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Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story Paperback – December 24, 2002

45 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Journey to Jo'Burg Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A sister and brother's journey through Johannesburg to find their mother becomes an awakening to the sufferings of the people living under the system of apartheid. Ages 9-12.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"A provocative, eloquent story about the human spirit." -- –- Publishers Weekly

"This well-written [story] has no equal. Evocative and haunting." (Starred review) -- --School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (December 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064402371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064402378
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DubaiReader on February 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Originally written in 1985, this book was not historical fiction but a description of life as it was in South Africa at the time. The author wanted to teach young children about the unacceptable policy of Apartheit that separated Africans from Caucasians purely by colour.
The wealth was all in the hands of the 'Whites', while the labour was done by the 'Blacks' who worked long hours for little pay and lived under apalling conditions.

Naledi and her brother Tiro are just 13 and 9 when their baby sister Dineo falls seriously sick with fever and malnutrition. Their mother is working hundreds of miles away in Johannesbug but this does not deter these brave young children from deciding to make the journey to bring their mother back to save Dineo.
On the way they experience many of the realities of Apartheit that they had been shielded from in their small isolated village - the segregation by colour, the Pass Card that must be carried at all times and the poverty in the face of so much wealth. This is where the strength of this book lies; as a learning tool for today's children.
Probably best suited for 9 to 10 yr olds it provides plenty of opportunity for learning about this era in history and perhaps ensuring that such inhumanities are not repeated.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this a good book. When Naledi and Tiro's baby sister Dineo, gets sick, they decide to leave their small village and go to Johannesburg to call their mother to help Dineo. They discover so much about their country, about the way their skin colour changes their future and start to ask questions about why life is so unfair. Though readers found it very uninformative, at the time this book was written people were not allowed to write about how unfair the situation in South Africa was. This book said so much that it was banned for many years! It is designed to tell CHILDREN about the situation, so it can't be very gory, its just to give them an idea of the apartheid. I lived in South Africa and have studied the apartheid, this book gives the basic idea. Read it, its good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jakeba on November 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Mma is given only a week from her employment, so they hurry back to the village. Mma took Dineo to the hospital; the doctor kept Dineo until her fever was broken. Mma was told to be sure that the baby had plenty of milk, fruits, and vegetables. However, they rarely have money for any of these things.
On their journey to Johannesburg, Naleda learned about the older students who were trying to change the unfair practices of apartheid. She is determined to find out about this and become part of the change. They are going on the bus and they did not read the sign it was a white sign they had to walk to the black sign because they was that the white sign. The mom wanted to see her girl because see was sick. The owner was going to a dinner and the owner said that you can see your little girl tomorrow. A woman said that it is not right that they have to but kids in jail. Grace had a passport but her friend didn't. when they went home two boys ran out the house. One of the girls was splashing water and the girl said do not do that because she remenber when she had to buy water. The mom said that the kids need schools and but the black and white tougher. On the banner that Dumi and his friends carried, they had written on the back of a paper they wrote BLACKS ARE NOT DUSTBINS.
Dineo the baby is very sick; Naledi was afraid because so many babies have died from this sickness. She and her brother Tiro traveled to Johannesburg to get Mma. Mma was a maid in a white lady's home, and the lady grudgingly allowed Mma to return home to help Dineo.
On their trip to Jo'burg, both Naledi and Tiro learn about the things that happen to black people under the white government called apartheid. They discover that they could be shot for picking and eating an orange just because they are hungry.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Have you ever saved a family member's life? Well the book Journey To Jo'Burg by Beverly Naidoo is a historical fiction book. My book is about two kids named Tiro and Naledi that saved their little sister, Dineo's life. Dineo had a really bad fever but they didn't have money to take her to the hospital so they had to go more then 300 miles to tell mother and ask her for money.

Tiro,and Naledi are very brave to go more then 300 miles away from home. This reminds me of when I couldn't communicate with my mother because my sister had a very bad asthma attack and my mom wouldn't answer her phone. I had to run to her job that was 30 minutes away from home. Just like Tiro and Naledi did.

When people read this book they will probably learn a important lesson. For example, when you have an opportunity to save someones life, you should because you may be in danger and that person might help you in return someday. This book has some fascinating facts about the author. For example, Beverly Naidoo lived in South Africa before moving up to England. She taught primary and secondary school on London.

I recommend this book to people who love books that you have to think hard in order to guess what's going to happened next. This book tells you every step the characters do. My book has a style that the aurthor decided to have. The author Beverly Naidoo decided to write the books in chapters. The chapters are about six pages in each chapter. There are 15 bchapters in my book.
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