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Reviewed by Chris Reed
Opening sentence
At age 18, Bariz Shah ended up in an Auckland prison.
'Beyond Hope' by Bariz Shah is a powerful and inspiring memoir that offers all kinds of lessons for high school students in New Zealand. Shah's journey from a troubled youth caught in a cycle of anger, crime, and imprisonment to a community leader championing hope and positive change is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Through his raw and honest approach, Shah provides an exploration of the challenges faced by immigrant communities, the destructive consequences of hatred and discrimination, and the personal struggles that can lead individuals down less than helpful paths. However, his ultimate redemption and unwavering determination to break free from this mindset reminds readers that it is never too late to rewrite their narratives.

For students, or - indeed - anyone, grappling with issues of identity, belonging, and societal expectations, Shah's memoir offers a relatable and thought-provoking perspective. His experiences shed light on the complexities of navigating multicultural landscapes and the importance of cultivating empathy, understanding, and resilience in the face of adversity.

'Beyond Hope' is a powerful testament to the transformative power of education and community support. Shah's ability to overcome his circumstances and channel his energy into positive initiatives shows the impact one person can have when driven by purpose and a desire for meaningful change.
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9781775542339
Format: Paperback
Publication: 2021
Ages: 12+ to Adult