Journey to Jo'burg by Beverley Naidoo


Journey to Jo'burg by Beverley Naidoo

What's the hook? This award-winning title provides a moving insight into life and conditions for a black family in apartheid South Africa. This edition contains a revised introduction by author Beverly Naidoo, which provides an insight into her own experiences and the inspiration for the novel. A sequence of photographs from the period is also included, to help pupils understand the harsh realities faced by Naledi and Tiro. What are the themes? Individual vs. society, families and different cultures. Teaching points Ideal for thought-provoking multicultural work. Provides numerous opportunities for exploring narrative devices, characterisation and the wider historical context of the novel. New versions of the author's essay and introduction provide an ideal opportunity for developing pupils' cultural and critical understanding.

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


96 pages


Beverley Naidoo
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Author's Website


Publication date

12th September 2008



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