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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
Excellent purchase, arrived on time in good condition and is exactly as advertised.Published 2 months ago by pam
Couldn't put the book down. Read it in a day very likeable characters which made it easy to engage in their storyPublished 2 months ago by Judi
Great book...bought for uni! Thoroughly enjoyed reading and studying it.Published 4 months ago by Julesta
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 4 months ago by Ema
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 morePublished 4 months ago by Lynne
Opens your eyes to things that are going on in the world that we don't hear about. Emotionally touching book but worth a readPublished 10 months ago by Book worm
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 12 months ago by Ariel Louis