The Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo is not a recent publication, but given the current political climate I felt it was well worth drawing attention to. This is a very powerful narrative. It is about two Nigerian children, Sadie and her younger brother Femi. Their father is a journalist and it begins in Nigeria with the shooting of their mother. Sadie and Femi are forced to become two political refugees and travel a perilous journey to England, arriving in London. The narrative follows their journey and what happens once they arrive. I won’t tell you anymore, but all I can say is that this book had me in floods of tears. It is powerfully written and hard-hitting, a real eye-opener.
Naidoo wanted to raise awareness of political oppression and the experiences of different children in the world. It, like its title, demonstrates that there is always more than one side to any story. It is written in the present tense and the third person and is really hard to put down as a result. Readers follow the children’s experiences as though they are there with them. Sadie is the focalising character throughout. It has optimism and justice within it, so it although it is emotive, you won’t be left depressed just stunned.
It was awarded the Carnegie Medal and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards for Book for Older Children as well as receiving nominations for other awards. If you haven’t come across it before, I whole-heartedly recommend you read it.