Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Child of Dandelions by Shenaaz Nanji

I had this book checked out from the library for a few weeks and almost returned it without reading it. I am so glad I decided to try it because I absolutely loved it. First of all, it's YA historical fiction, which is probably my very favorite type of book to read. That counts for a lot. Second of all, it is set in Uganda in 1972 a location I really know nothing about but learned so much about in this book. Sabine is growing up in Uganda in a privileged family - her father and grandfather are successful businessmen as is her Uncle, who may have some questionable business practices going on. Sabine's best friend Zena is an African and is not in the same social class as Sabine. Sabine's skin is light, her friend's is dark. When President Idi Amin declares that all foreign Indians must be weeded out of Uganda in ninety days, Sabine's life of privilege quickly changes. Even though she is an Ugandan citizen, the color of her skin sets her apart and she is targeted as someone who needs to leave Uganda. Sabine's father and grandfather hold on to the hope that things will change and they will be left alone, yet her mother is terrified of what may happen to them if they don't leave their homes. Zena, Sabine's longtime friend is looking forward to becoming a part of the class that is in control under Idi Amin's rule, and begins to help Sabine start thinking about her own family's role in Uganda. While they lived in privilege others struggled even to survive. Nanji has created a wonderful story chronicling an important time period in history. I will highly recommend this book to others.

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