Reviewed by: Marylee Crofts
This young adult novel is riveted with suspense and fear, providing the reader with a realistic view of the danger and unpredictability of life in urban South Africa during the period of school boycotts and armed conflict, in the mid 1970s.
The main character is a young boy, maybe 12 years old, who lives with his mother in the servant’s quarters at the back of the property where she works as a domestic house servant. He encounters and enables unimaginable situations, including saving the life of a black freedom fighter. Continue reading.
The World Beneath by Janice Warman
Published by Candlewick Press on 2016
Genres: Africa, Family, Historical Fiction, Labor
Reading Level: Grades 6-8, High School
Review Source: Africa Access
Publisher's Synopsis: At the height of South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle, a boy must face life decisions that test what he believes—and call for no turning back.
South Africa, 1976. Joshua lives with his mother in the maid’s room, in the backyard of their wealthy white employers’ house in the city by the sea. He doesn’t quite understand the events going on around him. But when he rescues a stranger and riots begin to sweep the country, Joshua has to face the world beneath—the world deep inside him—to make heartbreaking choices that will change his life forever. Genuine and quietly unflinching, this beautifully nuanced novel from a veteran journalist captures a child’s-eye view of the struggle that shaped a nation and riveted the world.