Set in South Africa at the height of the apartheid regime, when the government started a policy of ethnic cleansing, forcibly removing people from their homes and moving them to so-called 'homelands'. Schoolchildren Naledi and Tiro are caught up in the protests and resistance as they and their grandmother are threatened with removal from their village. Protestors are arrested and beaten, but still people fight on. Freedom lies at the end of a long road.
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Beverley Naidoo was born in South Africa but has lived in the UK for many years. She became involved in resistance to apartheid when she was a student, and her first book, the award-winning JOURNEY TO JO'BURG, was banned in SA until 1991. In 2000 she won the Carnegie Medal and the Nestle Smarties Silver Medal with THE OTHER SIDE OF TRUTH.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8-- Naledi and Tiro, the children in Naidoo's Journey to Jo'Burg (Harper, 1986), return in a longer tale that stands on its own but is enhanced by the reading of its predecessor. The story begins with the sudden announcement that the people of Naledi's village are to be removed to "the homeland" in four weeks' time. With every reason to believe few will survive the removal, the villagers choose to resist, their determination fired by the righteous indignation of their young. Naledi, her friend Taolo, and three others are elected student representatives in the resistance, and together they organize a peaceful student march as a demonstration of unity and strength. But the police anticipate their plan, and the march ends in violence. Events accelerate. Homes are bulldozed, families are separated, and Taolo's father is murdered. The removal is accomplished and, for the moment, it seems the white government has won. But Naledi and her neighbors are no longer the same villagers who once clung passively to subsistence. They are becoming a unified people, with a recognizable enemy and no end of heroes alive and dead around whom to rally--and the beginnings of a political mechanism through which to do so. As Naledi and the others have matured, politically, since the first book, so Naidoo has matured markedly as a writer. She demonstrates an insight into her characters and their condition--particularly the role of the young in initiating and sustaining rebellion that was far less evident in Journey. . . Chain of Fire flows effortlessly, with power and grace, as it succeeds in making a foreign culture immediate and real. Truly it is the grimmer tale, but one that, in light of its own truth as well as of recent events, readers might look at with a trace more hope. --Marcia Hupp, Mamaroneck Public Library, NY
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Book Description Puffin Books, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0141318414