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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Path To My African Eyes By Ermila Moodley

Author: Ermila Moddley
Publisher: Just Us Books,Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-933491-09-7
Price: $10.95
Reviewer: Sojourner Ahebee

Path To My African Eyes by Ermila Moodley, published by Just Us Books, deals with the issues of cultural identification and self- love. I thought these were interesting topics to write about because of the global movement of people.

The main character, in Path To My African Eyes, is Thandi Sobukwe. She is a fourteen year-old high school freshman from South Africa. She had to move from Cape Town, South Africa to Buena Vista, California. The reason that Thandi and her family had to move was because her father, who is a professor, got a job to teach in California. Thandi is excited about her new school, country, and culture.

When Thandi first arrives at her new school, some of the students ask her ignorant questions about Africa. She makes it clear that she is from the country of South Africa and that Africa is a vast continent. Also two of her male classmates tease her because she has short hair. They comment by asking Thandi if she is a boy or girl or male or female. She also doesn’t quite fit in with the African- American students either. Her discomfort about herself is both cultural and racial.

Once she arrives in California she meets two friends, at her new school, named Chrystal and Jennifer. These girls are white Americans whose physical features Thandi wants and admires. After one day with them, she completely wants to change her image. She urges her parents to buy her a bike, new clothes, a boogie board, a surfboard, and she sneaks out and relaxes her hair. Her hair is initially short and kinky and her mother preferred it that way for political and cultural reasons.

This book is about the discovery of loving and cherishing yourself, especially when you are in an environment that doesn’t always affirm who you are. I think teens all around the world could relate and enjoy this book. Ms. Moodley extremely connects with the reader not only because the book is written in first person but because these cultural issues of identity are issues many teens face in life. I urge anyone to read this book because I’m sure you will love it and learn a thing or two about yourself and a little about South Africa.
I plan to interview the author, Ermila Moodley, in the near future.

Here's the link to Just Us Books. Check out their other great books.

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