Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Memoir aimed at Teens

Finished September 27
The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland
Mariatu Kamara was raised in a small rural village in Sierra Leone until the age of twelve. Hiding from rebels, Mariatu was going for food with a group of others when she was caught by the rebels. Forced to watch them torture and kill people she knew, the rebels eventually cut off both her hands and left her. Mariatu survived by going for help, eventually making it to the nearby town of Port Loko, where she was transported to a hospital in Freetown. Mariatu took advantage of any help offered and fought for her own survival and dream and is now a college student in Toronto enrolled in an Assaulted Women's and Children's Counselor/Advocate Program. She is also a UNICEF Special Representative. Her story from her childhood in a rural village living by subsistence farming, through the attacks by the rebels, her journey to Freetown for medical help, her survival there in the refugee camps (along with two other cousins who also lost their hands), and her eventually sponsorship to Canada is told with candour and equanimity. With her attitude towards helping the rest of her family and her country survive this history, she offers hope for the future.

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