Zulu Dog by Anton Ferreira

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An honest and compassionate look at post-apartheid South Africa

Vusi, an eleven-year-old Zulu boy growing up in poverty in rural South Africa, is enchanted by the helpless puppy he finds in the bush. He names it Gillette for its razor-sharp teeth and hides it from his mother, who disapproves of bush dogs as pets. His devotion to Gillette only grows stronger after the puppy is mauled by a leopard and loses a leg. But as boy and dog play carefree games, storm clouds are gathering over Vusi's family - ruthless rival taxi owners are trying to drive his father out of business. While Vusi and Gillette learn to hunt together, they meet the daughter of a neighboring white farmer. Gillette becomes the catalyst for their unlikely friendship, which has a decisive impact on the fate of Vusi's whole family - and the larger community.

A starkly realistic story set against the backdrop of the country's tortured racial history, Zulu Dog holds out the hope that a new generation of South Africans can create a better future for their land. Zulu Dog is a 2003 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

About Anton Ferreira

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Anton Ferreira was born in Zambia and grew up there and in South Africa. He has been a foreign correspondent with Reuters for the last twenty years, and this is his first book. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Published September 26, 2002 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 213 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Vusi is a meticulously drawn character, whose single-minded adoration of his dog is universal, but whose beliefs and concerns are uniquely Zulu.

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