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Orphaned Sam has to leave behind his affluent life in the city: his computer, his trendy clothing, and his pride, to live with his aunt in his mother's home village, a village at the back of beyond. He has to sleep on the floor in a one-roomed hut, sharing with his aunt , his cousins and other orphans. He misses his mother terribly, but she seems so very far away. How can he adjust? Where does he belong?
A penetrating picture of modern Malawi is built up from the perspective of a child, in all its colour and faith and optimism. Leaving Home is a story to challenge anyone's perception of a homogeneous Africa, and the publication is timely when the issues involved - AIDS, orphans and displaced children - are important to many young people. The writing is subtle and evocative and the characters make a strong and lasting impact.
- Published: 2008
- Age Range: 9+ years
Jan Michael spent an idyllic childhood, living between the Yorkshire moors where she was born, and the Seychelles where her parents worked. She was sent to boarding school in Wales when she was eleven, and from then on visited many different countries in Africa and Asia in the summer months. She has written five adult novels to date, and several children's stories, which have been variously published in English, Dutch, Italian, German and Japanese. She has won two prizes in the Netherlands, including the Dutch Vlag en Wimpel prize.