book makes me appreciate of the good things I have that I take guarantee of. Full of emotion and adrenaline.Thanks Donna White for writing such a great book. This book is a truly beautiful book reflecting on the children of Uganda at the time the L.R.A had risen to power. The story is heart-touching. As a young student, not just learning that this world is vast but learning that there are things happening in this world that are unimaginable. I had felt so many feelings while reading this book. At times, I felt like jumping for joy or delighted while reading the best parts of the book, or clutching fists as anger burned inside of me or holding back tears while reading the tragic scenes. I was filled with amazement as I wondered how the author [Donna White] had put so much effort in making the reader able to visualize the story in their head. I would recommend this book,’’ Bullets, Blood and Stones’’ to everyone because it can teach you something, it can give you an experience you will never forget.
This is a wonderful Book, it teaches us that somewhere in this world, there are child soldiers, children just like us, forced to fight in war.This Book is about two Canadian Boys, Scott,and Bruce, who came to understand how it actually feels to BE a child soldier. This book taught me that, while I’m here living a good life.. Children in places like Uganda suffered a bad life and some still do.I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.
Bullets, Blood, and Stones is a really interesting book. When you read only the first chapter of this book you can’t put this book down. It's filled with sad, happy, and funny moments. When I finished reading this book I realized two things. Firstly, how could the children survive with being tortured, if I was in their situation I would have died. Secondly, sometimes we are unthankful for the things we have. We should be thankful at all times because there are so many people out there that don’t even have houses to live in. What made this story more interesting for me was the stones, how they could change someone’s personality. I think everyone should read this book, it’s filled with many inspiring things. Donna White put a lot of effort in this story.
In my opinion, this book was an emotional experience that I enjoyed.This book was very well balanced and interesting to read, some chapters were more emotional than others and some were very funny,This book was beneficial to me and it gives you a basic understanding of Uganda.This book overall was an educational book and I recommend reading it or trying it. This was a very cool book and it had a lot of lessons for example it talks about Joseph Kony who kidnapped so many kids for his army and the reason why he did that is because a grown man wouldn't want to fight or shoot a small kid that is probably around eight years old so that's the advantage you get by kidnapping kids for your small army.
I mean, come on! When you read a book that is named Bullets, Blood, and Stones, you’d think it would be all seriousness and sorrow, but no! Donna White, who wrote the book and self-published it has put so much detail that is appropriate and that it welcomes us to the real world, not a world where it’s fun and games for everyone, but a world of sorrow, anguish, death, and resentment. It showed to anyone who was not being forced to shoot or kill his own mother or father and is shown no love the moment they kill someone. For them, killing is to survive. We should be lucky that we are not put into a situation like this! But we can’t just ignore it because we’re not being forced to do it. Child labour is defined as putting children to work in hazardous conditions, so if being a ‘child soldier’ is a form of child labour that means there are a lot of kids being forced to kill. We should support them, not ‘Shove the problem under the rug’. This book uncovers a serious problem. A problem we should do something about. Now.
This book is absolutely wonderful!. It has emotions, Happiness, Sadness and even Madness.Donna White really knows how to add fiction and nonfiction stories combined into the most inspiring story.When Charlie told the story of his Mother it brought sadness. Tears would always flow down my eyes every time I would read that. It makes me feel grateful of all the things I have.That part of the story is sad ,But then Donna White translates that story into happiness when Bruce and Charlie are given food.Bruce learns a lessons and so does Charlie. I think this story is very inspiring to youngsters and even adults! This book is very beautiful and I think the world should give Donna White credit.We should also learn a lesson and be grateful for all the luxurious things we have.
The book gives me great happiness ,when I read it .It reminds me that there are kids in the world that don’t have as much freedom as we do ,neither do they have the chance to get a normal life because of the circumstances they are facing.I think Donna White is an amazing author ,she has made this book entertaining ,but also kept some non-fiction to explain what these poor children are being put through.
Bullets, Blood and Stones is a very informative and interesting book. The author Donna White obviously put a lot of effort in this story. It is an amazing book that teaches you about child soldiers but also adds in some light humour so that it’s not all sad. It made me see life from the eyes of a child soldier. This book can change what you think about yourself and others. It makes you feel lucky and thankful that you didn’t experience what these children did. Bullets, Blood and Stones had me on an emotional rollercoaster! The book makes you think of your life all over again. It's such an important book to read, since it teaches you a lot about others who don’t have much. I definitely think this book should be read by everyone.
