Auma's Long Run
by Eucabeth Odhiambo
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Pub Date 01 Sep 2017 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2017
Lerner Publishing Group, Carolrhoda Books ®
Auma loves to run. In her small Kenyan village, she's a track star with big dreams. A track scholarship could allow her to attend high school and maybe even become a doctor. But a strange new sickness called AIDS is ravaging the village, and when her father becomes ill, Auma's family needs her help at home. Soon more people are getting sick—even dying—and no one knows why. Now Auma faces a difficult choice. Should she stay to support her struggling family or leave to pursue her own future? Auma knows her family is depending on her, but leaving might be the only way to find the answers to questions about this new disease.
•A BEA Editors' Buzz Pick
•A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle-Grade Book of 2016
•A Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
A BEA Editors' Buzz Pick
“At its vibrant heart Auma's Long Run is a coming of age story whose journey is centered on sustaining direction amidst a backdrop where fixity has been lost. It does a marvelous job of simultaneously conveying the world of a rural Kenyan village in the 1980s, along with the immediacy of its narrator's personal ambition in conflict with her duty to family and community. As moving as it is accessible and informative, Auma's story is illumined by a surprising vision of hope made all the more powerful by its realism, limited nature, and coinciding elements of loss and sacrifice. Auma's Long Run is a superb story which will resonate richly in the minds of young readers.”
—Kenny Brechner, Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Farmington, ME
“If you’re looking for a terrific story with an unbeatable protagonist and some important knowledge thrown into the mix, you need to read Auma’s Long Run by Eucabeth Odhiambo. Auma’s Long Run is the perfect vehicle for apprising readers of the history and present dangers of HIV/AIDs in Kenya, while presenting an engaging story. Whether the reader is looking to read a good story or learn something, Auma’s Long Run will satisfy.”
-Jennifer Wills Geraedts, Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery, Park Rapids, MN
“Auma is an inspiration and a fighter! This story is about women and courage and not giving up. I am thankful that a story like this can be shared with such honesty and compassion. The early days of the AIDS epidemic were so terrifying because there were no answers to so many questions. Auma's Long Run puts these questions into perspective and helps us to see today's society in a new light. Open this book and experience Auma's beautiful story.
—Shane Mullen, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO
“I found Auma's Long Run to be so thoughtful and easy to read while talking about the hard subject of AIDS and death in a way that was informative without being preachy. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a strong female lead character. This would make a great addition to any ‘Strong Women’ themed display.”
—Angela Schwesnedl, Moon Palace Books, Minneapolis, MN
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 44 members
This is a sobering, but important, look at how HIV/AIDS impacted Kenyan citizens in its infancy. Auma's story highlights the lack of education and misinformation surrounding the virus, and gives insight into one way in which the spread so rapidly. The impact on Kenyan children, who were forced to grow up and take on responsibility for their families, was hard to absorb, but the hope that Auma had for her future was inspiring. This was an excellent read, and I'd definitely recommend it.