Trou­ble To­mor­row

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Young Adult -

Terry White­beach, Sarafino Wani Ena­dio Allen & Un­win (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $12.99 (224pp), 978-1-76029-146-4

Why do we have war? Where does it come from? Trou­ble To­mor­row ex­plores the ori­gins of con­flict through the story of a child sol­dier in modern Su­dan. Based on a true story, the book fol­lows Obulejo as he es­capes a Su­danese mili­tia and tries to find safety in a Kenyan refugee camp.

Tough, hon­est, and un­spar­ing, Trou­ble To­mor­row is an in­tense look at how war af­fects young peo­ple. The novel is writ­ten in the present tense, mak­ing its de­tails and di­a­logue even more in­tense. At times, it’s un­clear whether Obulejo will sur­vive. Through­out the book, his odds are never good. His strug­gle is hu­man, vis­ceral.

De­hy­dra­tion, armed strangers, and lack of shel­ter are only a few of the dan­gers he must con­tend with in or­der to make it to safety in Kenya. But no mat­ter how fright­en­ing things be­come, Obulejo is still a young man with a foot in child­hood—re­united with his friend Ochan, the boys “dance around each other like pup­pies”—though com­ing into him­self, de­cid­ing who he is and what his val­ues are.

Terry White­beach and Sarafino Wani Ena­dio don’t paint Obulejo as a saint. He’s a per­son, trapped in a cri­sis. Sev­eral times, Obulejo steals or ha­rasses oth­ers; he’s forced to act against his prin­ci­ples. These re­al­is­tic scenes, and Obulejo’s re­ac­tions, make it easy to imag­ine what we’d do in the same sit­u­a­tion.

With clear, emo­tional sto­ry­telling, Trou­ble To­mor­row brings the Su­danese con­flict into the light in a way that ed­u­cates and il­lu­mi­nates the of­ten-ig­nored con­se­quences of war in Africa.

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