*Book given by the publisher via aWunderkind PR in exchange for an honest review*
Mma lives and works in Johannesburg, far from the village thirteen-year-old Naledi and her younger brother, Tiro, call home. When their baby sister suddenly becomes very sick, Naledi and Tiro know that they need to bring their mother back in order to save their sister’s life. Bravely, secretly, they set off on the long journey to the big city to find Mma.
It isn’t until they finally reach Jo’burg that they see up close what life is like for black citizens across South Africa—and begin to really question the unfair and dangerous laws of apartheid. –goodreads.com
What I Liked
This is a middle grade novel for children ages 8-12. This story following a sister and brother on a mission to find their mother and bring her home when their sibling is very ill and not getting better. I really liked that this story focuses on family connections and the young children determined to find their mother and help.
I also liked that this book opened up children to the lives of others and what they go through. One of the things that stuck out to me is the fact that these children walk an to school. I felt like this was something many children in this age range could relate to and it really brings the contrast to light. It would really help children understand that not everyone lives the same way.
I also liked that this book did not shy away from tough discussions, but did it in a way that children could understand. This book takes place during the apartheid in South Africa, which ran from the 1940s till 1990s. It was a time of extreme oppressiona and systematic racism. This book talked about the need of passes, the miss treatment of individuals regardless of their pass was right or if they were the right age. It also talked about segregated buses and the like. It did this through the eyes of the young children coming into the city for the first time so as the characters are learning about this injustice so are the young readers.
What I Didn’t Like
Honestly, there was not something I can pick out that I did not enjoy about this book. I thought it was a very good way to explain the treatment black citizens in South Africa during the apartheid. It gave a peek into the world and framed it very nicely. It didn’t just show that their was unjust treatment, but also commented on it and a major event as well.
If you are looking into a read that would help expose your children to this part of history, I would say that I think this is a good option to explore further. It was a quick read, the plot was well done and I felt like it handled the explanation of this part of history well for the intended audience.
Publication Date: December 30th, 2019
List Price: $6.99