Picture Books

Eight Days

A picture book about a child trapped under the rubble of an earthquake? It would take a rare writer to accomplish such a feat.

Edwidge Danticat does it.

Eight Days uses very simple text and vivid, splashy pictures to narrate the eight days of Junior’s wait beneath his collapsed house in Haiti. Unable to move his body, he moves in his mind. Each day, he imagines a different kind of play, a different experience, a different memory.

Junior is 7, and he was playing with his friend Oscar when the earthquake hit. On the fifth day, Oscar dies. But on the eighth day, Junior’s parents find him.

We’ve all seen images of the destruction and death after the Haitian earthquake. But Alix Delinois’  pictures in this book put Haiti’s pre-quake beauty front and center. Bright and bold, full of smiling, loving people, Junior’s visions may be a truer representation of what those who have survived continue to bear in mind as they slowly rebuild their country.

A very simple, powerful book, Eight Days provides terms for children as they try to process the large and difficult things of the world. It’s been out since September, but late is definitely better than never.

  • The author describes reading the story to Haitian children here.
  • NPR interview here.

1 thought on “Eight Days

  1. Wow! How did your younger dd fare with this one? My girls talk about Haiti sometimes because their music teacher travels there sometime and mentions it in class.

    I read a Danticat story but never got around to reviewing it. She’s a talented author.

Comments are closed.