Blue GoldBlue Gold
By Elizabeth Stewart
Published by Annick Press

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“Artfully blending psychological insights with global politics and business ethics, Stewart demonstrates the interconnectedness of the global economy with elegant prose and page-turning cliffhangers.” —Karen Doerksen Readerly, National Reading Campaign

 

 

Description
Coltan, or “blue gold,” is a rare mineral used in making cell phones and computers. Across continents, the lives of three teen girls are affected by the “blue gold” trade.

Sylvie’s family had to flee the Democratic Republic of the Congo after her father was killed by a rogue militia gang in the conflict for control of coltan. The refugee camp where she now lives is deplorable, and Sylvie yearns for a way out — to save not only herself, but her remaining family.

Laiping labors in a Chinese factory, soldering components for cell phones. She had left her small village to make her fortune, but the factory conditions are crushing, and the constant pressure to send money home adds to her misery. Yet when Laiping tries to improve her situation, she sees what happens to those who dare question the electronics company’s policies.

Fiona is a North American girl who, in one thoughtless moment, takes a picture on her cell phone she comes to regret. In the aftermath, she learns not only about trust and being true to oneself, but the importance of fighting for what is right.

All three teens are unexpectedly linked by these events.

Reviews & Accolades
“The human price of technology is explored from the perspectives of three teen girls in this character-driven, realistic fiction novel…The writing strikes a good balance between character development and action and uses a straightforward tone to deliver the story. Sylvie’s daily life is dangerous, and her past includes scenes of extreme violence, though the revelation of these elements isn’t glorified and the inclusion of these details gives her viewpoint authenticity and necessary background information for readers to understand what motivates the characters in her story line. A lengthy afterword gives readers statistics on the topics covered in the text and offers the author a chance to explain her inspiration for writing this story as well as her stance on the issues.”—Samantha Lumetta, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

“Apt to start conversations which are less than comfortable. Apt to raise consciousness, and awareness. Well worth reading as a social studies companion, or for entertainment, and guaranteed to open up real conversation on what to do and how to be in the consumer sense.” —Tanita Davis Finding Wonderland

“Artfully blending psychological insights with global politics and business ethics, Stewart demonstrates the interconnectedness of the global economy with elegant prose and page-turning cliffhangers.” —Karen Doerksen Readerly, National Reading Campaign

Groups Represented
Congolese
Chinese

Themes
Immigration
Survival
Human rights
Refugee life

Setting
Democratic Republic of Congo
China
Canada
Tanzania

Engagement Projects
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