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This Thing Called The Future

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"Apartheid may be over, but for Khosi Zulu, 14, growing up in a slum near Pietermaritzburg, the daily
struggle continues with poverty, crime, and the spreading plague of HIV/AIDS. She has a scholarship to a good school and a nice boyfriend, who is a fellow classmate, but a drunk man is stalking her in the dark streets, and a furious neighbor accuses Khosi’s mother of theft, even while Mama lies dying. Grandmother (Gogo) tells Khosi to listen to the ancestors who speak to her in her dreams. But Mama wants her daughter to be a modern Zulu girl; science and Christianity are the answer,not 'superstition.' Can Khosi reconcile it all? Powers, who has spent a lot of time in South Africa and speaks Zulu, captures the local conflicts as well as the universal coming-of-age themes. Teens will sympathize with Khosi’s weariness at hearing about her parents’ heroic role in the past 'struggle,' and the tense story builds skillfully to an anguished revelation readers will want to discuss."
- Hazel Rochman, June 1, 2011 

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