Say You're One of Them, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Nothing interests Maman today, not even Jean, her favorite child ...

She acts dumb, bewitched, like a goat that the neighborhood children have fed sorghum beer.'These extraordinary stories centre on African conflicts as seen through the eyes of children and describes their resilience and endurance in heartbreaking detail. From child trafficking to inter-religious conflicts, Uwem Akpan reveals in beautiful prose the resilience and endurance of children faced with the harsh consequences of deprivation and terror.


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Five harrowing stories about Africa's children.We read this book for a book group and although I would normally avoid short stories for such discussions, these were sufficiently similarly themed to make for an enlightening evening. The universal subject of horrors witnessed or experienced by Africa's children was a harrowing topic, however, and some readers did not manage to complete all the stories.Personally, I thought some were better than others and had a big problem with the language in 'Fattening for Gabon'. It didn't seem to me that it was necessary to make the speach so inaccessible, we would have achieved the same, if not better, understanding with more comprehensible language.The other story that caused me to drop a point in the star rating was 'Luxurious Hearses'; it was just too slow and drawn out.Having said that, generally the author was spot-on in tugging at our heart strings and it was certainly a collection that will stay with me for many months. It is a wonder that children can ever recover from such horrors and it is a poor refection on us as adults that they should ever have to.Another book that I read recently on a similar theme was The Go-Away Bird by Warren Fitzgerald, set in Rwanda, also recommended reading.

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