Memories of Sun
Memories of Sun. Edited by Jane Kurtz. Cover illustration by Marc Tauss. (2003) Reading Level: Ages 10 up. Greenwillow Books. ISBN: 0-06-051050-1 $15.99
Quoted from the book flap:
What is it like to grow up in different parts of Africa today?
And what's it like to be a child of two cultures -- an American living in Africa or an African living in America?
In South Africa visit the Bushman Farm, where a lonely girl meets a group of Bushmen who are making their living as a tourist attraction -- and finds friendship and family as she's never known them before. In Tanzania join an American family on an unforgettable safari whose highlights include a broken car, a camp of armed men, heat, tsetse flies, and laughter. In Los Angeles be surprised by what happens when a teenage veteran from war in Sierra Leone comes into conflict with a local gang leader.
Jane Kurtz, who is herself a child of two cultures -- Ethiopia and America -- has gathered a remarkable collection of voices. These twelve stories and three poems sing of Africa, of America, and of people changing, growing, crying, and laughing under the same sun.
Their whispers reminded me of the way the village women looked at me, like they felt sorry for me, as if there was a hidden secret that no one wanted to speak about. -- from "October Sunrise" by Monica Arac de Nyeko.
At last her father isolated the source of the monkey's anguish, and everyone drew near, and looked, and they were deeply horrified at what they saw. -- from "Her Mother's Monkey" by Amy Bronwen Zemser.
They taught me how to shoot the gun...how to kill." He looked away. "And I killed." Tears began to run down his face. "Many People." -- from "Soldiers of the Stone" by Uko Bendi Udo.
Starred Review -- "This riveting collection of poems and short stories by award-winning African and African-American writers shares the complexities and surprises of living between two cultures and sometimes of one's own culture.... Whether tender, adventurous, or heart-wrenching, these poems and stories stir readers to experience Africa-its pain and its beauty." -- Kirkus Reviews
Named on Kidsbookmanager.com's Top Ten YA books for January (2004). "Africa isn't all about lions and hyenas, although they certainly appear in this collection of stories. There are also wonderful discoveries, like the story of a lonely girl who finds companionship with a group of bushmen who are making a living as a tourist attraction. From the haunting opening poem by Nikki Grimes to the last story by Sonia Levitin, this is a wonderfully compelling collection. (ages 10+)" -- from Kids Book Manager