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This Thing Called The Future

School Library Journal

"Khosi, a 14-year-old living in post-apartheid South Africa, is torn between her grandmotherís superstitious beliefs in witches and sangomas (healers) and her motherís Western belief in science and medicine. She lives in a shantytown in Pietermaritzburg with Gogo and her younger sister while their mother works in another city and comes home on the weekends. At school, Khosi earns top marks in biology, but she wonders how she can balance science, Zulu ancestral beliefs, and religion (the family is Catholic) when they seem to contradict one another. Everywhere Khosi looks, from billboards to the frequent local funerals, she sees evidence of 'the disease of these days' (HIV/AIDS). When her mother returns home ill, Khosi is torn between shame brought upon her family and trying to figure out what is wrong with her. Has the neighbor put a curse on her family? Does her mother have the disease, and, if so, does that mean Khosiís distant father gave it to her? Khosiís dreams torment her and seem to turn into reality, causing her to question her possible future as a sangoma. The stark reality facing South Africaís population is delineated with heart-wrenching honesty. This is a powerfully gripping, eye-opening novel that doesnít pull any punches, and readers will long remember Khosi and the trials and tribulations facing South Africans as they venture forth into the modern world while desperately holding onto their heritage."
- Michele Shaw, May 1, 2011 

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