In preparation of our social studies capstone project, each of you choose and are reading one of three (3) novels. In our capstone, which you will learn more about in a few weeks, you will be investigating children’s rights and quality of life in a country other than the United States. You will be using the following essential questions to guide your study of the April novel study and the social studies capstone project.

How does where a child lives impact her/her well being/quality of life?
What are the factors that contribute to the treatment of children around the world?

How are the rights of children abided by in various parts of the world?

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The setting for this historical novel is war-torn Cambodia during the early 1980s. Twelve-year old Dara and her family have just arrived at a refugee camp on the Thai-Cambodian border where they make friends with Nea, her cousin Jantu, and their family. Jantu helps Dara cope with the conditions in her makeshift home by telling stories and making toys, including a "magical" clay marble. Soon the fighting and shelling reach the camp, and there is a mass exodus. On the road, the girls leave the group to search a relief truck for food. A bomb explodes, injuring Jantu's baby brother. When the baby is transported to a hospital, Jantu gives Dara a marble with even stronger "magic" and sends her to find their families. On her journey, Dara encounters several adventures that require courage, quick thinking, and perseverance. When the families are finally reunited, an accident causes a confrontation between Dara and Sarun, forcing each one to decide whether to fulfill their dream of returning home or to choose a different path.

Video Links:
Nong Chan the refugee camp where Dara and her family live during the war.

What is happening in Cambodia today?

Go Cambodia is one organization that is trying to help the people of Cambodia. They are based in Australia.