Out of Bounds
Harper Collins 2003
Reading level: Ages 9-12
The collection contains seven stories arranged chronologically beginning in the 1940s to the abolition of apartheid, the election of Mandela up to 2000. Each story is told from the point of view of a young person. This is apartheid up close and personal. In “The Dare,” Veronica has to complete a dare of crossing a notoriously evil neighbor’s yard in order to be allowed to play with neighboring children. She witnesses a child beaten for being accused of stealing an orange while she is the welcomed ‘intruder’ sent to steal evidence of her crossing the boundaries. In “The Noose,” a young colored boy learns what it means to registered and classified. When he father is ordered to report for registration and is classified ‘black’ instead of ‘colored’ the identity his family has lived as, their livelihood is threatened. “The Playground” is akin to Little Rock story in the U.S. Rosa is among the first black children to attend a previously all white school.
Each story is an intimate view of how young people reacted to the events that directly affected their lives. This wasn’t someone else somewhere else. This was them living during a volatile, oppressive period that shaped their lives.
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