Burn My Heart,by Beverley Naidoo*Amistad(Harper Collins)
Burn My Heart will have you biting your nails and butterflies bumping against the walls of your stomach. This is a truthful, deeply serious and valuable contribution missing from the historical fiction stacks in school libraries.
You are the vicarious witness to the fear, prejudice and misunderstanding endured by the Kenyan people during the 1950s. After fighting alongside the British soldiers during WWII, black inhabitants were not allowed to share power with the British settlers. Further, they adopted a parental philosophy toward the black citizens, believing them incapable of governing themselves.
Beverly Naidoo brilliantly unravels the untold history of hate that pitted white settlers against African citizens. Through the eyes of young Mathew, she is able to show both sides of the conflict. You read about the Africans who want results quickly and terrorize the British landowners through fear and bloodshed, and any possible means to force compliance. A secret society called Mau Mau, was formed to organize terror attacks, conscript membership and create ruination and ultimate surrender by the white landowner. Yet, others would rather place their efforts on peaceful negotiations, and an immediate end to the Mau Mau.
This is a novel of anxious intrigue that will hold you captive as the story builds to the end. You’ll love this thriller of a history lesson with an added message of forgiveness A perfect addition to middle and high school libraries. Highly recommended.
*Thanks to Harper Collins for the ARC. This was reviewed for their First Impressions program.