The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mariatu's story of life as an 11 year old child in Sierra Leone with a loving family is shattered immediately with the arrival of the civil war that brings rebels into villages to search and destroy. The rebels are as young as Mariatu, and they have guns, machetes, stones and boards for beating, killing, and maiming all of the people in a village. Mariatu is forced to watch 20 people, many she knows, be herded into a hut and then the hut is set on fire. Mariatu is then one of many that day who has her hands chopped off and then set free to show the President of Sierra Leone what the rebels are doing. Mariatu didn't even know what a president was. Mariatu goes on to tell what happens afterward, how she meets up with kind people, and also reunites with other family members who have also had their hands removed. She has journalists interview her and as her story spreads, Mariatu comes to England and Toronto to become educated and help her family back in Sierra Leone. This memoir is a testament to one girl's courage in spite of adversity and how she works on a daily basis to tell the world the horrors that are befalling children during war.
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