Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic and powerful novel
on July 7, 2011
Now Is the Time for Running by Michael Willams, follows Deo a young boy who is forced to leave his home in Zimbabwe after his family is killed in political violence. Deo is out playing soccer with his friends and his older mentally challenged brother Innocent when soldiers roll into town. They abuse his brother and then kill everyone in his town while Deo is trying to save his brother. Deo and Innocent escape and through the help of friends and strangers they escape and cross the border into South Africa. They face many dangers during their journey and when they get to South Africa they are faced with Xenophobia violence and poverty.
Now is the Time for Running is a very well written book that does a good job at making the African refugee experience relateable to a middle school audience. The author does not shy away from including the horrors that happen in those situations but also does not overly describe these things in a way that would traumatize a young reader, Deo's experience walk the fine line between being an adventure and being horrible. Deo's love of soccer is something that kids can relate to and the play by plays of the games are written in a way that makes the reader able to picture the game in progress.
Appropriateness: This book contains many adult situations but does so in a way that is appropriate for young readers. There are a few instances of implied rape (a woman is taken away and hurt on the inside by soldiers for example) that include very little detail. The horrifying murders and beatings that take place in the book are described simply and without a lot of detail. The drug addiction faced by the main character is handled in a realistic manner that in no way makes the drug seem positive. This is a book that boys would really enjoy. I would recommend this book to ages 12+.
Review copy received from the publisher.