The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara

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As a child in a small rural village in Sierra Leone, Mariatu Kamara lived peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Rumors of rebel attacks were no more than a distant worry.

But when 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soldiers, many no older than children themselves, attacked and tortured Mariatu. During this brutal act of senseless violence they cut off both her hands. Stumbling through the countryside, Mariatu miraculously survived. The sweet taste of a mango, her first food after the attack, reaffirmed her desire to live, but the challenge of clutching the fruit in her bloodied arms reinforced the grim new reality that stood before her. With no parents or living adult to support her and living in a refugee camp, she turned to begging in the streets of Freetown.

As told to her by Mariatu, journalist Susan McClelland has written the heartbreaking true story of the brutal attack, its aftermath and Mariatu’s eventual arrival in Toronto where she began to pull together the pieces of her broken life with courage, astonishing resilience and hope.

About Mariatu Kamara

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Mariatu Kamara now lives in Toronto where she attends college. As a UNICEF Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict she tours North America speaking of her experiences. She is also featured in an upcoming documentary about child victims of war.
Published September 12, 2008 by Annick Press. 216 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Young Adult, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Bite of the Mango

Kirkus Reviews

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This moving autobiography never minimizes the brutality of the civil war that wracked Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002.

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Publishers Weekly

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Relaying her experiences as a child in Sierra Leone during the 1990s, Kamara chillingly evokes the devastating effects of war.

Nov 17 2008 | Read Full Review of The Bite of the Mango

ForeWord Reviews

Mariatu narrates her story by intertwining two time periods: life before the attack and life after.

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