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Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story

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Their journey illustrates at every turn the grim realities of apartheid – the pass laws, bantustans, racism, the breakdown of family life. 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. All those lesson on writing letters…for jobs as servants…always writing how good they were at cooking, cleaning, washing, gardening…always ending with “Yours obediently.

I actually almost have up on it because this first time I tried reading it I got confused by the characters and went to sleep! She plans to find others who share her anger at the way things are and work hard to fulfill her dream: to grow up and be a doctor. Reading it, I am so impressed how Naidoo has tackled a very brutal and disturbing topic and made it accessible, while thought provoking, to children.When I saw my husband watching a video with Trevor Noah, I casually dropped a ”he grew up in Soweto”, but this was too much of an insider knowledge (? They are successful in finding their mother, who is able to get her youngest to a doctor in time to save her life. The main worry of course, is whether they can find their mother; after that, can they save their sister? Ah, I went to Oxfam again yesterday and got Born A Crime, Trevor Noah (3 euro, excellent condition). The author was a white girl who knew she would have suffered under Nazi Germany, but just did not realise how her black servants had to live.

The book is set in the time of the Apartheid in South Africa and goes through the different things which are different today for black people. Set in historical South Africa during the time of apartheid, Naledi and her brother Tiro worry about their sick younger sister. This would be a wonderful book to use to help students think globally about issues of power and class. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. Set against the dangerous landscape of apartheid South Africa, JOURNEY TO JO'BURG is the inspiring story of two brave children who will do anything to save their little sister.

I read this to a year 6 class and they really enjoyed it, interested in exploring the history and learning about the issues that faced South Africa. Our team is made up of book lovers who are dedicated to sourcing and providing the best books for kids. Journey to Jo’Burg is set in South Africa during the apartheid and tells the story of Naledi and Tiro who, frightened that their baby sister Dineo will die, take a 300km journey to find their mother who works there as a maid. But it's worth all the extra work because the story has so much depth and complexity and kids will enjoy learning and talking about this. The period is South Africa's apartheid years, and while I'm rating four for writing, I'm rating another star for the depiction of tendencies towards popular activism and bringing about change.

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