Burn My Heart by Beverley Naidoo

Burn My Heart

Written by Beverley Naidoo

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Internationally acclaimed and award-winning author Beverley Naidoo explores new territory in this beautifully realized and moving story set in Britain's colonial past. It's Kenya in the 1950s - a time when colonial rule vies for supremacy over the Mau Mau. Families become divided and for two boys betrayal, fear and suspicion are the order of each and every day. Naidoo's research is superb which in turn provides a very realistic canvas of life at that time, whether black or white. Fans of Malorie Blackman will devour this eagerly and for others if you're seeking a really compelling read as well as a bite of history, then look no further than Burn my Heart.


Burn My Heart by Beverley Naidoo

The Mau Mau - name of a secret society that once struck terror into the hearts of British settlers in Kenya. An episode in history that ended in a State of Emergency, with violent and brutal acts dividing a nation. This book tells the story of how in a country riven by fear and prejudice, even best of friends can betray one another. Two boys living on the same Kenyan farm but they share an uneasy friendship. They live in a time when white and black means rich and poor - and a secret society, called the Mau Mau, want their land and freedom back. No-one knows who to trust and Mathew and Mugo are caught in the middle. Violence and suspicion are spreading. And when fire breaks out on Mathew's family farm, there are terrifying consequences for Mugo's family. In one final act of betrayal, both boys' lives are changed forever.


Sometimes you have to break the rules, particularly when those rules are based on prejudice. Naidoo breaks the rules, producing books for young people which recognize that they want to know about the real world Guardian Naidoo shows her ability to take stories that are hot off the press, give them emotional depth and raise questions about society and our own responsibilities to each other -- on Web of Lies Books for Keeps A wonderfully accessible story laced with powerful messages of family commitment and human rights. Beverley Naidoo's own South African origins and subsequent exile in London provide heartfelt spine to this book -- Jon Snow on , winner of the Carnegie Medal The Other Side of Truth

About the Author

Beverley Naidoo

Beverley Naidoo was born into a white, middle-class family in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1943. She graduated from the University of Witwatersrand in 1963. Her involvement with the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa led to her being imprisoned in solitary confinement for eight weeks at the age of 21. She left for England in 1965 and studied at the University of York with the help of a United Nations Bursary, training to become a teacher. Her first novel for children, Journey to Jo'burg, was published in 1985. A powerful portrayal of racism seen from a child's perspective, the book was banned in South Africa until 1991. A sequel, Chain of Fire, was published in 1989. No Turning Back (1995) was written after running workshops for young people in South Africa with theatre director Olusola Oyeleye. The Other Side of Truth (2000) was inspired in part by the execution of Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and tells the story of two Nigerian children who flee to London as refugees after their mother is killed.


Favourite Hero: The little African hare. He plays tricks on bigger, bossier animals who think that big is best

Favourite Monster: The tick-tock crocodile in Peter Pan.

Special secret power: A secret is a secret. (when i was a child, i made a secret society with a friend. To this day, i have never told anyone the meaning of our name The TTs'.)

Favourite Fight Scene: War and Peas by Michael Foreman. The animals in King Lion's country are starving but they manage to chase away the greedy Fat King and his army.

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Book Info


Paperback (b Format)
208 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Beverley Naidoo
More books by Beverley Naidoo

Author's Website



Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

5th July 2007




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