The Bite Of The Mango

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The Bite Of The Mango

by Mariatu Kamara, Susan Mcclelland

Annick Press | September 12, 2008 | Trade Paperback

The Bite Of The Mango is rated 4 out of 5 by 4.

The astounding story of one girl''s journey from war victim to UNICEF Special Representative.

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.

In this gripping and heartbreaking true story, Mariatu shares with readers the details of the brutal attack, its aftermath and her eventual arrival in Toronto. There she began to pull together the pieces of her broken life with courage, astonishing resilience and hope.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 in

Published: September 12, 2008

Publisher: Annick Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1554511585

ISBN - 13: 9781554511587

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Gripping Memoir Story Description: Annick Press|September 12, 2008|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 13:978-1-55451-158-7 The astounding story of one girl’s journey from war victim to UNICEF Special Representative. When 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soliders, 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. In the gripping and heartbreaking true story, Mariatu shares with readers the details of the brutal attack, its aftermath and her eventual arrival in Toronto. There she began to pull together the pieces of her broken life with courage, astonishing resilience and hope. My Review: Mariatu Kamara, eleven-years-old lived with her aunt Marie, uncle Alie, and cousins in a small village in Sierra Leone called Magborou. There were only about 200 people living there. The eight houses in the village were made out of clay, with wood and tin roofs, and several families lived in each one. Magborou was an extremely poor village and none of the children attended school because their help was needed on the farms. When Mariatu was seven-years-old she was big enough to carry plastic jugs of water and straw baskets filled with corn on her head. She spent her mornings planting and harvesting. They grew peanuts, rice, peppers, sweet potatoes, and cassava which is like a potato. During the afternoon, Mariatu would play hide-and-seek with her cousins and friends. At night she spent time dancing to the sound of drums and people singing. Once each week the whole village got together to watch as people put on performances. Mariatu was eleven when the war came to Sierra Leone. The chariman of their village had heard that violent rebels were destroying villages and killing people in eastern Sierra Leone but were headed toward Magborou. The rebels wanted to overthrow the government which they accused of being corrupt and not helping people. The villages were hearing that the rebels weren’t just killing people but also torturing them. The chairman of Magborou decided that the villagers should move to another village named Manarma in hopes of avoiding the rebels. He felt they would all be safer there and there were a lot more people in Manarma. As they slept and woke in their new village they could hear gunshots in the distance. They were all quiet with no singing, dancing, or drum playing. Some of the elders ordered Mariatu and some others to walk back to their village of Magborou to retrieve some food from the supply bin. Mariatu was afraid and didn’t want to go but you didn’t disobey elders. She and some others set out together but they never reached Magborou. During their trek they had to pass through another village and as soon as they entered it they heard gunshots. About ten of them had left for Magborou from Manarma. The older men in the group decided they should wait until the gunfire ended before going any further. After awhile the men in the group decided to send Mariatu and another kid, Adamsay back to Manarma just to be safe. They began walking. When they reached the outskirts of Manarma, they stopped near the soccer field. They couldn’t see or hear anybody which they thought was very unusual. Suddenly they saw soldiers of some sort who were bare-chested with bullets wrapped around their bodies. Adamsay was frightened and began to run away but a man came out of nowhere and caught her by the waist. He threw her down in the dust beside Mariatu. He had several guns slung over his shoulders. Another soldier came and they pushed the two kids into the village. Mariatu could now see that the soldiers had taken over the village going in and out of people’s houses, robbing them of people’s possessions. The soldiers ordered Mariatu and Adamsay to sit on the ground and tied their hands behind their backs. A few minutes later, a couple of the soliders took Mariatu into the bushes and cut off both her hands with a machete. What happened after this was truly horrible. An atrocity! I give Mariatu a lot of credit for what she saw, what she endured and for having the courage to come forward and tell her story. The Bite of the Mango is a story of bravery, courage, resilience, strength, and of moving forward. I would highly recommend that everyone read this memoir.
Date published: 2013-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brutally inspiring During the civil war in Sierra Leone, Kamara’s rural village is attacked by armed rebels. While this brutal attack is taking place, her hands are cut off by child soldiers leaving her almost helpless as she makes her way to find medical help. With the assistance of McClelland, an award-winning journalist, Kamara traces her journey of recovery from the unspeakable horrors of her youth to the spokeswoman and role model she is today. Without self-pity, she manages to tell the truth from the place of a survivor, not a victim. We all have much to learn from this remarkable young woman.
Date published: 2010-04-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Amateurish While the details of the horrific attack upon Mariatu Kamara are certainly moving, the prosaic style leaves much to be desired. Susan McClelland may have won an Amnesty award, but she will not be winning any Pulitzers. If a documentary is produced, I hope that this story will be conveyed at a higher level than was the case in this instance.
Date published: 2010-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent choice for teens Takes you to a horror of a world that exists in our time. A testament to the power and courage of one small girl against total evil and chaos.
Date published: 2009-07-18

– More About This Product –

The Bite Of The Mango

by Mariatu Kamara, Susan Mcclelland

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 224 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 in

Published: September 12, 2008

Publisher: Annick Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1554511585

ISBN - 13: 9781554511587

Read from the Book

Foreword In my culture, every story is told with the purpose of either imparting knowledge, repairing a broken bond, or transforming the listener and the teller. Mariatu''s story embodies all of these elements. I have been waiting for such a story, one that reminds us all of the strength and resilience of the human spirit. The Bite of the Mango is a rare account, written in a chillingly honest voice, of how a 12-year-old girl became a victim of one of the most brutal wars of the 20th century. It is the story of how this girl survived to start life over again, after being robbed not only of her childhood but of her hands. She has had to learn to live without them. What does it feel like to be unable to wipe away your own tears of deep sadness, to stand without hands to push you up? Mariatu tells us about these experiences and many more in her narrative of lost innocence, betrayal, and recovery during an arduous and bloodcurdling time. She describes the humility, culture, and interaction of a closely knit village community in Sierra Leone, and explores how war fueled our country''s disintegration into a society filled with suspicion and distrust as neighbor turned against neighbor, child against child, and child against parent. This powerful and timely story is told in simple language that captures both the innocence of the teller and her desperation to create a deepening awareness about the suffering of children caught up in the madness of war. "It is difficult to start talkin
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From the Publisher

The astounding story of one girl''s journey from war victim to UNICEF Special Representative.

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.

In this gripping and heartbreaking true story, Mariatu shares with readers the details of the brutal attack, its aftermath and her eventual arrival in Toronto. There she began to pull together the pieces of her broken life with courage, astonishing resilience and hope.

About the Author

Now 21 years old, Mariatu Kamara will embark this year on a North American speaking tour as a UNICEF Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflicts. A documentary about her life is in development.

Susan McClelland is an award-winning journalist and recipient of the 2005 Amnesty International Media Award. She lives in Toronto.

by Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland

Editorial Reviews

This is an honest and true story told without glamour or artifice.

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17