Books for Adults


Bradt Guide. (2009). Rwanda (4th Ed). Bucks, England: Bradt.
This is an excellent tourist guide.

Carr, Rosmand. (2000). Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda. New York: Plume.
Memoir of an exceptional American woman who lived in the Great Lakes Region of Africa including Rwanda beginning in 1945. Provides her long, historical view of the region.

Dallaire, Romeo. (2003). Shake Hands with the Devil. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers.
Detailed personal account by the UN General stationed in Rwanda during the genocide complete with facts and documentation.

Ensign, Margee & Bertrand, William. (2009). Rwanda: History and Hope. Washington, DC: Univ. of America Press.
A timely book for those who are interested in knowing more about today’s Rwanda; how it emerged from the horrors of Genocide to become a model of development and governance is a story to be told. —David McRae

Gourevitch, Philip. (1999). We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
One of the first accounts of the genocide by a journalist with detailed knowledge of the historical, social, and cultural context of Rwanda.

Kinzer, Stephen. (2008). Land of a Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Hagiographic account of Rwandan president Paul Kagame, the Tutsi refugee who organized the Rwandan Military Front in 1994 and helped halt the genocide in Rwanda. —Publishers Weekly

Books for Children, Upper Elementary and Above

(As with all children’s books, the caregiver and/or teacher should be sure to read them before sharing with children to be sure they are appropriate.)


Bunting, Eve. (1989). Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust. New York: Jewish Pubn Society.
Although not a book specifically about Rwanda, this children’s picture book can help younger children understand the way in which a tragedy of genocide can begin.

Combres, Elizabeth. (2011). Broken Memory: A Novel of Rwanda. Toronto, CA: Groundwood Books.
A young Rwandan struggles to make sense of what she sees. She’s helped by an old man, charged with helping young child survivors.

Cornwell, Nikki and Littlewood, Karin. (2007). Christophe’s Story. London, Great Britain: Frances Lincoln Limited.
This young Rwandan refugee moves to Belgium and struggles with his new school, new language, and new life. His teacher helps him begins to make sense of his experiences.

Stassen, J.P. (2000). Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda. New York, NY: First Second Roaring Brook Press.
Recommended reading for children on the themes of helping those in need & stories from African countries

Asare, M. (1997). Sosu’s Call. Accra, Ghana: Sub-Saharan Publishers

Castle, C. (text adapted). (2001). For Every Child: The Rights of the Child in Words and Pictures. New York: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.

McBrier, P. (2001). Beatrice’s Goat. New York, NY: Anne Schwartz Book, Athenuem Books for Young Readers.

Milway, K. (2008). One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference. Toronto, CA: Kids Can Press.

Thomas, S. (1998). Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Co.

Williams, K. (1990). Galimoto. New York, NY: Mulberry Books.

Piasecki, J. (2001). Marie: In the Shadow of the Lion. New York, NY: United Nations


(Parents strongly cautioned. Movies about Rwanda’s genocide, whether documentary or fictionalized, will contain material that is not suitable for children.)


Kinyarwanda (historical drama; 2011) Produced by Rwandans and written and directed by Alrick Brown, this film tells six intertwined stories of the genocide.

Do Scars Ever Fade? (documentary; 2004) Produced by the History Channel, this film follows the history of the genocide and examines the use of propaganda to recruit those complicit.

Ghosts of Rwanda (documentary; 2004) PBS’s Frontline documentary that provides interviews with officials, relief workers, U.N. peacekeepers, diplomats and survivors and examines the prospects for the future.

Keepers of Memory (documentary; 2004) Directed by Eric Kabera, this film tells the personal stories of men and women who watch over burial sites and keep the genocide victims’ memories alive.

Shake Hands with the Devil (documentary; 2005) Film by Peter Raymont that follows Canadian Lt. Gen.Roméo Dallaire, leader of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Rwanda in 1994, on a return journey to the site of the disaster; (not to be confused with the 2007 drama starring Roy DuPuis).

Beyond the Gates (also called Shooting Dogs) (historical drama; 2005) A Catholic priest and a British school teacher decide whether to flee or stay behind during the genocide; directed by Michael Caton-Jones.

Sometimes in April (historical drama; 2005) The story of two Hutu brothers on opposite sides of the conflict.

References selected and arranged by:

Kathleen F. Malu, PhD
Fulbright Scholar, Rwanda
William Paterson University of New Jersey

Jean Pierre Karegeye
Founder, Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center (IGSC)
Macalester College

Juliana Meehan
Rutongo Embroideries