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Journey to Jo'burg [Paperback]

Beverley Naidoo
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Sep 1999 Collins Modern Classics

This is the story of love, commitment and the flowering of the human spirit against the background of South Africa’s apartheid.

Frightened that their baby sister Dineo will die, thirteen-year-old Naledi and her younger brother Tiro run away from their grandmother to Johannesburg to find their mother, who works there as a maid. Their journey illustrates at every turn the grim realities of apartheid – the pass laws, bantustans, racism, the breakdown of family life.
The opulence of the white “Madam’s” house contrasts starkly with the reality that Naledi and Tiro face – that their baby sister is suffering from starvation, not an incurable disease.

Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; New edition edition (6 Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007635648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007635641
  • ASIN: 0006754554
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.8 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 446,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Beverley Naidoo was born in South Africa and grew up under apartheid. After arrest and detention without trial, she came to England. She married another exile and was only able to return freely twenty-six years later, after Nelson Mandela's release from jail. Their two children were brought up in England where she still lives. She goes back to South Africa to stay in touch, especially with young people. A teacher for many years, she has a doctorate in education and a number of honorary degrees. Journey to Jo'burg was her first children's book. It was an eye-opener for readers worldwide, winning awards, but it was banned in South Africa until 1991

Product Description


“ This story is compelling”

“This inspirational tale…”

“Growing awareness of the sufferings of South Africa’s black children brings renewed point to Beverley Naidoo’s Journey to Joburg, a story for young readers, the more searing for its gentleness, that makes them ask questions we must learn to answer.”

From the Publisher

This new edition of Beverley Naidoo's classic story includes a special "Why You'll Love This Book" introduction by Michael Rosen, the Children's Laureate. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Naledi and Tiro were worried. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Having read "The Other Side of Truth" and "No Turning Back" I went on to read "Journey to Jo'Burgh." Like her other novels once you start reading it you cannot put it down. This is a very moving account of life for a typical black family living in the country in South Africa during the apartheid years.The baby gets a fever and the older sister and brother, realising the baby is very ill, set off on foot to find their mother in Jo'burgh over 300km away. What happens to them on the journey and subsequently makes a very gripping story. I could not read the book quickly enough as I became so concerned for the welfare of the children. It gives an excellent insight into what an apartheid meant and I would encourage any child as they become aware of human rights to read this. Any adult who like me was too young to realise what was happening in South Africa in the apartheid times needs to read it. I would like to visit South Africa now.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a Journey! 25 Mar 2008
My Dad bought me this book, and i really enjoyed it.Finished it in an hour! I only rated it 4 stars because i thought that it just stopped.If there was a follow up, of what the girl did with her life it would be great! Still, the book had a gripping story line and gives you a taste of what it was and is like, for Coloured people in White community's,and how fortunate we are to live in a country, with all the modern appliances and running clean fresh water.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is a can't put down book .It gives the reader an insight into the lives of many black south african Familys.I Advise you to go out and buy this book before its too late .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 3 April 2009
This is a really empathetic book that I have used with children aged 9 and 10. It gives them a great feel for racism and the horrific prejudice that people have faced, and in some cases, still do face. I thoroughly recommend this book...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey to Jo'burg book. 16 July 2011
By Izzy
Bought the book because the class i work with work were working on part of this story and we all wanted to know the whole story. Very good. The children enjoyed it and were interested to know if the endings they had written to the story matched the book.Well worth buying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captured by son's imagination 4 Sep 2010
By Emma
My son was eight when his teacher read this book to his class. He was completely captured by the book and the issues that it deals with. The whole class loved it, including the teacher...a friend of mine! Wonderful book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
In common with many schools, we are teaching about South Africa, on the run up to the World Cup. I shared this book with my year 3/4 class and was amazed at how involved the children were with the story and the maturity of their comments about the apartheid system. Careful research into the "Time of Fire" led all of us into a deeper understanding of the terrible injustices suffered by black people. Can't recommend the book highly enough.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great journey! 16 July 2009
A beautiful story. I read it and study it with my class of year4 and they loved it. They liked learning about the arpatheid. The story is filled with dilemmas. A must have in the classroom as this is brilliant for drama. They enjoyed re-enacting the chapters as well as writing letters to offer advice to the characters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent read
A really good book to use in KS2 for Literacy - my pupils really enjoyed it and it gave them real insight into Apartheid era South Africa.
Published 1 month ago by Carla
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, strong characters, full of dilemmas and with a positive...
I used this book with my year 4 class in narrative writing. They got so much from it, the main characters are inspiring and there is a great moral to this story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
I purchased this to share with my Year 5 class. The story was quite inspirational and generated many good ideas for writing. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sharati Larki
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!!
like it because it inspires me to be the person I want to be.THANK YOU BEVERLY NAIDOO

Published 3 months ago by Michelle Moritz-Cammack
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
A lovely but moving story about Africa and if you cry for Disney movies don't read this it will definitely make you cry
Published 3 months ago by Nat B
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing some home truths about in a gentle way.
When my daughter told me about a book titled journey to jo'burg that she started reading at school in their book club, I was immediately interested in the story. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Bought for my younger brother, but I have been assured of how good it is. Very high quality book, would recommend it.
Published 5 months ago by Natasha Douglas
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartwrenching tale of love
I bought this to read with my year 4 class and was astonished by how sad and honest an interpretation is given of what life was like living during apartheid. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lil Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for kids
Needed it for Literacy stories from other cultures, it was very useful and children really enjoyed it. A great buy :)
Published 6 months ago by Suzanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I loved this book. This book has taught me that the blacks are the same as us they are no different
Published 7 months ago by Lily7382
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