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Beverly Naidoo, born May 20th, said, "I was born and brought up a 'Jo'burg girl' in what has been one of the world's most openly racist countries: South Africa. I was sent to a whites-only school. It was like being brought up to be a horse with blinkers. Luckily when I left school, I met people who challenged me and I was able to take off the blinkers. I began to feel very angry about the terrible things that I could see I was part of." Journey to Jo'Burg was banned in South Africa. The apartheid government in South Africa refused to let children read it until 1991.Beverley Naidoo researched No Turning Back in South Africa. The story is about a twelve-year-old boy who runs away to Jo'burg and joins streetchildren. Even though life on the street is dangerous, surviving there is better than living at home with a violent stepfather. Naidoo wanted to write about the courage of young black people who are determined to get rid of racism and apartheid.
When it was originally published in 1985 Beverley Naidoo’s classic was a contemporary story; now it’s a piece of history but no less powerful or important. It’s the story of two black children who set off from their remote village to search for their mother and bring her home after their baby sister falls desperately ill. Setting off on foot on the long hot road to Jo’burg, Naledi and Tiro have no idea what’s in store for them as they cross the dangerous landscape of Apartheid. Written simply, to be accessible to those as young as 8, this universal story of children whose spirit won’t let injustice crush them continues to move all who read it. ~ Andrea Reece
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