Bite of the MangoPaperback
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- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Format: Paperback | 224 pages
- Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 14mm | 164g
- Publication date: 7 June 2010
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1408805197
- ISBN 13: 9781408805190
- Sales rank: 124,042
As a child in a small rural village in Sierra Leone, Mariatu Kamara lived peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Rumors of rebel attacks were no more than a distant worry. But when 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soldiers, many no older than children themselves, attacked and tortured Mariatu. During this brutal act of senseless violence they cut off both her hands. Stumbling through the countryside, Mariatu miraculously survived. The sweet taste of a mango, her first food after the attack, reaffirmed her desire to live, but the challenge of clutching the fruit in her bloodied arms reinforced the grim new reality that stood before her. With no parents or living adult to support her and living in a refugee camp, she turned to begging in the streets of Freetown. In this gripping and heartbreaking true story, Mariatu shares with readers the details of the brutal attack, its aftermath and her eventual arrival in Toronto. There she began to pull together the pieces of her broken life with courage, astonishing resilience and hope.
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Now 21 years old, Mariatu Kamara is a UNICEF Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflicts. She lives in Canada. A documentary about her life is currently in development. Susan McClelland is an award-winning journalist and recipient of the 2005 Amnesty International Media Award. She lives in Toronto.
'Powerful and timely ... in my culture, every story is told with the purpose of either imparting knowledge, reparing a broken bond, or transforming the listener and teller. Mariatu's story embodies all of these elements' Ishmael Beah 'Deeply personal yet devoid of self-pity. As it aims to correct misperceptions about Sierra Leone and to raise awareness of the needs of child victims of war, this book will unsettle readers - and then inspire them with the evidence of Mariatu's courage' Publishers Weekly 'Never less than riveting ... notable for its emotional honesty' Globe and Mail 'Honest, raw and powerful' Library Journal