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Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story Paperback


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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: 2.1 x 3 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Review

"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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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
I thought that the book Journey to Jo'burg was o.k. I decided to give the book 3 *'s. I did this because I thought the book would mostly be about a journey to johannesburg but in the book it only took tiro and naledi about 2 chapters out of the book to go on the journey. I think they should have named the book journey in jo'burg because the whole book was them in Jo'burg, meeting new people and doing other things.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "alikat_sa" 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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3 of 3 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
Even though I've never traveled as far as Africa, Beverly Naidoo, the author of Journey to Jo'burg, writes so descriptively that she transports me through the past to Johannesburg, South Africa in the time of 1881-1902. I feel like I am in connected to the characters because Beverly Naidoo reminds me that my African ancestors experienced the same intolerance, injustice, and tragedies in the Caribbean and here in America. In Journey to Jo'burg, you land in a town only 300 kilometers away from the historical Johannesburg and journey with a young girl named Naledi and Tiro, her brother. When Naledi's little sister gets sick she and her brother must journey to find their mother who works many miles from their house.

Naledi was my favorite character. Silent courage flowed through her. Though she stumbled, Naledi brought herself and Tiro, her young brother, through an experience that became their teacher. They had to deal with the enraged police, the mean bus drivers, and the rude Caucasians who pass helpless Africans by with occasional backwards glances of hatred. Naledi spoke fluidly of all this. Naledi remained firm and truthful and described her situation. She refused to pause because of the rough circumstances around her. The Caucasians believed that Africans should receive no rights and agreed with segregation. They also thought that Africans were 1/3 of a person, so the Africans were objects of constant ridicule. In spite of this, Naledi continued to describe her situation.

Along the way, Tiro discovers Mma's neighbor, Grace, who tells the tragic story of the "Horror Day" (my title for the day African students marched against the unfair laws) in 1976. Very few people explain the sorrow Africans experienced from that day on.
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bold Eagle on November 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Do NOT have your child read this book if they are below the age of 14.
Apartheid is a complex issue for a young child to comprehend, especially
those of color. It is a topic that creates divisiveness instead of
comprehension of the atrocities of apartheid. My child read it at the
age of 9 and his question was "Why did White people shoot Black people?
Is it because God hated Black people?" He then curled into a fetal position
(this was right before bedtime) and cried. It does not belong in a
school curriculum. It is a hurtful book, and wounds the spirit of a young
child, who is only starting to discover their identity. At age 9,
the books read should be inspirational and culturally rich. It should
embrace differences. This world is changing. Curriculums should change to
be inclusive and inspirational for ALL.
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