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It was three white civil rights workers who were slain making a stand for equality in Mississippi in , like the abolitionists before them making a political statement to their own community that slavery and segregation were not "black problems" but everyone's problem and responsibility to solve. Similarly, individual, activist white South Africans made the point that apartheid was a moral responsibility for all to end.

We see that in every story of injustice there is a movement for the good, in which there are always the survivors who decided to dedicate their lives to end it as well as those who have not been the victims but know of their moral responsibility to stand up and fight. Lisa Shannon is one of those individuals who has decided to take a stand against an evil that does not oppress her directly but offends her in its very existence. She runs for Congo women. Lisa Shannon is a woman, no different than those who have stood up against slavery and apartheid before her, who decided to act, watch, hear and even go herself into the heart of horrors and witness the atrocities herself, listening to those who have seen evil.

For survivors, their perseverance is a triumph over evil, the sheer force of will to survive and to stand tall.

A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II – Parents' Choice

For Lisa, hers is a heroine's journey of a woman who did not shy away from the horrors ongoing in the world. She is a woman who did not fear that it may be too overwhelming to confront conflict in the Congo, who did not think about how much it would cost her personally to engage. Hers is a story of compassion, clarity, determination, strength, creativity, and love. It is a story about the power of belief in the possibility of making a difference, in the possibility of good to triumph over evil, and in the power of love to triumph over hate.

I have been a witness to the joy Lisa created in the hearts of women who have survived the horror of the war in Congo. I have seen their embrace, heard their laughter and shared their joy when they learned that this one woman cares so much.

Lisa loved them so much that she traveled halfway around the world to come talk with them directly, touch them, assure them that there is still hope in this world, that it is still possible for life to go back to normal again. And, by organizing the Run for Congo events, she showed them that women all over the world care enough to run, run and run in order to draw attention to their suffering and create change. Through the most honest and sincere portrayal of emotions balanced with an astute understanding of the politics associated with the conflict, A Thousand Sisters gives a human face to war by showing that the beauty and resilience of Congolese women shines through even the darkest times of war.

Author of Code Name Verity and the Askumite Cycle, The Lion Hunters

Sometimes through their sheer determination to stay alive, or to love the child they bore out of mass rape, to process the pain they went through and the horrors they survived, to laugh despite all odds, to dance despite all pain, to believe in humanity despite all of the inhumanity they have witnessed, and to keep life going in the midst of death.

That is what women always do in war, and they do that in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lisa has borne witness to that; she has captured their strength expertly in this book. A Thousand Sisters shows the power of communication, of reaching out, of building bridges of hope.

It is the story of individual women from around the world who decided to take full ownership of their voice and their resources and become one thousand philanthropists, one thousand advocates on behalf of one thousand women whose resources have been stolen and voices ignored.

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The horror in Congo has been going on for so long, it feels as if the world has put the sounds of the women and their cries of injustice on mute. Lisa and a few American women have decided to turn up the volume, to shine the spotlight: they have listened and acted. Public diplomacy, friendship, and peace come in many different forms, and Lisa's journey of sponsoring Congolese women proves that it also comes from individuals who have made the conscious decision to act, to represent the beauty of who they are as individuals.


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Her story shows the power of connecting through our humanity, connecting through our common love for simple things--our trees and gardens, the sound of running water, and all that we all have in common regardless of where we are and where we come from. I would like to offer a special thanks to Oprah Winfrey, whose vision and passion led her to cover the story of the women in Congo before anybody else brought awareness to the issue. If Oprah had not given me the opportunity to share the story of Congolese women, I would not have the privilege of meeting Lisa and the thousands of other women who decided to act.

Elizabeth is also the author of Cobalt Squadron, a middle grade novel set in the Star Wars universe and connected to the release The Last Jedi.

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Review of A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II

Elizabeth lives in Scotland and holds both British and American citizenship. Visit her online at www.


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And an historian, too! Still, readers will be impressed by her clear, casual style and her affecting introduction to these courageous, determined pilots, mechanics, and navigators.

Insets provide information on side subjects, such as radar vs. Abundant archival photos, a bibliography, and source notes support the story. Ages 13 up. The Pearl Thief.