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Waiting for The Rain (Laurel Leaf Books) Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Series: Laurel Leaf Books
  • Mass Market Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (October 6, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440226988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440226987
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A novel about South Africa, sure to give American readers an understanding of the conflicts of the country. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9 Ever since he can remember, Tengo, a young black boy whose parents are a housemaid and a boss-boy on an Afrikaans farm in South Africa, has wanted to read. Ever since he can remember, Frikkie, nephew of the white owner, has loved the farm more than anything else in the world except for Tengohis dear friendand never wants his idyllic life to change. Of course, it must. As Tengo grows up, he begins to realize the inequities of a system like apartheid that keeps him shackled to ignorance and gives Frikkie, somewhat of a gentle clod, a free and fine education. Through the efforts of his aunt's liberal employers, he is at last able to leave the farm and go to school in the city. Frikkie, who cannot understand why Tengo is not happy looking forward to a future of servitude like his parents, begins his Army service at the same time that Tengo finds his educational goals threatened by increasing militance among black students. Wanting desperately to finish school rather than strike against the educational system, and knowing that his duty is also to disdain that system, Tengo's involvement is accidental and terrifying as incidents of militancy escalate and the Army arrives to quell disturbances. In a coincidental and bloody confrontation with Frikkie, the two enemies, once friends, become symbols of the tragic dilemma of South Africa. The trouble with this book is that the characters become symbols rather than people. Neither Tengo (who is too good to be true), Frikkie, nor anyone else engages readers' sympathies because each is a vehicle for the sober messages that Gordon wishes to deliver, messages that are terribly important but that make for didacticism rather than compassion. The final coincidence weakens the plot further. Still, young readers need every shred of message they can get, and if the book is disappointing as a story, it has its place as a polemic. Marjorie Lewis, Scarsdale Junior High School, N.Y.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Some parts of the book were kind of exciting, and some parts were just plain BORING.
Stephen,Joel,Rachel,Aleya
The ending of the book just left you hanging, with a lot of questions about Tengo and Frikkie.
Melissa
The book was so bad that about ten pages into it I started fall asleep and began to skim read.
Surplus Sunshine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 24, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Waiting for the Rain" is the story of two boys--one black and one white--and the story of their friendship. The author, Sheila Gordon, shows how the boys' lives seperate as each one pursues their dreams and their friendship breaks under the pressure of apartheid. This excellent story is very touching and enjoyable and also a good book to read and discuss with others who have read it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 1999
Format: Library Binding
This was an excellent book, very good. I see lots of other people from Kingston enjoyed this book as much as me. I found out about this site from my freind. The story was about a boy named Tengo and a boy named Frekkie. Tengo grew up on a farm where he liked to work and play, but he always wanted to get an education. On the other hand Frekkie was a white boy who went to school and had an education but he rather be on a farm. Every summer Frekkie would come to see Tengo on the farm until one year Tengo wasn't there, he found out that he left to Johannesburg, Frekkie was upset and sad. The schools in Johannesburg were all closed from protesting and demonstrations, so Tengo was tempted to go back to the farm, where the Oubas told him to stay, "where it was safe". At the end of the novel, the two long lost friends re-united and were mad at eachother for a while, but soon worked it out. This was one of the best books I've ever read. I defenetly give this book 5 stars.
<Note to Author> If you ever get this message, I would like to know if you have any other books that are just as well written.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
WAITING For The Rain is a good book because it is about the very serious matter of apartheid. This story takes place in South Africa, in this story there are two friends one Frikkie a white boy who's uncle owns a farm the other Tengo a black boy who works on the farm. Frikkie is a nice boy who does not discriminate against blacks. He lives in the city, he comes to see his uncle and to visit his good friend Tengo. Frikkie and Tengo love to play together. Frikkie Has lived on the farm his whole life, so he does not know much of apartheid and discrimination. Tengo urns to learn and go to school which is something that Frikkie takes for granted. Tengo has some text books but he has read them all over and over. Even though Tengo does not go to school or get to learn much you can tell he is very smart. Then something happens to Tengo, his cousin who lives out side the city comes to visit. His cousin tells Tengo about apartheid and Tengo is shocked that something that unfair and horrible existed. I am not going to give away the story, so you will have to find out what happens to their friendship. I liked this book very much because it shows what apartheid can do to a friendship, and how a friend ship can exist through adversity. I recommend this book to somebody who is looking for a serious read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 2003
Format: School & Library Binding
Waiting For the Rain was an interesting and factual book that gave me a lot of knowledge about the apartheid. After a while though I thought that the book dragged on and did not stay on topic. Soon, Frikkie was no longer a main character and the book focused on Tengo and how he struggled with the harsh laws of the apartheid. I would recommend this book if you are interested in history and the apartheid, this is the right book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 4, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Waiting for the rain was a good book involving the racial discrimination in South Africa. In this book a white boy and a black boy who have been friends for as long as they can remember, but soon grow apart because of ideals. The book shows extremely well how the perspectives of one group can have a completely different view on an incident than another depending on the position in the situation. It also, in my opinion, shows what living in South Africa is really like discrimination and all. It plainly shows how many people do not realize something is wrong because to them it has always been that way and they were never told how wrong it was. It also shows how one person can make a change no matter how small that will make a great impact upon the people around it. The story in my opinion was one of the best stories I have ever read on discrimination.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jake Fantozzi on November 29, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Too understand this book all you have to do is take it to a higher level...
Waiting for the Rain, i think, is a metaphor that means...hope of change... because waiting is like hoping and the rain is a change from hot sunny, dry days......
"Waiting for the Rain" takes place on a South African veld and in the town of Johannesburg. The book takes place in the early 1900's. Three quarters of the book takes place in Johannesburg, and one quarter on the Oom Koo's farm. The farm has a field that is a brownish yellow because of no rain. The days are usually hot with blue skies. There is a stream that runs down the side of the farm with trees around it soaking up the streams' fresh, cool water. There are cows in the barn waiting to be milked at 4. There's a large house for the white people and a small hut for the black people. In Johannesburg, there are office buildings and malls. Not many skyscrapers, but a lot of large houses with a pool. The schools are for white people only, and black people only, no mixes.
Tengo's internal conflict was that he was, and wanted to be friends with Frikkie. His external conflict was that he wanted freedom. He knows now what freedom is because he has seen what he could have and people have helped him see that the white people get the larger houses, more money, and better schools. When he is near the church he begins get involved. He hurls a rock at the white soldiers. He does it again and again until someone shoots a comrade. Then they think he shoot their comrade. So, Tengo decides to run, as he is running he can feel the shoots hitting the ground by his feet. He runs faster until he reaches a car wreckage site. There he rests in a small shack. If Tengo wants freedom, which means that he will have to fight Frikkie, his friend.
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