Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Here's another impressive, memorable read, one that has a life-changing effect on its readers. It did have on me. The review was originally published in A&U Magazine--America's AIDS Magazine.

Hope you'll enjoy the book, too.
Thanks for stopping by,
Alina Oswald
Author of Journeys Through Darkness

We Are All the Same: A Story of a Boy's Courage and a Mother's Love
By Jim Wooten
Reviewed by Alina Oswald

He is the Zulu boy who carries his mother's virus and who, because of his mother's last brave and selfless act before her death, ends up in the care of Gail Johnson, a white South African woman in charge of an AIDS hospice for white patients.  Soon, Gail becomes Nkosi's foster mother and, together, they make history: they succeed in pursuing the authorities to allow HIV positive children to go to school with healthy children.  In time, Gail and Nkosi Johnson receive national and international recognition and some South Africa people consider Nkosi one of their heroes and the only one to challenge President Thabo Mbeki-"the country's chief undertaker," how some columnists call him-at the 13th International AIDS Conference, in Durban, South Africa.  
"We are all the same.
We are not different from one another.
We all belong to the same family,"
Eleven year-old Nkosi Johnson addresses his president and the crowds, as one of the keynote speakers at the July 2000 conference.  He speaks on behave of all those living (and dying) with HIV/AIDS and shows the entire world that AIDS has a human face. 
Nkosi Johnson's words impress senior ABC News correspondent Jim Wooten so that the seasoned reporter uses them for the title of his book, the story about "a relationship between a black child who never grew up and a white woman who never gave up," how he explains in its "Introduction." 
To help his readers better understand the amplitude and the complexity of South African AIDS in connection with the global pandemic, the author tackles its various, sometimes antagonistic, aspects and presents them all-medical opinions and dissident ideas about the cause of AIDS, religious beliefs and old Zulu rituals, race and class barriers in South Africa-in a professional, journalistic manner.  Using facts, statistics and true stories, Jim Wooten portrays a stunning, yet real image of the AIDS pandemic.  He presents the African and South African AIDS problem in context with the country's culture, history, economy, and politics and gives it life and human meaning through the story of Nkosi Johnson and the lessons learnt from young boy.  
We Are All The Same doesn't offer a solution for the world's AIDS tragedy.  It doesn't even offer a happy ending.   We Are All The Same teaches about dedication, courage, unconditional love, and unconditional acceptance through its characters and our real life heroes-Nkosi, his mother, and his foster mother Gail Johnson.  They have the strength to make the world better despite life's saddening unfairness and obstacles.  As readers, we only have to follow their example... we'll learn how to reevaluate our own life and make each of its moments matter.

No comments:

Post a Comment