Bullets, Blood and Stones is an incredible book to read. It had quotes in every chapter that were very inspirational. Donna White did some outstanding work on Bullets, Blood and Stones. It’s such an amazing and adventurous story that she wrote. This book made me realize the importance of freedom and I hope other people do too. I am looking forward to read the next books, published by Donna White.
Bullets, Blood and Stones is one of my favourite books I have read. This book taught me about how significant child soldiers and the LRA is. The story was interesting, it had some emotional parts, as well as humorous parts. Once you started reading you couldn’t stop! Even though this story is fiction, the author shows real issues that are happening all around the world. It has the right mixture of adventure, suspense, and action to keep the reader never want to put the book down. The story starts off with a young boy living his normal life, but soon it turns into a journey to survive the struggles of good and evil. The author did an amazing job with including how horrible the life of a child soldier is, and how a normal child in Canada would live. Bullets, Blood and stones is an engaging, as well as insightful book. I enjoyed reading it and encourage everyone to read it as well!
I have never read a book that got my tears flowing. I don't think I have never cried so much before while reading a book! The emotions were endless. I really can’t believe that such horrible and evil things are going around the world, and seven-year olds these days have their own phones. It really shocks me! Reading this book made me feel so thankful for everything that I have. (Including a mother!) Bullets, Blood and Stones is a great book and 10/10 would read it again. I recommend this book to everyone to understand the struggles kids are going through all around the world.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! Often, I did not want to stop reading. But, when I did, I was able to pick up where I left off. I enjoyed the story, and the positive messages contained given the subject matter of child soldiers in Uganda. The author took me into the world of all the characters by her brilliant ability to be descriptive. I empathized with the characters and my emotions were engaged throughout. I appreciate that the book sheds light on this travesty. I look forward to the next book in this trilogy!
Bullets, Blood and Stones is a marvelous book, filled with all kinds of emotions. The book circles around a child soldier. This book features many non- fictional events or people like the story of LRA and Joseph Kony. Just by reading it you can see the time put into this book and the passion of the writer. The book is well written. The book did have some unanswered questions but if i were to guess then maybe these questions will be answered in the book’s sequel. Donna white has written a great book. Overall the book is phenomenal and worth reading. I would suggest everyone to read it. I really enjoyed the book ‘Bullets Blood and Stones’ by Donna White. I think this book is the perfect reading level for kids our age.
Photos and reviews from Mr. Sawyer and his students at Crestview Public School:
As an intermediate teacher, I’m always looking for a novel that will not only be of interest to my students, but also challenge the way they view themselves and their place in society. Donna White’s “Bullets, Blood and Stones: the journey of a child soldier” was an ideal fit on both counts. The reading level was perfect for intermediate students and given the option to buy the Kindle version (for the text to speech option), it allowed all of my students to follow along. Student interest was high due to the fact that characters were relatable, the story was well planned and the astonishing “real life” events occurring in the story were a perfect teaching opportunity of the contrasting lives of children in other parts of the world. Discussions around what motivated the characters and what they had to do in order to simply survive were exactly what I was looking for. In addition to being a novel that generates student led discussions, Mrs. White has provided chapter by chapter discussion questions and summative “additional” activities that really make it easy to work this novel into a formal novel study. The questions and activities are perfect, they are written from the perspective of both an author and teacher, and quite honestly, saved me a lot of time. They were the basis of my novel study, and with a few additions, the teacher resources section became the novel study I’m always looking for when doing a novel. Thank you Donna White, for writing a novel and accompanying teacher resources that are perfect for an intermediate teacher looking to challenge their students and make them take a good long look at the world around them.
