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Afrika by Colleen Craig


by Colleen Craig

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Kim travels to Africa with her journalist mother, Riana, who is reporting on the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which is investigating wrongs committed during the period of Apartheid. Kim's mother grew up in South Africa but moved to Canada as a young pregnant adult. Kim is hoping to find out more about her mother's life in South Africa and who her father is. Her mother is very distraught and is obviously struggling with having to once again face her family and the community that embraced apartheid. She finds reporting the injustices that have taken place in her native country very upsetting but takes this responsibility to heart. Kim becomes close friends with Themba, an African boy her age whose mother's family works for Riana's family. Kim has a hard time understanding the racism she witnesses at school but also struggles with the idea that she herself may be mixed race. This fear is confirmed when Themba helps her find her father.
This book deals with tough issues that will encourage students to think about issues of racism, oppression, colonialism and reconciliation. It would be an excellent work to use in the classroom. ( )
  bsittig | Jul 29, 2009 |
Set in South Africa, Kim and her mother confront the past, and Kim meets her father for the first time. He is colored. Good insights into apartheid and Truth and Reconciliation Commission. ( )
  melodyreads | Apr 6, 2009 |
13 year old Kim travels to South Africa with her journalist mom. Kim's eyes are opened to the tragedy and brutality of the segregation policy during the Truth and Reconciliation Hearings that her mom is documenting. Kim realizes she is not as removed from the story as she thought. She also tries to solve the mystery of her father and is helped by a boy whose owned father was killed during the apartheid.
I read this for the fiction review committee. Would be a useful book if you are trying to build a diverse collection since it is an easy read on a very difficult subject. ( )
  JRlibrary | Jun 1, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0887768075, Paperback)

For thirteen-year-old Kim, travel to South Africa with her journalist mother will mark the end of her childhood and the beginning of a remarkable journey. Expecting nothing more than three months in her mother’s homeland, Kim comes to terms with the country’s diverse and often shocking history. The Truth and Reconciliation Hearings in post-apartheid South Africa open her eyes to the tragedy and brutality of its segregationist policies. Kim’s first meeting with her relatives, her contact with schoolmates and cousins, bring her face-to-face with the realization that she is not as removed from this powerful story
as she thought.

As her mother struggles with her past, Kim becomes more and more determined to unlock the secret that has always kept her from knowing her father. Helped by the young son of a long-time family servant, whose own father was a casualty of Apartheid history, Kim eventually unlocks her mystery and brings her mother and herself to their own truth and reconciliation.

Layered and complex, this is a novel that raises questions and challenges beliefs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:32 -0400)

Thirteen-year-old Kim, travels to South Africa with her journalist mother and must come to terms with the country's diverse and often shocking history with the realization that she is not as removed from this powerful story as she thought.

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