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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 232
Themes: South Africa, apartheid, love, race, racism, tsotsi, Johannesburg, Soweto, police, murder, violence, township, students, university
Publisher: Tradewind Books
Pub Date: 15/Feb/2017
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It’s 1976 in South Africa, and four young people are living in Johannesburg and its black township, Soweto: Zanele, a black female student organizer; Meena, a South Asian girl working at her father's shop; Jack, an Oxford-bound white student; and Thabo, a teen-gang member, or tsotsi. From each of their points of view, this book explores the roots of the Soweto Uprising and the edifice of apartheid in a South Africa about to explode.

Introducing readers to a remarkable young literary talent, When Morning Comes offers an impeccably researched and vivid snapshot of South African society on the eve of the uprising that changed it forever.

Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Raina's story powerfully demonstrates the high stakes of the teenagers' choices while maintaining a bracing pace that builds steady tension. Each character's distinct voice contributes to a sense of imminent change...A riveting and accomplished debut."
Midwest Book Review
"A simply riveting read from cover to cover, When Morning Comes is especially recommended for both school and community library YA Fiction collections."
Africana Book Award Jury
"When Morning Comes is a multi-faceted novel that covers many important themes… Arushi Raina employs plot, characterization, and narrative style to advance the themes with sophistication."
School Library Journal blog
"It's a strong novel—it's political, it's historical, it's gripping, it's well written: clear, well paced, and with high stakes…Raina is definitely an author to watch."
Africana Book Award Committee
"Arushi Raina employs plot, characterization, and narrative style to advance (her) themes with sophistication. In the process of crossing boundaries, (her characters) evolve into strong friends, compassionate human beings, and responsible citizens."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"The presentation of characters with different racial identities beautifully highlights how those identities shape the characters' understandings and experiences...Readers who love the fast pace and high stakes of dystopian teen literature should snag this book. This timely reminder of the power and passion of young people contextualizes current student protests by honoring those of the past."
Geoffrey Bilson Award Jury
"Explosively powerful and agonizingly raw, the novel highlights the harsh realities of life in apartheid South Africa and is a timely reminder of the sacrifices involved in deconstructing an unjust social order…The stakes are high, the four voices powerful and committed, and the power of youth to effect political change is exposed in this tense, and often violent novel…The representations of different cultural groups are nuanced and complex, without resorting to stereotypes…An important story."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Readers...will recognize parallel themes from youth involvement in the American civil rights movement (and) historical fiction fans will find common ground here with teens who favor dramatic thrillers."
School Library Journal
"The story is easily relatable for today's teens. The narrative is spare and engaging, but it also unloads a wealth of information about the time and a vivid sense of the setting...An eye-opening view of a rarely covered time and place in YA literature, this title offers rich opportunities for discussion and classroom sharing."


Kirkus Best Debut Novels  | 2017 | Commended
Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year  | 2018 | Commended
Africana Book Award Best Book for Older Readers  | 2018 | Winner
Crossword Book Award for Young People  | 2018 | Short-listed
Neev Children's Book Award  | 2019 | Commended

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