Bullets, Blood and Stones is one of my favorite books at the moment. Its story and imagery is so opening, it caught my eye at the first sentence. It's such an emotional book. I've shed small tears while my class read through the book. ~ Ulyssia, grade 8 student
I love the book! ~ Jake, grade 8 student
I, first of all, would like to praise your book. In my opinion, the characters make the story, instead of the other way around. The development of your characters is clear, though you've still managed to keep them realistic and in-character. Charlie, Bruce, Scott, and even the background characters, like Theo, are all interesting and lovable in their own ways. Though this probably wouldn't be a book I'd just pick up and start reading on my own, I'm definitely glad we could read it as a class. ~ Cinnamon, grade 8 student
Bullets, Bloods, and Stones was a fabulous book. It hooks you in the prologue and keeps you on an emotional roller coaster. ~ Ryan, grade 8 student
It's awesome. I think this because there is always something happening next and I never get bored of it. Honestly when we read it aloud I want it to go on FOREVER! This book is so intriguing because it raises awareness to a terrible thing that still happens today. Overall this book is always on edge and even though it's fiction it's based on a true cause that should never happen in our world, but it still does. ~ Natalie, grade 8 student
This was a great book overall. I enjoyed it all the way through and did not want to stop reading. Scott was a character I really thought I could connect with as I am in the teen demographic. The characters also were pretty un-predictable; just as I thought I knew them, how they react, how they handle things bam, they did something I didn't expect. The stones were a great subject and idea to segue in and out of different situations. I find this book was a wonderful rollercoaster of emotions and I would give it a 4.5/5. ~ Nick, grade 8 student
A review from Mr. G - Winnipeg, Manitoba Intermediate teacher:
I received an advance copy of “Bullets, Blood and Stones” a while ago, and asked my students if any of them would be interested in reading the book. They were a little skeptical at first, but I read the first two chapters aloud, and piqued their interest. This was in June, and I pointed out that there would be no marks assigned to the book, that they would have to read the book entirely on their own time, and that they would have to come back to school the day after the Grade 8 Farewell ceremony in order to discuss it. As it was, twenty-four students met with Donna and me at the end of the month, and what ensued was monumental.
Donna was looking for feedback on the novel, and she received a lot of very positive comments. I had worked a lot with that particular group of students, and they had a very good working knowledge of what made for effective writing. They commented on how the writer was able to establish credibility in earlier scenes in order to suspend disbelief later on (they loved the scene where Bruce lays down in bed and says, “I’m so tired,” then a voice beside him says, “Me, too.”) and they loved the way that Bruce’s character evolved while never really changing. A prolonged debate took place regarding the ending of the novel, and several students and I felt that it required a more “Disney-like” ending: where everything ends happily ever after and Kony turns out to be just a misunderstood, lonely man. One boy in the group disagreed, and pointed out that, after reading about Kony and the LRA on the inter-net, a fairytale ending would be trite and would demean the efforts of Charlie to overcome the evil in his country. He maintained that real villainy isn’t defeated in two hundred pages, and that what made “Bullets, Blood and Stones” so effective was that the book never preached a simple solution to a complex problem. I was very proud of my students for coming to such a mature realization.
Another important comment also came out of that meeting. Several girls in class had read the Hunger Games trilogy earlier in the year, and commented that “Bullets, Blood and Stones” was a better book. I asked why, and one girl said that it was because Donna’s book was so realistic. “Even with the magic stones?” I asked. “Well, yes,” she replied. “You knew that the stones were powerful because of what happened to Scott in the cave. And everything else was so realistic that I started to believe that there really were stones with the power to transport you to other places.” That’s what happens when children read “Harry Potter” and when young adults read “The Lord of The Rings.” Good literature should wrap you up in a different world, and make it seem like you had always been there.
That realism comes at a cost, though. There were several scenes in the novel that I found to be disturbing, and I asked the students about them. When asked about the scene where the soldiers cut off the minister’s lips, one of the boys suggested that, although he sees a lot of violence in video games, this sort of violence sickened him, and made him understand that war was not a romantic endeavour. Nobody felt that the violence was gratuitous: it served a specific purpose within the context of the novel.
An entertaining part of our discussion was when we talked about the writer dangling a carrot at the end of the chapters. Many of the students told me that they had a hard time putting the book down, and several of them finished it in one day or over the weekend. One student, who didn’t participate in this original discussion, informed me that her step-mother borrowed the book one day, then remarked at breakfast the next morning that, “It was horrible!” My student was surprised. “What do you mean it was horrible? I liked it,” she said. “No,” replied her step-mom, “I meant that what the LRA has done to these children is horrible. The book is fantastic! I couldn’t put it down!” It says a lot about a book when adults and young adults stay up all night reading it!
I’ve often asked my students to do research around a novel, especially when they have been reading historical fiction, and they have found that it adds another dimension to the story. “Bullets, Blood and Stones” was no exception, and several of my students commented that they started reading about Joseph Kony, Uganda, and the Lord’s Resistance Army to see if the writer was telling the truth. They were impressed when Donna was able to tell them first-hand accounts of her travels in Uganda, and many of them expressed a desire to find out more about what was happening in central Africa. It was good to see how effective the book was in informing the students of the tragedy of war.
