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VOLUME 15, NUMBER 10 -- December 8, 2008

-- Review --

Playing poker with the Devil

Wesley Saxena and Kiernan Majerus-Collins (USA): A card game is slow and drags in the beginning. It can be boring, humorous and sometimes surprise you.

The same can be said about The Seafarer, an unusual play showing at TheaterWorks in Hartford.

Written by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, The Seafarer will make you realize how detrimental drinking really is.

Sharky, Ivan and Richard (Dean Nolen, John Ahlin, and Edmond Genest) are just three hung-over Irish losers that like to play poker. But when Christmas Eve rolls around and Satan (Allen McCullough) comes a calling, it's not to sing carols or deliver eggnog.

"Mr. Lockhart" lost a game of cards to Sharky, the underachieving leader of the group, long ago. But the Devil never forgets and he's back, eager for a full house – of souls. . Full Article


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'I'm not an animal' : A former slave's story of the Sudan

Rachel Glogowski (USA): What began as any normal day for Sudanese man Francis Bok ended in the hell of being captured into child slavery that would change the rest of his life. Yet Bok is now seeking forgiveness for the people responsible for the nightmare.

Bok was only seven when his mother sent him to the local market to sell peanuts and eggs for the family and Northern Sudanese men raided the village, viciously slaughtering the men and capturing the women and children.

Bok, who could only speak his native tribal language as a child, said he couldn’t understand why they hated him.

I knew that I couldn’t fight back, because if I do, I would get killed,” Bok said at a recent appearance at the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury.

That terrible night in 1986, Bok’s captors took him into Northern Sudan and forced him to be a child slave for an Arab family. He never saw his parents or sisters again, and learned years later that they were burned alive in the raid on his Southern Sudan village.

Although his masters were cruel and spat on and beat Bok daily, he never lost hope.

I may not have anyone to talk to me and to love me but I know God does,” he said.

Bok said he dreamed of being free and growing up to be like the man his father was.   Full Article



Justin Skaradosky/ Youth Journalism International



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When Hurricane Katrina smashed ashore in 2005, Louisiana teen Samantha Perez started writing about the storm that washed away much of her old life. Her journal, chronicled in the pages of The Tattoo, is all online at Hurricane Journal. Read it for an eye-opening and intensely personal look into the eye of the worst storm in recent history.


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