“This riveting collection of poems and short stories by award-winning African and African-American writers shares the complexities and surprises of living between two cultures and sometimes of one’s own culture. At the heart of many entries is the search for identity and, in many cases, identity derives from where characters find themselves at the moment” —Kirkus Reviews
What is it like to grow up in different parts of Africa today?
And what’s it like to be a child of two cultures — an American living in Africa, or an African living in America?
In South Africa visit the Bushman Farm, where a lonely girl meets a group of Bushmen who are making their living as a tourist attraction — and finds friendship and family as she’s never known them before. In Tanzania join an American family on an unforgettable safari whose highlights include a broken car, a camp of armed men, heat, tsetse flies, and laughter. In Los Angeles be surprised by what happens when a teenage veteran from war in Sierra Leone comes into conflict with a local gang leader.
Jane Kurtz, who is herself a child of two cultures — Ethiopia and America — has gathered a remarkable collection of voices. These twelve stories and three poems sing of Africa, of America, and of people changing, growing, crying, and laughing under the same sun.
Reviews & Accolades
“Avoiding the usual exotic, primitive stereotypes, these 12 stories and three poems take readers up close to contemporary young people in all their diversity and connections…notes at the back with each author’s bio and commentary add to these rich narratives of two continents.” —Hazel Rochman, Booklist
“Offering 15 unique perspectives of Americans, Africans and African-Americans, this collection of vibrant stories and poems celebrates the distinct flavors of the African continent…Providing sharp, contrasting images of splendor and strife, these selections will reverberate in readers’ minds.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“…[Kurtz's] collection lets the reader understand what happens in “those interesting places where cultures meet” and people want desperately to belong…Kurtz’ selections make unfamiliar landscapes and feelings available to any reader. This is a book for all who dare venture outside their own realm of experience.” —Francine Thomas, Children’s Literature
“This nicely balanced collection explores the connections between Africa and the U.S. through portrayals of contemporary African life, Americans in Africa, and Africans in America…Many of the selections explore the challenge of moving between cultures: Americans returning to African roots or living there briefly, Africans moving from rural to urban lives, and Africans coming to this country.” —Kathleen Isaacs, School Library Journal
“This riveting collection of poems and short stories by award-winning African and African-American writers shares the complexities and surprises of living between two cultures and sometimes of one’s own culture. At the heart of many entries is the search for identity and, in many cases, identity derives from where characters find themselves at the moment…Although the collection represents various African cultures, including those of Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Liberia, and Ethiopia, it also reveals the elements that unite all cultures-family struggles, coming of age, and the need to belong…Whether tender, adventurous, or heart-wrenching, these poems and stories stir readers to experience Africa-its pain and its beauty. —Kirkus Reviews
Cultural identity, immigration, child soldiers, cultural background
Various African countries
Various US cities
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