The Book Reviews – Website

August 30, 2009

Journey to Jo’Burg A South African Story

Filed under: J — thebookreviews @ 7:58 pm
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Journey to Jo’Burg: A South African Story

Author: Beverley Naidoo

Page Length: 80

Reading Level: 5.5

Genre: Historical Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: Thirteen year old Naledi and her younger brother Tiro live in a village in South Africa. Times are hard in their village and their mother must live and work at home in order to provide for the family. When their baby sister takes ill with a terrible fever, they know that they must act fast. Too many young children have been dying in their village. Desperate to save their little sister, Naledi and Tiro set off on the journey to Johannesburg to find their mother and bring her home to care for their sister. Will they be able to make the journey in time?

REVIEW: This book is small in size and rather plainly written – making it great for higher elementary and secondary classrooms. The book deals with the issues of slavery, discrimination, and starvation. The reader learns of the hardships the mother must endure as she works away from her own children and is “enslaved” to the white people she works for. They begin to see how much their own people need decent food and living conditions and how desperately in need of change their world is. I would definitely use this book in the classroom. The story moves quickly and the issues are very worthy of discussion and response from students.  

AREAS FOR TEACHING: cause and effect, historical connections, connecting text to self

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: the issue of servitude and substandard living conditions

RELATED BOOKS: The Other Side of Truth, No Turning Back, Out of Bounds

MUSIC CONNECTIONS: John Lennon – Imagine, Tracy Chapman – Across the Lines

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://www.sdcoe.k12.ca.us/score/JO/joburgtg.html

http://litplans.com/titles/Journey_to_Joburg_A_South_African_Story_Beverly_Naidoo.html

http://www.lessonplanet.com/search?keywords=journey+to+jo’burg&rating=3&search_type=related

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid

http://www.theadvocates.org/freeman/8906vorh.html

REVIEWED BY:  Dayna Taylor

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3 Comments »

  1. Awsome book only read the first two chapters of the books lovely lovely awsome

    Comment by Anonymous — March 19, 2013 @ 6:27 pm | Reply

    • read whole book great cliffhanger ending

      Comment by fanny — March 19, 2016 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

  2. read whole book great cliffhanger ending fanny is not what I ment to write as my name oops!

    Comment by gracie lala — March 19, 2016 @ 12:59 pm | Reply


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