CHANDA’S SECRETS by Allan Stratton

CHANDA’S SECRETS

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

The subject of AIDS in contemporary Africa receives powerful—though apolitical—treatment. When 16-year-old Chanda’s baby sister dies, the middle siblings are told that she went “on a trip.” Lies and secrets obscure death and suppress every hint of AIDS, which is running rampant through this small city. AIDS lurks everywhere, but so do the shame and social death of acknowledging it. Chanda’s Mama is slowly weakening and Chanda’s best friend has turned to prostitution, making the spread of HIV ever harder to ignore. Chanda’s slow rebellion against all the secrecy comes at a dear price, but the end is not without hope, at least for her and the young siblings who’ve become her “babies.” Stratton pulls his punches by setting this in a fictional country and failing to ever mention any governmental (or corporate/pharmaceutical) culpability. Still, the strong, respectful writing makes this crucial and broadly relevant story unfailingly human. (author’s note) (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-55037-835-X
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: Annick Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2004




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