Cover image for Aluta / Adwoa Badoe.
Title:
Aluta / Adwoa Badoe.
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ISBN:
9781554988167
Publication Information:
Toronto ; Berkeley : Groundwood Books : House of Anansi Press, 2016.
Physical Description:
215 pages ; 23 cm
Abstract:
For eighteen-year-old Charlotte, university life is better than she'd ever dreamed, a sophisticated and generous roommate, the camaraderie of dorm living, parties, clubs and boyfriends. Most of all, Charlotte is exposed to new ideas, and in 1981 Ghana, this may be the most exciting and most dangerous adventure of all.
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Summary

Summary

For eighteen-year-old Charlotte, university life is better than she'd ever dreamed -- a sophisticated and generous roommate, the camaraderie of dorm living, parties, clubs and boyfriends. Most of all, Charlotte is exposed to new ideas, and in 1981 Ghana, this may be the most exciting -- and most dangerous -- adventure of all.

At first Charlotte basks in her wonderful new freedom, especially being out of the watchful eye of her controlling and opinionated father. She suddenly finds herself with no shortage of male attention, including her charismatic political science professor, fellow student activist Banahene, and Asare, a wealthy oil broker who invites Charlotte to travel with him and showers her with expensive gifts, including a coveted passport.
But Ghana is fraught with a history of conflict. And in the middle of her freshman year, the government is overthrown, and three judges are abducted and murdered. As political forces try to mobilize students to advance their own agendas, Charlotte is drawn into the world of student politics. She's good at it, she's impassioned, and she's in love with Banahene. "The struggle continues! Aluta! Aluta continua!" she shouts, rallying the crowd with the slogan of the oppressed. But her love of the spotlight puts her in the public eye. And when Asare entrusts her with a mysterious package of documents, she suddenly realizes she may be in real danger.

But it's too late. As she is on her way to a meeting, Charlotte is picked up by national security, and her worst nightmares come true. And in the end, she must make a difficult and complicated decision about whether to leave her education, and her beloved Ghana, behind.

A heartfelt story told with uncompromising honesty, about what happens when youthful idealism meets the harsh realities of power.
A heartfelt story told with uncompromising honesty, about what happens when youthful idealism meets the harsh realities of power.


Author Notes

Adwoa Badoe is a Ghanaian-born physician, storyteller, educator, writer and African dance instructor. She is the author of the novel Between Sisters, as well as several picture books, including The Pot of Wisdom, illustrated by Baba Wagu#65533; Diakit#65533; and Nana's Cold Days, illustrated by Bushra Junaid.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

It's 1981 Ghana, and 18-year-old university student Charlotte's world feels full of opportunity. She has an older, sophisticated roommate (who teaches her to relax her natural hair and introduces her to wealthy men and dance clubs), challenging classes led by inspiring professors, and new friends like political activist Banahene. Encouraged by her political science teacher and Banahene, who persuade Charlotte that her passion and voice will inspire other women to become more involved in politics, she becomes an active member of the university's student government. When the Ghanaian government is overthrown, political factions recruit and threaten students to advance their agendas, manipulating public news sources and the dialogue surrounding the violent takeover, and Charlotte quickly learns that politics and power can be a treacherous game. Though the pacing is uneven, with the stakes raised significantly near the very end of Charlotte's story, Badoe (Between Sisters) captures the setting with authenticity, and the focus on student involvement in politics is timely. Charlotte, however, often feels more like a passive observer than an active part of the novel. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

Charlotte Adom starts college in Kumasi, Ghana, and becomes involved in political events, fighting against J.J. Rawlings when he takes power for the second time in 1981. The pull between Charlotte's everyday life with two competing love interests and her political activism is awkwardly depicted. Still, this rare YA novel on modern life in Africa fills a gap. Author's note included. Glos. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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