|Buried beneath the baobab tree|
Author: Nwaubani, Adaobi
A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband -- these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. And with a government scholarship right around the corner, everyone can see that these dreams aren't too far out of reach. But the girl's dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by Boko Haram, a terrorist group, in the middle of the night. Kidnapped, she is taken with other girls and women into the forest where she is forced to follow her captors' radical beliefs and watch as her best friend slowly accepts everything she's been told. Still, the girl defends her existence. As impossible as escape may seem, her life and her future is hers to fight for.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 6.00
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 199334
School Library Journal (00/09/18)
Booklist (+) (06/01/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2018 *Starred Review* The Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped girls from the country’s villages in the early to mid-2010s and kept them captive as slaves or wives in the forest. Based on interviews with some of the girls who were taken, this story follows one such girl in a fictionalized account of real-life events. Never named, the narrator reveals her life leading up to her capture—one marked by relatable experiences, such as harboring crushes and watching movies with friends, and a bright future—which makes the abduction all the more heart-wrenching. Nwaubani uses short chapters, ranging from a few sentences to no more than two pages, to emphasize the youth and innocence of the narrator and the terrible acts she and the other kidnapped girls must endure. It is, unsurprisingly, a difficult read that elicits great sympathy and horror, but it is a necessary story to educate readers on what can happen in the world. Nwaubani’s novel is an excellent choice for classroom reading and for those who don’t wish to turn a blind eye to injustice. A substantial afterword by journalist Viviana Mazza shares actual stories of some of the victims, along with more detailed information on the Boko Haram kidnappings. Poignant and powerful, this is a story that will be hard for any reader to forget. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2018 Gr 8 Up—Ya Ta does not want to settle for a life dictated by her papa in her Nigerian village of Borno State. She dreams of a new pair of shoes, a university degree, and a life with Success, the son of her pastor. However, she is kidnapped with other young girls, such as her best friend Sarah and married Muslim schoolmate Aisha, by the terrorist group Boko Haram, in the middle of the night. The young women are taken to the Sambisa Forest, where they are forced to adopt a radical Islamic life and experience punishments, atrocities, and abuses. Nwaubani has crafted an emotional yet empowering tale based on the true story of 276 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014. The author incorporates themes that are ripe for discussion, such as the importance of education of girls all over the world and how Ya Ta's Hausa culture has been shaped by Christianity, Islam, and Western charities and media. Nwaubani successfully implements Robert Browning's poem "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" as an extended metaphor throughout. The afterword by Viviana Mazza gives context for the novel's origins, which began with her journalistic collaboration with Nwaubani to document Boko Haram from the point of view of the girls and their families. VERDICT A strong selection for libraries serving teens, especially those looking for book club picks.—Donald Peebles, Brooklyn Public Library - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.