Ibhubesi: The Lion

Ibhubesi: The Lion
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Release Date
February 09, 2004
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In Like a Lion
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Reader reviewed by Julie M. Prince

John Pederson knows nothing about South Africa. Since thats where hes just moved with his family, though, hes about to take a crash course in everything from apartheid to Zulu.

1968 is a time of change, in the United States, in South Africa, and in Johns own family. When their beloved mother is called back to America and detained indefinitely, John and his siblings are left to deal with their drunken and tyrannical father.

In a time and culture in which such things are forbidden, John strikes up a friendship with the Pederson familys black servant, Solomon. This new friend and mentor has much to teach, but is John ready to learn the true ways of the world?

D.K. Erskine, author of QUAKING (one of ALAs top ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers), tells this compelling story with the roar of a lion.

In true Erskine fashion, she strikes straight at the heart of the beast, in this case, the unjust discrimination of an entire race of people. Apartheid. A word we often hear in school but rarely recognize the significance of, is explained through the eyes of a boy on the brink of manhood.

This well-told story centers around Johns self-discovery and determination to make a change where he sees the need, even if it means facing off against all of society. Boy faces world. I like it!

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