Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-269672-4
Visions of a bright future crumble in this harrowing story based on the 2014 kidnapping of 276 Chibok girls by terrorist group Boko Haram. In short, sparse chapters with oft-repeated titles (“The Voice on Papa’s Radio”), the unnamed narrator describes her daily life in Nigeria—friends and family, domestic responsibilities, school studies resulting in a government scholarship, and dreams of becoming a teacher. Her hopes vanish when she witnesses her father’s slaughter at the hands of militants and then is kidnapped and enslaved with girls and women from her village and forcibly converted to radical Islam. The evocative, incisive portrayal of daily life before and after the abduction brings both realities into stark relief as Nigerian author Nwaubani (I Do Not Come to You by Chance) details unspeakable horrors: the slaying of family and friends, forced marriage and serial rape, a friend’s successful indoctrination and willing martyrdom to the Boko Haram cause. An afterword by Italian journalist Mazza recounts the process of interviewing survivors, escapees, and their families as research. Unflinching in its direct view of an ongoing tragedy, this important novel will open discussions about human rights and violence against women and girls worldwide. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jess Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2018
Release date: 09/04/2018
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-289020-7
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-269674-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-982551-44-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-982551-42-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-982551-43-8
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