‘Trainsurfer’ by Kate S. Richards, is a thought provoking book which covers themes such as racism, prejudice, substance abuse, poverty and loss. The story is set in South Africa in the 1980’s and the main character of the story is a Zulu boy named Jabu.
Living in an apartheid society, Jabu’s life is wrought with sadness and danger as he struggles to figure out what to do with his life after suffering a life-changing, devastating loss. Jabu’s journey to Durban to find his Aunty not only leads him to making unlikely friendships but also opens his eyes to the suffering and hardship that segregation had caused.
‘Trainsurfer’ is an easy to read book and very well written. From the very first page the story is captivating, making the book difficult to put down. The author also includes a glossary in the back of the book to explain the different South African terms used throughout the story and a small reference section for further reading. The issues that the author covers in her book are still prevalent and current in our time today and this book will resonate with many of our young people who are struggling to overcome adversities.
Author: Kate S. Richards (is a school librarian!)
Publisher: Green Room House
Date of Publication: February 2018
Reviewer’s name: Kristal Montrose-Arnold, Librarian, James Cook High School, Auckland
How highly are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
First sentence: Jabu was furious with the world the day his Mama died.
You can buy this book here