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THE BITE OF THE MANGO by Mariatu Kamara Kirkus Star


by Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland

Age Range: 13 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-55451-159-4
Publisher: Annick Press

This moving autobiography never minimizes the brutality of the civil war that wracked Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002. Kamara’s childhood abruptly ended at age 12 when she was raped by a man her elders trusted, an event that was shortly followed by a horrific, murderous attack by rebels on her village. Like many other young people, the rebels selected her for special treatment: Her hands were hacked off, a gory reminder for all who would see her in the future. Kamara later discovered that she was pregnant. After two years of begging on the streets while living in a refugee camp, she was rescued when a Canadian family paid for her to relocate there. She learned English, attended high school and is now in college in Toronto. Presented in a matter-of-fact manner that never diminishes its harrowing nature, this is a powerful commentary on one of the many costs of wars. An essential purchase for most collections. (Memoir. 13 & up)