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Review: Burn My Heart (Beverley Naidoo) (original post 8/16/09)

It was nice to read a book about a different country and time for a change. Burn My Heart by Beverley Naidoo is set in Kenya during the 1950s when the Mau Mau (black Kenyans) are rising up against the white British government and farmers/settlers. While the Mau Mau recruit black laborers in the dead of night to their cause using strong forms of persuasion, the British farmers fortify their farms, round up blacks and use detention, prison, and torture to "discover" who is Mau Mau.

This novel does a really good job of teaching the history of the time as well as showing what it must have felt like to be on both sides of the battle. Mathew is a white son of a farmer and Mugo is the black son of the farm's head worker. Naidoo deftly draws us into Mathew and Mugo's friendship and the demise of Mugo's family as tensions increase. The story is heart-wrenching and well-written.
Genre: Historical Fiction/Youth Lit
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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