Sarah's Stars

Colleen Craig. Afrika
Tundra $11.99  ISBN 978-0-88776-807-1  233 pg. 
Reviewed by Victoria, Age 12

"This morning Mom sent off her final dispatch," she said. "Whites Only signs are gone. Black and white children mix in schools. But the Pandora's Box, which was opened long ago, has put a spell on this country that will take generations to heal. This is Riana van der Merwe reporting from Cape Town, South Africa."

The bottom line is, Kim doesnít want to go to South Africa with her journalist mother, Riana. She wants to stay home, enjoy her summer and get in a ton of soccer practice. Although forced to tag along, she is more interested in going when she finds out that her dad lives in a nearby town.  So, with the help of Themba, their maidís son, they come up with several plans to find her father. She gets to meet several other relatives, and even though she would never have thought that summer was going to turn out this way, she goes home smiling.

I loved Afrika. It was such a heartwarming book, and it completely swallowed you up, and didnít spit you out until you were done reading it. I thought about the book all the time; whenever I was bored, or even when I had finished my math early at school. It makes you realize that South Africa was even worse off then it is nowadays. The book was a good length. It kept you guessing what was going to happen next. I think Afrika would be a good book for ages 11 to 15 or those interested in reading about South Africa.

Afrika was Colleen Craig's first novel. She has also published Pilates On The Ball, which has been translated into six different languages. She lived in South Africa in the 1980s and watched as the apartheid tore black and white people apart. By 1991, she was safely back home in Canada.

Iíll give Afrika 4 heartwarming stars! 


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