Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You

  • Interest Level: Grade 7 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

Before one fateful April day, Jeanne lived the life of a typical Rwandan girl. She fought with her little sister, went to school, and teased her brother. Then, in one horrifying night, everything changed. Political troubles unleashed a torrent of violence upon the Tutsi ethnic group. Jeanne’s family, all Tutsis, fled their home and tried desperately to reach safety. They—along with nearly 1 million others—did not survive. The only survivor of her family’s massacre, Jeanne witnessed unspeakable acts. But through courage, wits, and sheer force of will, she survived. Based on a true story, this haunting novel by Jeanne’s adoptive mother makes unforgettably real the events of the 1994 Rwandan genocide as one family experienced it. Jeanne’s story is a tribute to the human spirit and its capacity to heal.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 7 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 5
Genre Young Adult
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Publication Date 2014-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 4.5
Text Type Fiction—Historical
BISACS YAF046020, YAF024010, YAF024100
Dewey 833'.92
Lexile 790
ATOS Reading Level 5.2
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 111517
Accelerated Reader® Points 12.0
Features Awards, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews

Author: Hanna Jansen

Hanna Jansen was born in Diepholz, Germany, in 1946. For twenty years she worked as a teacher of Art, German Language, and Literature and wrote lesson units and texts for a large textbook publisher. Her first novel for young adults was published in 2000. Ever since, Hanna's books have been translated into many languages. Her novel Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You—about the genocide in Rwanda—received several awards in Germany and abroad. Hanna lives with her husband and thirteen children from all over the world—most of them African orphans—in Siegburg, Germany, near Cologne.


  • Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices, Winner, 2006
  • Tayshas Reading List, Winner, 2006
  • USBBY Outstanding International Books List, Winner, 2006
  • Booklist Editor's Choice, Winner, 2006
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2006
  • NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, Winner, 2006
  • YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, Winner, 2006



“compelling. . . an elemental account of perpetrators, victimes, and bystanders. . . this book is an important addition to the Holocaust curriculum.”
Booklist, starred review

Publishers Weekly

“Smoothly translated. . . the account of Jeanne’s survival is remarkable and inspiring, as she indeed proves herself a fighter in many ways. . . The heroine’s story ends on a welcome note of hope.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

School Library Journal

“Beautifully crafted and smoothly translated, this searing novel is all the more remarkable for the sense of place it conveys through vividly remembered details of an African world. . . Painful to read, but unforgettable, this book will provoke thought and discussion.”
School Library Journal