Title: Chanda’s Secrets
Author: Allan Stratton
Publisher: Annick Press
Published Date: 2004
Chanda’s Secrets is about a young African girl who has to grow up fast. Her father and brothers died in a mining accident when she was just a few years old. After the accident her mother went through a string of marriages and men. All the while Chanda went to school and helped raise the new children. The last man that her mother married was a no good man. He was a drunkard and cheater. And like so many men, women and children in African contracted HIV/AIDS and gave it to her mother. Losing everyone she ever loved to the disease, Chanda stays stong through it all. She is not afraid of AIDs and stands up for her family, friends and loved ones. Because of her strength, her town becomes less afraid to talk about the disease and they all become a close neighborhood.
My little synopsis of the book does not due the book justice. If I were to mention even half of everything that happened in the book, this post would be two pages long. The story is fictional, in that Mr. Stratton didn’t base it on a real life event. The AIDS epidemic and the suffering in Africa are all real. This story takes real life problems and brings them home with you. As an American, the AIDS epidemic seems far off to most. For me, I have never known anyone with it. Reading about the what is happening to people due to the virus is eye opening. I’ve never been more grateful for living in America and having the education to know about diseases like AIDS.
If you are looking for a good eye opening book or want to read a beautiful story about a young girl looking to save her friends and family, then this is that read.