Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton, 2004, Annick Press is well written. It shows the volatility of people's emotions--one minute Chanda loves her neighbor Mrs. Tafa and the next she is totally mad at her. The setting is Africa the problem is Aids.
16-year-old Chanda and the rest of her family and neighbors don't talk about people having Aids, but say they have cancer or something else. Yet Aids is rampant and many people are dying from it. This brave teenager not only survives her own grief, but speaks out about the problem which gives the people around her the chance to speak openly.
Sidney Sheldon says, "You get your readers emotionally involved in your characters by being emotionally involved yourself. Your characters must come alive for you. When you are writing about them, you have to feel all the emotions they are going through--hunger, pain, joy, despair. if you suffer along with them and care what happens to them, so will the reader." Allan Stratton must have suffered with his characters. No wonder this book has won so many awards.
Read about Allan at his publisher's website: http://www.annickpress.com/ai/stratton.html
Want to help fight the battle of AIDS in Africa? Help a caregiver serving the sick by participating in assembling Caregiver Kits. Learn more by calling 866-962-4453 or go to www.worldvision.org/kits/caregiver-kits.html. (I've been involved with World Vision for over 20 years--mainly through their Child Sponsorship organization--it's a trustworthy organization.)