Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Bite of the Mango

The Bite of the Mango. Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland, Annick Press, 2008.

I'll be honest: I really didn't want to read this book.

The cover copy left me squirming. Mariatu Kamara, who tells her story with the help of Susan McClelland, lost both hands when she was attacked during Sierra Leone's civil war.

But the story is so well-written and intriguing that I kept going, following Mariatu from the refugee camp to London and Canada, where she eventually relocated.

Go into this book aware of what you're getting into. Not only are the rebel attacks described in detail, but there's also a scene of genital mutilation. (Keep this one in mind when you join Readergirlz in discussing No Laughter Here in February.)

The Bite of the Mango is a Cybils Middle Grade/YA Non-Fiction nominee.


Little Willow said...

Oh, wow. Thanks for the rec. I'll look it up and tell the postergirlz and readergirlz divas.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thanks so much for letting us know about The Bite of the Mango!

Sarah Rettger said...

Always nice to see the Google Alerts are working! :-)

It's very different from the Western take on FGM in No Laughter Here (or at least that's what I remember from skimming the book when it came out). It's presented with no negativity at all.

Now I'm really going to have to make sure to join you in your February read!