Say You're One of Them
by Uwem Akpan
Hardcover- N/A

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  "Eye opening" by ksmarr (see profile) 10/28/10

This book gives us a glimpse into the different lifestyles of people in Africa.

  "Not a pick me up" by carlymu (see profile) 11/04/10

Parts of this book were written in broken English and French and who knows what else. I had to go back and reread things to make sure I knew what was going on, but I overall really found it informative. It made me appreaciate what I have more.

  " Say You're One of Them, Uwem Akpan " by thewanderingjew (see profile) 08/06/13

This little, but powerful book consists of three brief, poignant, very telling, short stories about Africa and the effect of the problems of the culture in several of its countries, on families and, especially, the young children in the stories. Often, it was hard to read (or in my case, listen) to the description of the events as they unfolded, they were so depraved.
These stories were about families who found themselves living in fear and dejection, largely because of racial and religious bigotry and penury. In many cases, it was ignorance and superstition that ruled over intellect. In each of the stories, the children were expected to rescue themselves and/or their parents, from their difficulties, not the other way around. The children, in times of stress and tragedy were relied upon by the adults, to behave like adults, way before their time.
The tribal wars are brutal, the religious hatred is fierce, the poverty and class distinction is extreme, the civil rights for men, women and children are diverse and often barbaric.
The stories were very compelling. The reader of the first and third were very clear, but the reader of the middle one was often unintelligible because of the language and accent. Many of the words in all three stories were difficult to comprehend. However, from an author interview, I learned that the author prefers that the language be authentic to the country and the people he is writing about. Perhaps he believes it is a lack of understanding of each other, the inability or unwillingness to communicate with those that are somewhat different, that makes for all the cruelty and violence that exists.
Human life did not seem to be valued that greatly in any of these stories and values were often compromised for the sake of expedience. In the name of religion, tribal purity and economic struggle, atrocities were committed leading to the eventual removal of the children, one way or another, by choice or by outside influences, from their family life.

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