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Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story Paperback – December 24, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
I was introduced to this book through the International Children's Literature course I'm taking this semester. It's a wonderful class providing me with many opportunities to read books published in other countries in order to learn more about the people who live in those countries which is something all us self-centered Americans need to do. For American children, this may be one of the only books out there describing what life is like for non-whites in a country outside the United States.
I really liked this story, it was published in 1986 and in the wake of Nelson Mandela's death last year it can definitely be classified now under historical fiction as most realistic fiction being published today contains too many graphic details while this book is refreshingly innocent and full of hope in a country divided by apartheid. The characters are real and they deal with their problems in a realistic way. Their dialogue is also sprinkled with words from their own native language so the reader can better understand this culture.
The 3rd person narrative allows the reader to share the exciting journey about a thirteen year old big sister and her little brother. They decide to travel to the city of Johannesburg, South Africa in search of their mother who works for a rich white family because their baby sister is deathly ill. The village hospital could provide the proper care and treatment but their family is very poor and "Mma" (mother in the Tswana language) is the family's only source of income since their father died in a mine accident.Read more ›
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.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a historically accurate book about apartheid in South Africa. I am a retired social studies teacher. I used this book to help students understand apartheid.Published 9 months ago by DLJT
Phenomenal story with many life lessons learned. This should be required reading for grammar school children!Published 17 months ago by John T. Duke
Naledi and Tiro know the only one who can save their sick baby sister is their mother, and she is off working in far away Johannesburg. So the two head off to find their mother. Read morePublished on June 27, 2014 by Debnance at Readerbuzz
I purchased this book because my daughter had a project due based off this book. To understand how to help my daughter with her project, I read the book and I was blown away. Read morePublished on March 25, 2014 by sharita simmons
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. Read more
i read this as a short reading book in class for a project. i read this book in the past as well and it is a great book. i'd happily reccomand it for younger kids. Read morePublished on June 2, 2011 by rustycookievan1