- € 12,99
* A Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books of 2019 Selection * A Canadian Children’s Book Center Best Books for Kids & Teens Pick *
From debut author Tina Athaide comes a soaring tale of empathy, hope, and resilience, as two best friends living under Ugandan President Amin’s divisive rule must examine where—and who—they call home.
Perfect for fans of Half from the East and Inside Out and Back Again.
Asha and her best friend, Yesofu, never cared about the differences between them: Indian. African. Girl. Boy. Short. Tall.
But when Idi Amin announces that Indians have ninety days to leave the country, suddenly those differences are the only things that people in Entebbe can see—not the shared after-school samosas or Asha cheering for Yesofu at every cricket game.
Determined for her life to stay the same, Asha clings to her world tighter than ever before. But Yesofu is torn, pulled between his friends, his family, and a promise of a better future. Now as neighbors leave and soldiers line the streets, the two friends find that nothing seems sure—not even their friendship.
Tensions between Indians and Africans intensify and the deadline to leave is fast approaching. Could the bravest thing of all be to let each other go?
Through the eyes of two 12-year-olds, Athaide's timely middle grade debut captures Uganda's political unrest during three months in 1972, following President Idi Amin's rapid expulsion of those of Indian descent from the country. Asha's family heritage is Indian; Yesofu's is African. They're best friends, but after Asha invites Yesofu to her birthday party at a club where "the only Africans inside were... serving the drinks and food," he becomes increasingly exasperated with her obliviousness to their class differences. His mother does household work for Asha's parents, who enable Yesofu to attend school and play cricket, but Asha has never been to his home. As Ugandans of African descent celebrate when people of Indian descent begin to leave the country, tensions heighten, spilling over into the classroom, the cricket field, and the town, and erupting into violence. In alternating chapters, Athaide presents each child's frustration at the other's perspective, as well as their concern for each other's welfare and their growing awareness of the danger their friendship poses to their families. This compassionate novel conveys the multiple injustices and tragedies experienced by both African and Indian Ugandans during this period, and the power of friendship to sustain hope in tumultuous times. A context-building timeline and author's note conclude. Ages 8 12.