Synopses & Reviews
If only Mma was here, Naledi wished over and over. . .
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, deep down, that only one person can save her. Bravely, alone, they set off on a journey to find Mma and bring her back. It isn't until they reach the city that they come to understand the dangers of their country, and the painful struggle for freedom and dignity that is taking place all around them.
‘Naledi and her brother Tiro slip away from their aunt, grandmother, and seriously ill baby sister to walk to Johannesburg to find their working mother.Through a young woman they meet, the children learn about those who have come and gone in the struggle against apartheid. This well-written piece has no equal.’—SLJ.
Notable 1986 Children's Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
1986 Children's Books (NY Public Library)
1986 Children’s Book Award (Child Study Association)
When their sister becomes dangerously ill, Naledi and her younger brother travel to Johannesburg, determined to find their mother and bring her back to save the baby. There, in the city's ghetto, they discover the painful reality of black African life under apartheid.
About the Author
Beverly Naidoo grew up in South Africa under the apartheid system. An active resister to apartheid, she lived in her home country until departing to study at the University of York in England. There she began writing in exile and in 1985 published her first children's book, the award-winning Journey to Jo'burg,
which was dedicated to her nanny's two daughters who died from diptheria because only white people were inoculated at the time. Journey To Jo'burg
was banned in South Africa until 1991.
Beverly Naidoo has taught primary and secondary school in London and worked as an Advisor for English and Cultural Diversity in Dorset. She has a Ph.D. in exploring issues of racism with young people through literature and works tirelessly to promote children's entitlement to grow up free from racism and injustice. Her newest novel is The Other Side Of Truth, for which she won an Arts Council of England Writer's Award in 1999 for work-in-progress as well as the Smarties Silver Medal in 2000 and the Library Association's prestigious Carnegie Medal.