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Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum Paperback – July 26, 2016

4.9 out of 5 stars 336 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Suspenseful and absorbing, this true story of a man and a woman from two different worlds reveals how dramatically circumstances can change.” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

“A well-wrought, inspiring tale of ‘change and justice’ in a part of the world where they are often sorely lacking.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“The past is not predictive, not when there are dreamers and doers, leaders and builders like Kennedy and Jess. Find Me Unafraid is an extraordinary book, courageously honest about their challenges, their victories, their losses and their achingly beautiful love.” (Chelsea Clinton)

“Find Me Unafraid tells the story of hundreds of girls flourishing-and by example, bringing their communities along with them―all because Jessica and Kennedy, two people from different lives, believed that every girl matters. This book offers the greatest of all gifts―hope.” (Gloria Steinem)

“Find Me Unafraid is a bright beacon, an important tale of perseverance, calling for the female leadership Africa needs and must have. Kennedy and Jessica’s vision is creating this next generation of women who will lead Kenya, our continent and the world.” (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, President of Liberia)

“Find Me Unafraid is an astounding story of love, hope, inspiration and triumph. It is a mesmerizing love story; two young people from very different cultures join forces to build a life together―and a new life filled with promise for others. I don’t think either of them understand the word ‘impossible.’ ” (Mia Farrow)

“Find Me Unafraid is a powerful reminder of an individual’s capacity to make a meaningful difference in the world around them. Kennedy and Jessica’s inspiring words are a soaring call to action for anyone who has confronted seemingly insurmountable odds -- and found hope.” (Senator Cory Booker)

“Kennedy and Jessica’s life and love story is humbling. It shows the power and beauty of transforming yourself in the course of transforming other people’s lives, even in the most challenging circumstances. Their experiences demonstrate the value of working collectively, and prove that meaningful change must begin from the community.” (Graça Machel, child rights and social justice advocate, co-founder of The Elders)

“Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner are true modern day heroes. They’ve built a beacon of hope that penetrates the deepest recesses of poverty’s darkest alleyways.” (Lonnie and Muhammad Ali)

“Kennedy Odede’s remarkable story of survival, from a glue-huffing street kid to a humble hero to the poor, is sure to inspire the next generation of activists and leaders. Remember his name.” (Bryan Mealer, co-author of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind)

From the Back Cover

The inspiring true story of how one couple’s love changed a community

Growing up homeless in Kibera, a slum in Kenya, Kennedy Odede received a book of Martin Luther King’s speeches that changed his life and inspired him to start Shining Hope for Communities, a local youth group. Several years later, irrepressible Wesleyan student Jessica Posner traveled to Kenya to work with SHOFCO. Soon, she and Kennedy fell in love. After returning to Wesleyan, Jessica discovered that Kennedy was threatened by political violence. She helped him escape by convincing Wesleyan’s admissions committee to offer him a full scholarship.

Once they’d finished college, Kennedy and Jessica returned to Kibera to found a school for hundreds of its most vulnerable residents: girls. They later opened a sister school in another slum, Mathare. With help from the community and donors around the world, they also provide water, health care, and entrepreneurial programs to tens of thousands in both places, and are determined to improve the lives of countless more.

Tender and inspiring, Find Me Unafraid vividly illustrates the power we all have to impact the world, and stands as a testament to the transformations made possible by true love.

Product details

  • Publisher : Ecco; Reprint edition (July 26, 2016)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0062292862
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062292865
  • Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.79 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 336 ratings

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
336 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on October 25, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible story of two wonderful people from different worlds.
By AreAitch on October 25, 2015
This book is a must-read. I have seldom (if ever) read a book that brought me to tears every few chapters. Kennedy's incredibly difficult life is a story in and of itself, but his ability to have hope in spite of all of the difficulties he faced is inspiring and uplifting. The flow of the book is marvelous as Kennedy and Jessica's stories are intertwined to come together into their wonderful dream. Facing a life of abject poverty in one of the largest slums in Kenya, Kennedy found faith in others that their lives could be changed. And when Jessica was added to the formula after a college semester abroad, they became the fantastic team that continues to move this wonderful organization forward. Block out some time to read this book, as it is very difficult to put down, as you wonder what else could happen to these two. Very well written. A delightful story in so many ways. Please read it!!
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17 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Sophia Tellen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 27, 2017
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Karen Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Intercultural Teamwork
Reviewed in Mexico on January 30, 2020
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Leisa Hirtz
5.0 out of 5 stars empowering and protecting the dignity of girls is a first great step to a better world
Reviewed in Canada on August 18, 2016
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably encouraging
Reviewed in Canada on May 7, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing true story that still continues to this day
Reviewed in Canada on August 27, 2018
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