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Trainsurfer by Kate S Richards

September 5, 2019 Comments off

trainsurferTrainsurfer by Kate S Richards. Pub. 2018.

An inspiring novel set in Apartheid South Africa just before the release of Nelson Mandela, with surfing the focus for revealing the contrasting lives of both black and white people.

Jabu is a young boy when his mother dies while in need of medical attention because she is black. He leaves his shanty town hovel in Soweto and travels to Durban to be with his aunt who has too many children dependent on her for life.

Through surfing Jabu meets white girl Billie and her surfing white mates, Kyle and Josh. The privileged lifestyle of whites contrasts with the poverty, crime ridden lives of blacks.  But life moves in mysterious ways for both racial groups.

The ending is positive, the characters believable, and there is a beautiful story of a young Rhinoceros in the back of a truck with Jabu. The start and ending are linked beautifully.

There is lots of surfing talk and action with the excellent cover showing Jabu dropping into the green room.

Well written with the author structuring short chapters with gaps between paragraphs allowing the reader with a low concentration span to easily drop and read at will.

For reluctant readers at intermediate and junior high school level. Contact the author at