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The Other Side of Truth Library Binding – September 18, 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Other Side of Truth Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sade, the 12-year-old protagonist of Naidoo's sophisticated and emotional novel, must flee her native Nigeria with her younger brother after their mother is killed in a shooting. Their father, a muckraking journalist in trouble with the military government, was the target. Sade and 10-year-old Femi soon find themselves stranded in London, abandoned by the woman paid to smuggle them into the country, and at the mercy of mostly friendly, but foreign government agencies, foster families and teachers. Her father finally surfaces in England, only to be detained for illegally emigrating. Sade must learn quickly how to fight for what she holds dear, including her father's safety. The inclusion of real facts about African countries, such as the government's execution of Nigerian activist writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, makes Naidoo's story more poignant, while the immediacy of the parallel story, in which Sade must deal with similar obstacles on a smaller scale (e.g., powerful school gangs), makes the novel more accessible. Fashbacks, letters written between father and daughter, and Sade's constant memories of her mother's sayings, add texture. Readers may be challenged by some of the British English, but they will find it easy to understand Sade's joy at reuniting with her father in prison, and likely find her determination exhilarating. Ages 10-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-With political insight, sensitivity, and passion, Naidoo presents the harrowing story of two Nigerian children caught in the civil strife of their beloved homeland in the mid-1990s. Eighth-grader Sade Solaja and her fifth-grade brother, Femi, are hastily stowed out of Nigeria after their mother is shot and killed by assassins' bullets meant for their outspoken journalist father. The children are abandoned in London and are unable to locate their uncle, a university professor who has been threatened and has gone into hiding. Picked up first by the police and then by immigration authorities, the youngsters remain silent, afraid to reveal their true names and background. They are placed in a foster home where kindness does not relieve their loneliness and alienation. School is a frightening plunge into Western culture, relaxed discipline, ethnic harassment, and peer intimidation. When their father, who has illegally entered the country, contacts them from a detention center, the children are jubilant. However, their excitement is overshadowed by his imprisonment and subsequent hunger strike. Sade enacts a plan to tell "Mr. Seven O'Clock News" her father's story. Public attention and support follow, prompting his release. Tension and hope alternately drive the story as Sade and Femi grapple with an avalanche of decisions, disappointments, and discoveries. Traditions temper Sade's despair as she remembers times at Family House in Ibadan, and her mother's quiet admonition to be true to yourself. Through these compelling characters, Naidoo has captured and revealed the personal anguish and universality of the refugee experience.

Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (September 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060296291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060296292
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,348,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Laura Lynn Walsh on October 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Books that tell of cultures and events far from my
own experience are valuable to me. They open my
mind and heart to the ideas and experiences beyond
me. This is a book I enjoyed for that reason. I
am not very knowledgeable about African history.
Shadeh and her brother are home when their mother
is fatally shot. Her father, fearing further
attacks against the family sends them off illegally
to be with his brother in England. When their uncle
fails to meet them and the children are abandoned,
Shadeh feels she must hide some of the truth to
protect her father. Through a series of emotionally
draining experiences the family's story is told. In
the end, it reminds us that there is a reason sometimes
for people in desparate situations to not tell the
truth, but even then, it is the truth, from all sides,
that is the goal.
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A Kid's Review on March 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Other Side of Truth, one of the best books ever made is by Beverly Naidoo, an outstanding author. She has won many awards for her books including the Carnegie Award, Silver Smarties Award, IRA Teacher's Choice Award, and the ALA Best Book for Young Children. This book has a suspenseful plot and exiting characters.

In the book, there are some mournful events that happen, let me tell you their story. Two kids, Sade and Femi live in Nigeria with their mom and dad. Their dad, a journalist, writes an article that gets him in trouble and ends up killing their mom. Sade and Femi fly to London illegally in hopes for a new, safe life with their dad who will soon be with them in London. They get sent to London with an unknown lady who later in the book ditches them at the airport before they can find their uncle in which they were going to stay with. Sade and Femi find their uncle's work, when someone tells them the police are looking for him. They are stranded with nothing but what they can carry until the police find them. They get put into a refugee program where they live with a stranger until their dad comes to London. They start getting letters from their dad when later on they figure out he's sick. There is a pleasing ending that I'm sure will satisfy you.

The Other Side of Truth has great character development. Sade, one of the main characters, is a creative girl that has an imaginative mind. She makes up names for people she knows by their personality. In the book two of the names she makes up are Miss Policebusinness and Hawk Lady. I'm sure you'll get a laugh out of the names she thinks of. Another character that was well developed was Femi. Femi, also one of the main characters, is a stubborn child that won't take any orders from anyone except his dad.
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A Kid's Review on September 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I recently read the book The Other Side of Truth by Beverly Naidoo. The book is about two children that are smuggled out of Nigeria after their mother was murdered.
Their father is a journalist for a periodical that talks about the political corruption in Nigeria. Sade and Femi's father is the most honest writer of the staff. When he openly writes about how bad of a government the Nigerian one is, the government tries to kill him. But, instead of killing him they kill his wife. Later that day arrangements are made for Sade and Femi to be smuggled to their uncle in London.
When their plans fall through they are discovered by the police, but Sade and Femi make the decision to lie and not talk about who they really are. They are given to temporary parents. Their dad later joins them in London but is immediately sent to jail because of not going through the right immigration steps. The end of the story portrays true family love and is exceptionally amazing.
I really enjoyed this book for a couple of reasons. The first of which is that the author does a great job explaining a very confusing plot. The second reason I liked this book was because this sort of plot has always really interested me. I would especially recommend this book for anyone that enjoys realistic fiction; this book is at the very top of the line in that category. This book was one of the best books I read all summer and I would highly recommend it to anyone, even people that might not have enjoyed this sort of book in the past.
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Format: Hardcover
This book has haunted me since I read it. It tells the story of two immensely likable young children forced out of their country and into a totally foreign culture. It managed to educate me about Nigeria and its political turmoil, while also cluing me into some of the problems faced by those seeking asylum, such as being imprisoned like criminals and often being sent home to face torture or death. Yet, despite the heavy material, Naidoo has a light touch that transforms the book into an adventure with the highest stakes, riveting you to the pages until the end.
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Format: Hardcover
A shape rose up from the deeper shaddows of the alley.
"Clear off! This place is mine!" the man growled like an old lion defending his den. His arm swept out toward Femi and Sade's bag and snatched it.
The children had no chance of retrieving their bag. They fled.
This is an exciting quote from Beverly Naidoo's THE OTHER SIDE OF TRUTH.
Without anyplace to go, or anyone to ask for help, the two Nigerian children are faced with a difficult situation. When their mother is shot because their father wrote the truth about the country's government, their family fears for their safety and ships them off to London to live with their Uncle Dele. But Femi and Sade's troubles begin when Uncle Dele is nowhere to be found. They are now homeless and desperate.
Eventually, Social Services takes them in, and puts them in a foster home. But Femi and Sade's troubles ane far from over. In the next months, they encounter racist bullies at school, cruel security personnel, and people who, little by little try to pry the truth out of them. All the while, Sade struggles with her emotions, and Femi is in a world of his own. But the real drama starts when Father tries to rescue them and ends up in prison, and Uncle Dele still can't be located. The children don't know what will become of them. They wish their lives were as they used to be, and that none of this had ever happened.
THE OTHER SIDE OF TRUTH is beautifully written with well developed characters. It illustrates the fate of many Africans far better than any history book coould. It's fast-paced and exciting. I'd recommend this book to anyone, although girls could definately relate better to the main character than boys.
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