Saved from a life of crime by a love of read­ing

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The Pave­ment Book­worm by Philani Dladla

Pub­lisher: Black­Bird Books

Set in the cold, dan­ger­ous and of­ten very dark streets of Jo­han­nes­burg, this book tells the true story of the jour­ney trav­elled by a young abused boy.

Philani Dladla is armed with his love for read­ing and a bag of books, yet he lacks a sense of be­long­ing and love, which re­sults in him seek­ing ap­proval in all the wrong places.

The con­se­quences of this shapes the way his life pans out.

The book delves deep into the life lived by home­less peo­ple in Jo­han­nes­burg. Their lives are filled with drugs, crime, beg­ging and sex­ual abuse.

Af­ter a se­ries of re­lapses and a short stay at a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal, Dladla is able to over­come all th­ese chal­leng­ing ob­sta­cles and change the lives of hun­dreds of chil­dren by es­tab­lish­ing sev­eral book clubs, specif­i­cally in poorer com­mu­ni­ties.

Un­for­tu­nately, the last few pages are rather bor­ing as the au­thor be­comes very preachy.

There’s also a hec­tic slip­pery slope re­gard­ing the is­sue of pros­ti­tu­tion and HIV/Aids. Hec­tic, but okay.

Nev­er­the­less, I loved the book. It’s a very good read that gives in­sight into one of the big­gest so­cial is­sues in our coun­try.

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