The World Beneath

The World Beneath

3.55 (103 ratings by Goodreads)
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One boy's struggle for freedom during South Africa's anti-apartheid movement.

1970s South Africa. Eleven-year-old Joshua lives with his mother, who works as a maid for the Malherbes in a white middle-class area in Cape Town. We see this enclosed world through Joshua's eyes as we share his longing for his family and his past life in the rural Ciskei. When a boy enters the garden one night, Joshua offers him refuge. The stranger turns out to be a freedom fighter on the run. As riots sweep the country Joshua becomes more and more aware of the political situation around him and is determined to help bring about change for himself, his family and ultimately his country.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 13mm | 150g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • no
  • 1406337161
  • 9781406337167
  • 1,839,983

Review quote

A powerful and beautifully descriptive novel that brilliantly portrays apartheid in 1970s South Africa. . . This clever and insightful novel is an incredibly potent retelling through the eyes of a child * Books for Keeps * Warman turns her journalistic talents to historical fiction in her debut novel about the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa and how it shapes a young boy's life. [...] Each chapter feels thoroughly researched, with details about Joshua's life at a training camp and his return to Cape Town. [...] A good complement to nonfiction about apartheid South Africa, a little-explored place and period in children's literature. * Kirkus * ...the work serves to address a critical aspect of world history and can be a valuable addition to school libraries. This book is recommended for use in the classroom as well as for libraries with larger collections and where historical fiction is popular. * School Library Journal * Middle-schoolers who are intrigued by Joshua's situation should have little difficulty finding material to make sense of this gripping drama. * Galleys *
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About Janice Warman

South-African born journalist Janice Warman writes for the Observer, the Guardian, the Spectator and the Daily Mail. She is the author of The Hey Nonny Handbook, a literary survival guide for women, and Class of '79, the story of three fellow students who risked their lives to help destroy apartheid. Janice lives in Crowborough, East Sussex. Follow her @JaniceWarman
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Rating details

103 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 16% (16)
4 38% (39)
3 36% (37)
2 8% (8)
1 3% (3)
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