“BORN A CRIME” By Trevor Noah

I have just finished reading the autobiography of the well known South African comedian, Trevor Noah and I have to say it was hard to put down. Born to a black African mother and white Swiss father under the deplorable laws of Apartheid; Trevor’s very existence was a punishable crime.

Yet his mother didn’t care..she wanted a child to love and what a mother she was/is. Intelligent, strong, determined to live and give her son the opportunities in life he should have by rights as a human being.

Trevor tells stories from his childhood with the usual hilarious commonsense and blatant clarity that characterises the stage persona he shares with his audience on comedy tours around the world.

My teenage children have been watching him on YouTube for ages and following me with their ipads saying ” Just watch this one, mum. It’s so funny..” and I did. I laughed out loud.

Then I had to have the book and now my kids follow me around again, saying “have you finished it yet. I want to read it next. No don’t tell me what you’re laughing at..let me read it.”

Then there are the terribly sad parts of the book: Trevor strips Apartheid back to it’s dirty bare bones and explains  the concept of white men coming to a black country and taking it over with lies and guns and then setting up a system  fueled by hatred of those races and designed to keep black people poor, uneducated and in  subjection for generations to come. Trevor speaks candidly about his own experiences and I was impressed by the lack of hostility he shows. He sees the funny and stupid side of the whole mess and takes you on the journey with him.

Through it all shines his indomitable mother, whom he dedicates the book to and that makes Trevor a son to be proud of.

“Born a Crime” is a worthwhile read and should one day be on the reading list for schools around the world, no matter what colour we are.

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My latest podcast…

Please have a listen to this touchingly realistic telling of the life and trials of  young refugees coming to Australia. Posted on the Podcastle website and written by Thoriya Dyer, it is narrated in part by Nathalie Cerin and myself..

podcastle.org/2016/12/13/podcastle-446-the-rock-in-the-water/

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A New Podcast..

Hey, download and listen to the latest story I have read for the online site. “PODCASTLE.”

Listen to Australian writer, Faith Mudge’s beautiful tale, “BLUEBLOOD”.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed narrating it.Just click on the link below,

PodCastle 443: Blueblood (Aurealis Month)

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“BEING YOU IS ENOUGH’ by Josh Langley

I received a free copy of this colourful book from Big Sky Publishing, so thanks a lot. I immediately know I would keep it in the library in my classroom. It’s a great book to bring out and read to children from pre-school to mid-primary. Kids will want to get their hands on it as soon as possible too, I foresee.
It’s very simple, very bright and very communicative. It covers a plethora of bad days and emotional difficulties kids are daily subjected to, while it teaches them to be brave, hopeful, wise, imperfect and caring. it encourages children to feel they are acceptable and cared for and ultimately much loved. ‘Being You Is Enough’ is a much simplified message of the type of encouragement usually found in Dr Suess books, which I love. Well done Josh Langley.

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BOOK REVIEW: THE BEEKEEPER’S SECRET

Josephine Moon has cleverly written a timely story that complements the current media hype surrounding that most shocking of crimes; child molestation, concealed beneath the wings of the great Catholic Church, here in Australia.<br>She has added to this a sweet array of characters, all intertwined with their everyday, ordinary lives and she masterfully brings them together in such a way that we feel we are part of them, or they are part of our lives too.<br>”The Beekeeper’s Secret” is easy to read and the characters are real yet all carry their own burden of guilt that they have to contend with and this is reflected in the bee hives and the behavioral antics of the tenant bees; all overseen by Maria, who has her own issues that go back to her days as a nun.<br>But once Maria meets her loving niece Tansy, all family issues come to the fore and are redistributed and shared in a way that only families can do.<br>A shocking and disturbing issue is dealt with through the eyes of loyalty and love and makes this a good, fluid read, while it reminds us that family, truth and love are most sacred.

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 350 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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‘The Invention of Wings’ by Sue Monk Kidd

I’ve just finished reading another of Sue Monk Kidd’s sublimely written novels; ‘The Invention of Wings.’

It wasn’t what I was expecting, for the simple fact that while I thought I was reading fiction, the story is based on fact.

A simple line she found in a historical document has helped the writer to build a world that is wholly believable and eloquently  realistic. Yet the story is also shot through with unsettling revelations on the treatment of slaves in the pre-civil war period of the southern states of America.

A grand, wealthy, respected family in  South Carolina gives their 11 year old daughter, Sara, a slave as her personal maid, named Handful.

Completely shocked and unable to comprehend that she owns another human being, Sara immediately tries to grant the child her freedom and thus is set the stage for the friendship, character development and attitude of both girls, on into adulthood.

What is freedom anyway? And who controls it?  Told with unapologetic realism, the story is both fluidly written and heart breaking at the same time as it is shot through with shockingly confronting abuses of black people by their white self-righteous ‘owners’.

What amazed me even more was when I listened to a nagging voice in my head that said ‘google Sara Grimke’.

I did and behold – she is a real, historical figure.  Sara is a famous early feminist who has was also a well known abolitionist. There are even photos of her available. Sara and her younger sister Angelina, traveled the country, giving public discourses against slavery. Sara even wrote in support of Abraham Lincoln.

A fascinating woman and ahead of her time. I love stories, fictitious or factual, based on strong, intelligent, independent women who stand up for what’s right and fight for it and so I’m grateful to have met Sara Grimke through the melodically fluent pages of Sue Monk Kidd’s novel.

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