Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen


and the


Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunman: An Ordinary Family's Extraordinary Tale of Love, Loss, and Survival in Congo

An Ordinary Family’s Extraordinary Tale
of Love, Loss, and Survival in Congo

Discover the book critics are calling:

“Harrowing” “Eloquent”
“Valiant record…of vital witnesses” “An absolute must read.”
Act Now
Discussion Guides

Praise for Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen

Mama Koko Book Review This compelling narrative is not easily forgotten, nor are the many people whose stories she collected. This is a valiant record of the testimonies of vital witnesses; readers will not be able to look away.

— Booklist

Mama Koko Book Review Harrowing… Shannon’s book bother offers a rich portrait for her subjects’ lives and serves as a call to action… A highly personal and memorable story.

— Kirkus

Mama Koko Book Review An absolute must read….Each member of the family is so eloquently characterized that their names could be removed from the novel and the reader would still be able to tell them apart.

— Jaclyn Bauer, Chicagoist

Mama Koko Book Review An eye-opening account of the atrocities still being conducted in Congo and a beautiful story of an extended family holding on to its pride and connections despite the horrible odds.

— Lee E. Cart, Shelf Awareness

Mama Koko Book Review Lisa Shannon is known for the courage, grace, and love through which she brings to everyone’s attention the harshness and beauty of humanity experienced in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With a compassionate eye, she analyzes how ordinary individuals deal with that difficult reality. In Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen, Shannon shows the magic of her writing by taking the reader on that journey. It is a journey of the heart that everyone should read.

— Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International and author of Between Two Worlds

Mama Koko Book Review Lisa Shannon drills down past the tawdry stereotypes to give the reader privileged insight into part of the Congolese conflict, dealing in equal measure with the humanity and the horror.

— Jason Stearns, author of Dancing in the Glory of Monsters

Mama Koko Book Review In Mama Koko, Lisa Shannon has managed a rare feat of empathy: a character who is so strong and centered, and whose journey through difficulty is not sentimental but a real and complicated transformation. This is a small miracle of life and love that we can all believe in. This is a lovely book and a deeply human one.

— Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas and GraceLand

Mama Koko Book Review In this moving story, Lisa Shannon is able to infuse human dignity into two overlapping tragedies: the deadly war in Congo and the ferocious attacks against local people in Congo by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army…. [T]he stories woven together throughout Mama Koko prove that … survivors can also be voices for action and change. Shannon reflects on the roles we all play—as advocates, refugees, survivors—and the tenacity of collective power in the face of unimaginable adversity.

— John Prendergast, founding director, Enough Project