South Africa

Telling Times: Writing and Living, 1954-2008,

By Nadine Gordimer

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“…represents the full span of her works … from the twilight of white rule in South Africa to the fight to overthrow the apartheid regime, and most recently, her role over the past seven years in confronting the contemporary phenomena of violence and the dangers of HIV. The range of this book is staggering, and the work in totality celebrates the lively perseverance of the life-loving individual in the face of political tumult, then the onslaught of a globalized world.”

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The Calling of Katie Makanya: A Memoir of South Africa

By Margaret McCord

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The Calling of Katie Makanya is an award-winning look at the inspiring life of an exceptional woman. One of six children, Katie grew up watching British Redcoats drilling and hearing stories of the Zulu king Cetshwayo's fierce attempts to drive the white men into the sea. While still quite young, she showed a natural talent for the rhythm and melody of the languages around her, "all so similar yet each as different as the notes of a song." Katie became fluent in English, Dutch, Xhosa, and Sotho. Before she was twenty, her youthful inquisitiveness and talent took her, and her sister Charlotte, to England as members of the Jubilee Singers. Yet, despite promises of wealth and fame as a performer, the already determined young woman vowed to return home, to marry, and to raise a family.

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Long Walk To Freedom

By Nelson Mandela

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An international hero, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and leader of South Africa's antiapartheid movement chronicles his life, including his tribal years, his time spent in prison, and his return to lead his people.

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Floyd Cooper Draws from the Heart

To open a book illustrated by Floyd Cooper is to be drawn into a world of warmth, bravery, and joy. His drawings are as essential as the text itself in illuminating the world of childhood, often of the Black experience.

He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1956. Early on, his family lived in the projects and had little money, but his mother was able to give him a sense of self-worth that he has carried with him always. She also shared stories with him, helping to build his imagination.

Jeanette Winter Tells True Stories for Young Children

There are some things which are hard and painful to understand. Slavery. Skyscrapers exploding. War. Tsunamis. Even famous people's ordinary lives.

But in a true story, there may also be courage, hope, love, and determination. When Jeanette Winter tells her readers of historic events and people, she makes sure the stories carry not only the frightening pieces but the parts that leaven the misery as well.