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The bite of the mango by Mariatu Kamara

The bite of the mango (2008)

by Mariatu Kamara, Susan McClelland

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RGG: Memoir about a young girl's survival of the violence of the civil war in Sierra Leone. Explicit descriptions of the violence and hardships of Mariatu's life.
  rgruberhighschool | May 17, 2015 |
The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara is a memoir based on her experiences in the civil war that raged through Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002. Mariatu and her family lived a life of relative peace and happiness in a small rural village. They knew of the rebels but thought they would be safe if they ran and hid in the forest if they came. Unfortunately, twelve year old Mariatu and three of her cousins were captured, tortured and mutilated.

Mariatu was able to stumble away and through her own will and the help of kindly strangers she was taken to the capital, Freetown and received medical assistance. Eventually most of her family was reunited and placed in a refugee camp. Food and medicine was so scarce that the camp children had to take to the streets to beg for additional funds. The way out for these children was to be matched with a sponsor who would send funds or bring them out of Sierra Leone.

The Bite of the Mango relates Mariatu’s story of survival in a simple, straight forward style that asks for no pity but gives the reader a glimpse of the emotional strength of this young girl as well as her courage and resilience. This is a heart-rendering story but as it is aimed at a YA audience I felt it left me feeling like I needed a little more depth and information. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 22, 2015 |
I apparently have a soft spot for Sierra Leone. I loved Ishmael's book, A long way gone, and I really liked this book also. Both are such brave people for sharing THEIR personal stories! ( )
  patsaintsfan | May 23, 2014 |
I wanted to like this book more than I did and I feel a little bit bad about this review in advance. There are a few reasons why I didn't really connect with it as much as I'd hoped to and they are mostly based on what my initial expectations of the book were. Perhaps the fault lies more with me than with the writer, nevertheless, it's my personal review.

1. The history buff in me had hoped for a bit more background and insight to the civil war in Sierra Leone at that time. As it were, the book was very vague and simplistic when addressing the issues. Though, it is fair to say that perhaps this is in direct reference to the common, rural people of Sierra Leone not fully understanding the conflict themselves. However, for the sake of the book and it's readers, it would have been helpful to have.

2. The whole England portion of the book kind of rubbed me the wrong way. It's very hard to dislike (even that is too strong of a word, for me) somebody who has clearly suffered so much, but it is that suffering that had sort of led me to believe that Mariatu would have been a little bit more grateful for the opportunity she was given to leave the war-torn country she grew up in. The England portion of this book felt like complaint after complaint to me.

3. Based on the description, I'd expected more of the book to be about how she had adjusted to a life without her hands. To be frank, it's kind of her shtick (for lack of better word) and probably a pretty large reason why the book was published in the first place.

That said, I do sympathize with all the struggles and hardships faced and did enjoy, for the most part, reading about the strength it took to overcome it and find a way to live a better life. It was a very quick read and I do feel like I can connect a little bit more with a people that I knew little about previously. ( )
  ashleeeyyy88 | May 16, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mariatu Kamaraprimary authorall editionscalculated
McClelland, Susanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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When Mariatu set out for a neighborhood village in Sierra Leone, she was kidnapped and tortured, and both of her hands cut off. She turned to begging to survive. This heart-rending memoir is a testament to her courage and resilience. Today she is a UNICEF Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.… (more)

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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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Annick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Annick Press.

Editions: 1554511585, 1554511593

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