A girl's struggle amid the African AIDS pandemic.
"As soon as I get back from the shabeen, I go next door to see Mrs. Tafa. I have to ask to use her phone to let our relatives know about Sara. I'm nervous. Mrs. Tafa would like to run the world. Since she can't run the world she's decided to run our neighborhood."
So speaks sixteen-year-old Chanda, an astonishingly perceptive girl living in the small city of Bonang, a fictional city in Southern Africa.
While Mrs. Tafa's hijinks are often amusing, the fact is that Chanda's world is profoundly difficult. When her youngest sister dies, the first hint of HIV/AIDS emerges.
In this sensitive, swiftly-paced story readers will find echoes of To Kill a Mockingbird as Chanda must confront undercurrents of shame and stigma. Not afraid to explore the horrific realities of AIDS, Chanda's Secrets also captures the enduring strength of loyalty, friendship and family ties. Above all, it is a story about the corrosive nature of secrets and the healing power of truth.
Through the artful style of acclaimed author Stratton, the determination and resilience Chanda embodies will live on in readers' minds....Continua
Gosh I love this book! It makes me cry, and questioning that won'-be-asnwered question again: "Why God let those kind of things happen? Is it His other way to love His creation?" (from me)
Like any girl, sixteen-year-old Chanda Kabelo has secrets. She is determined to be loyal to her rebellious friend Esther, she worries about passing her exams, and she wishes she didn't have to spend so much time listening to her Mama chat with their nosy neighbour Mrs Tafa.
But one secret threatens to silence everything.
All around her people are dying, and everyone is afraid to say why. But Chanda knows: it's because of AIDS.
Chanda's Secrets is the tense and deeply moving story of one girl's struggle to rescue the people she loves from a tragedy that is destroying her world. (from http://www.doublecluck.com)...Continua
This book won a 2005 Michael L Printz Honor Book Award. This award is given for literary value in young adult literature.I thought this was a very interesting book. I would definately recommend it to others--YA boys and girls. I think it would appeal to a wide range of readers. It was not a fast paced read, however, I always wanted to know what would happen next.The topic really is quite heart wrenching and tragic. I can't even imagine living as these families do. The author really gives the reader some in-sight to what the situation in Africa is like with the spread of AIDS and why it continues to spread at such high rates compared to the US. I would love to try this next year for book club.Quotesp35 New cemeteries overflow as fast as they open. Officially it's because of pneumonia, TB, and cancer. But that's a lie, and everyone knows it.The real reason the dead are piling up is because of something else. A disease too scary to name out loud. If people say you have it, you can lose your job. Your family can kick you out. You can die on the street alone. So you live in silence, hiding behind the curtain. Not just to protect yourself, but to protect the ones you love, and the good name of your ancestors. Dying is awful. But even worse is dying alone in fear and shame with a lie." --I think this quote sums up why AIDS has spread so much in Africa. The people are not willing to admit there is a problem, at least that is the impression I get from this work of fiction. I would like to do a little more digging and see what is the truth....Continua