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4.5 out of 5 stars
30
Bite of the Mango
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on 29 January 2017
A moving story from a young girl who shouldn’t have to experience such violence and disruption so early in her life. I remember the Sierra Leone war and it was so sad that many of the village population, especially children, were caught up in the atrocities delivered with no mercy whatsoever. A well-written - brief book - chronicling Mariatu’s early life in Sierra Leone and then later in England and Canada. When I eat a mango, I will now always think of Mariatu and Sierra Leone. Recommended, albeit quite emotional in places, especially in the first half of the read.
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on 10 January 2010
Bite of the Mango is a testimony of the ability of a young girl to not only survive a terrible ordeal, mutilation and rape but also to learn to live without hands; to eventually to be able to look forward and back without regrets (Pg 212); and to recover sufficiently to speak out for her people in Sierra Leone, and for all victims of conflict whose voices are not heard. The message contained in this book is one of faith, courage and forgiveness.

This is the book to read to gain an honest insight into, and an understanding of the suffering of innocent children in war-torn countries. Mariatu Kamara shows great strength of character as a victim of the civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. This is her story (as told to the Canadian journalist Susan McClelland), starting with her peaceful family life as a child in a small rural village before the rebel attack. It includes details of that brutal and senseless attack, her escape into the bush and the man who holds a mango up to her mouth when she's sick and hungry (hence the book's title), her time spent in the refugee and amputee camps when she turned to begging on the streets of Freetown; and concludes with her eventual arrival in Canada where she lives with a `new' family and goes to school and then to college.

It is relevant that the foreword for this book is written by Ishmael Beah, also from Sierra Leone but who was on the rebel side. He was only five or six years old when he was taken from his family and coerced to join the rebels, illustrating that the rebel soldiers were themselves also victims.
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on 13 November 2010
Susan McClelland has done a good job in helping Mariatu (the central figure in the book) to tell her story very simply. Given the subject matter, I hesitated for about a year before deciding to read it. I shouldn't have waited. There is no self-pity in this book, and one is actually left feeling that Mariatu was comparatively lucky in having the chance to make a new life in Canada. Many others in a similar position did not fare so well after their ordeals. Mariatu is a compelling reminder to us all that it's essential to move forward in life and make the very best of what we have. Thanks for sharing your story, Mariatu.
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on 10 October 2017
Very good book, very moving made me cry a story that everyone should read!
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on 29 December 2011
Bite of the Mango is a harrowing, raw description of the terrible ordeal of a young girl, who has managed to make a new life for herself. It's hard to believe anyone can treat another human being in this way. It is a story you will find hard to forget. May Mariatu find happiness and success in the future.
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on 20 November 2013
Having recently visited Sierra Leone and seen the many amputees there as a result of their civil war I ha d to read this very sad and moving story of triumph over adversity. A brave young lady this girl.
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on 4 July 2015
I learnt about this book, through CNN. I think they were introducing the author. An absolutely amazing story about resilience, and making use of one's opportunities.
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on 29 August 2013
Excellent read although shocking. Well written and easy to read.
Would recommend it but it is not a light read
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on 4 June 2015
Very good value and in excellent condition
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on 15 January 2013
It is a searing and inspirational account of what has happened in very recent history and which we should all be aware of so that we can all work towards peace on an individual, local, national and global scale.
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