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Journey to Jo’Burg (HarperCollins Children’s Modern Classics) (Journey to Jo'Burg Series Book 1)

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Thirteen-year-old Naledi lives with Nono (her grandmother), Tiro (her brother), and Dineo (her baby sister) in a small South African village 300 kilometers from Johannesburg.

In the process, Naledi learns about Apartheid from first hand experiences and stories from her friends. But it's worth all the extra work because the story has so much depth and complexity and kids will enjoy learning and talking about this. Growing awareness of the sufferings of South Africa’s black children brings renewed point to Beverley Naidoo’s Journey to Joburg, a story for young readers, the more searing for its gentleness, that makes them ask questions we must learn to answer. An additional book is available to purchase containing photocopiable activities, guided reading notes, speaking and listening activities, writing projects and creative ideas – all from a bestselling, tried-and-trusted series that’s a firm favourite with teachers. The author Beverley Naidoo has an interesting life story: born into a white family in South Africa, she took part in the anti-apartheid movement as a student, was jailed for 8 weeks, then left the country for the UK.We have used it as a basis for topic work - dressed the room and created an impressive visual display, studied South Africa including its geographical features and compared them with the features of England. Reading for enjoyment and writing for enjoyment are two of the most powerful ways of getting children interested in books. He celebrates Journey to Jo'burg for being the first childrens' book about the lives of black African during apartheid. In reality, if you dig deeper, you will learn that this was a journey of self-discovery and awareness for them.

The story tells of their awakening to the situation in their country of the appalling treatment of blacks by the rich white people.Through meeting Grace they learn about the struggle against the unfair system of the apartheid and the uprising of students against the treatment of black people. I have often wondered how, as a child, I never really saw or understood how shocking apartheid and racism were.

I think the book was a bit unrealistic in that one would expect a thirteen year old to know a bit about Apartheid.They also are exposed to the class and power relations and learn of the hope and rebellions for social change, most notably the Soweto Uprising of 1976.

There is really nice character development and vivid imagery which lends itself to readers creating drawings or paintings, allowing them to interpret their own parts of the book. It has prompted some lively discussions as well as provided a strong platform for engaging literacy lessons and cross curricular activities for half a term. When their baby sister falls seriously ill, two young South African siblings set out from home to make the 200+ mile journey to Johannesburg to find their mother, who works as a housekeeper for a rich, white family. Set in South Africa, Naledi, a thirteen year old girl and her younger brother travel from their small village 300 km to get their mother (who works in Johannesburg) because their baby sister is very ill.I read this to a year 6 class and they really enjoyed it, interested in exploring the history and learning about the issues that faced South Africa. It is a really simple and heartfelt story that contains powerful subject matter for children to explore and discuss in the classroom. Beverley Naidoo (a white child) got a vaccine against diphteria, the children of the woman helping her family did not get this chance. This book also helps readers to learn more about history as it is told through the characters' story. In Beverley Naidoo's 1986 (and thus of course before the official end of Apartheid) South-African themed middle grade novel Journey to Jo'burg, when their baby sister Dineo becomes very ill with a dangerous fever (and might perhaps even be dying), thirteen-year old Naledi and her younger brother Tiro decide that they must go and get their mother, but unfortunately Mma is being forced by financial necessity to live and work in the big city, in far-away Johannesburg.

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