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SHADOW OF THE LEOPARD by Henning Mankell


by Henning Mankell & translated by Anna Paterson

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-55451-200-3
Publisher: Annick Press

Ten years have passed since the events described in Mankell’s powerful novel Secrets in the Fire (2003), which chronicled the heartbreaking experience of nine-year-old Sofia, who lost both her legs after stepping on a land mine. This companion finds Sofia, now 19, still living in the same small Mozambique village with her mother, her husband Armando and their three children. Their life has a gentle rhythm that fulfills Sofia. Working in the city, Armando comes home only one night a week. Sofia supplements their meager income by sewing on her treadle machine, a challenge with her artificial legs. One Saturday Armando does not come home. Worried, Sofia makes the difficult journey to the city and learns of a devastating betrayal. With simple clarity, the author never shies from sharing the most intimate details about Sofia’s life, while realistically portraying the constant challenges she faces due to her limited mobility. For those new to Sofia’s story, a brief introduction is provided. Readers will remember the indomitable Sofia—whose tale is based on real events—long after they close the book. (Fiction. 14 & up)