My love to African kids attracted me to this book at first. Beside the fact that it’s a good book, i believe that i got attached to the stories in it because of how much i adore and feel bad for those kids and what they have to go through everyday.
Say You’re One of Them by Uwmen Akpan was published in 2008 and it was Oprah’s Book Club 2009 selection. It consists of five short stories, each story takes place in a different African country and takes you in a journey to witness life in Africa through the eyes of a child.
My favourite story was Fattening for Gabon (Benin). I got intrigued and i couldn’t stop wondering what will happen next to the kids. It was very heartbreaking, just like the other four stories. But the one that really gave me a heartache was My Parents’ Bedroom (Rwanda). After reading it, my dream of adopting an African kid felt more like a duty or something that i have to do. The only story that i felt a bit bored while reading was Luxurious Hearses (Nigeria). It took place in a bus and it was the longest story in the book. I felt like i was suffocating at some point.
What i loved the most about this book is that although it speaks about African countries that we barely know anything about, i still related a lot to the stories. The religious and cultural conflicts between people of the same country is everywhere. And just when i thought that things where i live can’t get any worse, i discovered that it’s much worse in other parts of the world.
The stories in this book create a beautiful mixture of different issues: Poverty, religion, child abuse, politics, etc. I’d love to see it on the screen someday.