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The Other Side of Truth [Paperback]

Beverley Naidoo
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

27 April 2000
This is the story of 12 year-old Sade and her brother Femi who flee to Britain from Nigeria. Their father is a political journalist who refuses to stop criticising the military rulers in Nigeria. Their mother is killed and they are sent to London, with their father promising to follow. Abandoned at Victoria Station by the woman paid to bring them to England as her children, Sade and Femi find themselves alone in a new, often hostile, environment. Seen through the eyes of Sade, the novel explores what it means to be classified as 'illegal' and the difficulties which come with being a refugee.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; FIRST EDITION edition (27 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141304766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141304762
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,246 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

Amazon Review

Set during the Autumn of 1995 in the aftermath of Ken Saro-Wiwa's execution in Nigeria for alleged political crimes, Beverley Naidoo's frighteningly topical novel is a reminder about just how good children's teenage fiction can sometimes be. Tackling multiple themes--most importantly injustice, the right to freedom of speech, the complexities of political asylum, bullying and, ultimately, the strength of the family--The Other Side of Truth is a gripping story that undoubtedly deserves its widespread acclaim and success.

In turn, the narrative lunges from tragedy in the opening scene, to excitement as the young lead characters begin their bid for freedom, then to frustration as the seemingly safe haven of Britain turns out to be anything but.

Sade and her brother Femi are the children of an outspoken Nigerian journalist. When an assassination attempt on their father's life leaves their mother slain instead, their world is understandably turned upside down. The family must flee the country to survive. Sade and Femi are sent on ahead, escaping the country undercover as the children of a shady Nigerian woman called Mrs Bankhole. She unscrupulously abandons them in London and their only contact in this big, strange and alien capital city is their uncle--but he too is missing. With nowhere to go and nobody to turn to, they are soon swept up by the British legal system and Sade and Femi begin to wonder if they are any better off when they become the victims of bullying in their new, albeit temporary school.

A Silver Award winner in the 2000 Nestlé Smarties Awards, Naidoo's book is in many ways more than just a story. The author was born in South Africa and has written about that continent and discrimination before in a number of acclaimed books including Journey to Jo'burg and No Turning Back. She knew firsthand of the shocking situation in Nigeria in the mid-1990s through friends who were hopeful of a move towards democracy. She wanted to write about the effect of such politics on children and also, by setting a lot of the story in England, to draw attention to the fact that issues such as neglect of human rights and injustice are local issues too.

The book has a powerful tale to tell, tinged with enough echoes of truth to make it a compelling yet uncomfortable experience. (Age 12 and over) --John McLay


'A marvellous read...that refuels the desire for justice and freedom'. - Jon Snow; 'This is a future classic'. - Times Educational Supplement --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Sade is slipping her English book into her schoolbag when Mama screams. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and exciting read 14 Oct 2001
I really enjoyed The Other Side of Truth because it was a seat-gripping nail-biting story. It has a sad beginning but don't let it stop you reading the book. Two children called Sade and Femi have to leave Nigeria and come to London by themselves and they face many problems. I think this is a great book for anybody over the age of 9 years to read - my Mum really enjoyed it too.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 3 Oct 2000
By A Customer
A moving account of separation and political asylum told through the eyes of Sade and her brother Femi who as a result of their mother's untimely death must depart for London - alone. The text deals well with real issues (fear, loss, politcal trouble, asylum and racism) in a heart-warming and approachable manner. Naidoo traces the childrens journey in a well-documented fashion. Her novel speaks out on many levels, but above all she highlights the very notion that if "you keep quiet about the truth, injustice always wins". The novel becomes a clever blend of fact and fiction. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages, since it is both fascinating, gripping and educational.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a brilliant book, and I would reccomend anyone to read it. It is a gripping story, about refugees, and the danger of walking the London streets at night. This book takes you through the guilt trip after stealing, the meaning of friendship and the price of telling the truth. A perfect example of showing how one lie can lead to another. This book is very well written and I anticipate her next book. Even if you prefer famous novels, I advise you to read about this, it will change your veiw on lying and make you thankful we live in a democracy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Youth Fiction 2 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
socially aware, young adult fiction . Didactic rather than entertaining. Not voluntarily read, rather, required by teachers as educationally valuable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the other side of truth review 15 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i read this book not expecting it to be good and for a change it met my expectations perfectly i know i rated it terribly but i had to read it for school and this shouldn't stop you from getting it but I'm just going to tell you why i didn't like it it seemed through the whole book that the story didn't progress and that it felt like the same thing the whole time and it doesn't say a lot about the characters and who they really are its just sade and femi talking all the time and never talking about something important and this is why i gave it a 1/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful 30 Jan 2011
By Allhug
This is the first Young Adult book I've read since being a child myself and I admit that I'd forgotten just how powerful those stories can be.

This was a very well written tale of oppression told from the point of view of a 12 year old girl. I found it to be an authentic voice and that, along with the engaging plot made this an easy read. The messages of tolerance were the most powerful images for me - it's good to step into someone else's shoes sometimes to get a broader view of the world and I can see that the target audience for this book will have their minds opened.

I would have liked to have known more about life in Nigeria, the daily rhythms as well as the political situation, but I liked how the author drew parallels between bullying in british schools and political repression in opressed countries. As our schools become more and more multi-cultural the younger generation is going to put us to shame in terms of their empathy and understanding of the wider world around us.

This was, for me, a very enjoyable book with a solid purpose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars truth 24 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
every adult should read this and force it down their children's throats. The world would be a lot more peaceful and respectful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the other side of truth 13 April 2014
By jan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a open university module it did the job was good value for money, next day delivery too. I would definitely recommend this listing
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book...bought for uni! Thoroughly enjoyed reading and studying it.
Published 11 days ago by Julesta
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 14 days ago by samantha
4.0 out of 5 stars slow to start ....
But once it gets going its very intriguing. A terrific insight into a child bravery and strength to fight. A very good read for mature children and adults.
Published 24 days ago by Ema
5.0 out of 5 stars The Other Side of Truth
I loved this. I had bought it as part of Key Stage 3 reading list. Starting to read it myself, I could not put it down, finding it emotional and it takes hold of you so you most... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Lynne
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed reading it
This book tugged at my heart. It tells the story of immigration from a young refugees perspective, a good and accurate presentation .
Published 5 months ago by Hertsgirl
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching book
Opens your eyes to things that are going on in the world that we don't hear about. Emotionally touching book but worth a read
Published 6 months ago by Book worm
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight into plight of immigrants for adolescents
It is adolescent literature written for that age level and as such is very moving. It was chosen for a bookclub selection. The group had adolescent children.
Published 8 months ago by Ariel Louis
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
This is a brilliant, powerful book which really opens your eyes to the world of refugees. I read this as an adult, would need to be discussed if read with a child as it handles... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lizzy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Other Side of The Truth
I loved the book! There was always something to look forward after each chapter. This book talks about things that are happening within our world, migrants refugees etc . Read more
Published 9 months ago by Danielle Blagogee
5.0 out of 5 stars The other side of truth
Powerful messages and vivid imagery flow through this incredible book.

I'd recommend this to anyone. An eye opening story indeed.
Published 10 months ago by Gem Hanford
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