Since that first book club meeting with my students, I have met with other groups and individuals to discuss the book. Our talks are always entertaining, and the comments are always very positive and appreciative. I had another literature circle meeting with some grade nine students, and their first question was, “When does the next book come out?” They felt that the book was better suited to a slightly older (high school) audience because of the world issues discussed, but they also felt that they would have enjoyed the book as grade eight students. They also commented on the use of Acholi throughout the book, and how the author had revealed the meaning of the Acholi words without dumbing it down or providing footnotes. “I felt like I knew Acholi by the time I finished the book,” one student noted. Then she added that, “I also got a sense of the rhythm of the language, and I could almost sing the words that Charlie was saying.” That was an interesting insight!
In retrospect, two very important realizations came out of these literature circle discussions. Firstly, I realized how proud I am of my students and their ability to analyze fiction. They are a wonderful group of dedicated learners, and I feel blessed for having been able to work with them. My second realization, though, is that “Bullets, Blood and Stones” is a wonderful vehicle for teaching literature: it suspends disbelief, it foreshadows effectively, it creates dramatic tension, and it delves into human nature in a bold and honest manner. The novel uses a reluctant hero, Bruce, who is a foil to the guy (Scott) who wants to be a hero, but learns that the true nature of heroism is sacrifice. And, at the end of the day (or, the end of the year) it is especially rewarding to teach such a wonderful novel to such a wonderful group of students.
Photos and reviews from Ms. Dampier and her grade 7&8 class at Westmount Public School in Thunder Bay, Ontario
I teach a Grade 7/8 Global Citizenship class and we read this novel as a class book study. All of my students found the novel engaging, well-written and emotional. It helped them gain insight into the plight of child soldiers, and they especially became very connected to Charlie. My students wrote reviews of the novel via email to the author, Donna. Their highlights are listed below:
I really loved this book and it was never out of my mind. I was always thinking about it and what would happen next.
I like this book because it was very emotional
Bullet, Blood and Stones is one of my favorite books at the moment. Its story and imagery is so opening, it caught my eye at the first sentence. It's such an emotional book. I've shed small tears while my class read through the book.
The book gets to me a lot
I loved how this book is based off of real life events and at the same time its fiction.
I love the way it makes me feel
It’s like a roller coaster
I think the book is so awesome and when we’re reading it I feel like I'm in the book
The book is really amazing and the story just wow I mean it made me feel a bunch of emotions like sadness and anger and disgust. The book was really inspiring
This was a great book overall. I enjoyed it all the way through and did not want to stop reading.
The characters also were pretty un-predictable; just as I thought I knew them, how they react, how they handle things bam, they did something I didn't expect.
I found this book was a wonderful rollercoaster of emotions and I would give it a 4.5/5
When Bruce and Scott were in Uganda I felt like I was there and in the book
I think this book was a awesome book. I loved when Bruce tried to put his bad to the side to the end and to help people and to do the right thing. This was a book that was full of emotion and was very heart felt.
I love how it is so deep but also funny.
The book was a roller coaster.
Bullets, Bloods, and Stones was a fabulous book. It hooks you in the prologue. I love the book
I really enjoyed the book. I am really looking forward to the next ones!!!!!! I love it! It’s taken me through a rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes I feel upset, angry, scared, sad and joyful. I, first of all, would like to praise this book. In my opinion, the characters make the story, instead of the other way around. The development of the characters is clear, though the author still manages to keep them realistic and in-character. Charlie, Bruce, Scott, and even the background characters, like Theo, are all interesting and lovable in their own ways. Though this probably wouldn't be a book I'd just pick up and start reading on my own, I'm definitely glad we could read it as a class. It's awesome. I think this because there is always something happening next and I never get bored of it. Honestly when we have read aloud I want it to go on FOREVER! This book is so intriguing because it raises awareness to a terrible thing that still happens today. Overall this book is always on edge and even though it's fiction it's based on a true cause that should never happen in our world, but it still does. I think this book was an amazing book! Every chapter left me on a cliff hanger and it always made me want to keep reading and not put the book down! This is a book that made me want to read the other 2 books in this series when they come out. The only part I would critique in this book is... I thought that when you introduced Charlie it was kind of confusing who he was... that's my opinion... I will definitely be a person who buys your other books!