Narrated by two teenage boys on opposing sides of the conflict between the Burmese government and the Karenni, one of Burma's many ethnic mirities, this coming-of-age vel takes place against the political and military backdrop of modern-day Burma. Chiko isn't a fighter by nature. He's a book-loving Burmese boy whose father, a doctor, is in prison for resisting the government. Tu Reh, on the other hand, wants to fight for freedom after watching Burmese soldiers destroy his Karenni family's home and bamboo fields. Timidity becomes courage and anger becomes compassion when the boys' stories intersect.
Mitali Perkins is the author of several novels for children, including SECRET KEEPER, the First Daughter series, RICKSHAW GIRL, MONSOON SUMMER, and THE NOT SO STAR-SPANGLED LIFE OF SUNITA SEN. She lives in California.