No Turning Back

Publisher: Puffin

Review

Sipho is a runaway, one of many living on the streets of Johannesburg. Like others, he has run from violence at home and in the hope of making a living for himself. But while he finds real friendship, and a kind of freedom, he also finds children drugging themselves to sleep with iglue, more violence, and a simmering racial prejudice that makes even a gesture of kindness turn sour.

This powerful, moving book conveys complex shades of good and evil in a confidently described South Africa. The characters, with all their flaws, ring true, and will excite passionate discussion about the rights and wrongs of each decision.

This would be a brilliant book to read as a class to stimulate conversation and debate about injustice around the world. The ambiguous ending, in keeping with the rest of the book, is faithful to a situation that has no simple solution.

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