Thirteen-year-old Shida, whose name means "problem" in Swahili, certainly has a lot of problems in her life - her father is dead, her depressed mother is rumored to be a witch, her family bears the weight of a curse, and everyone in her rural Tanzanian village expects her to marry rather than pursue her dream of becoming a healer.
So when the elders of Litongo make a controversial decision to move Shida's people to a nearby village, Shida welcomes the change. Surely the opportunity to go to school and learn from a nurse can only mean good things. Nonetheless, mysterious calamities plague Shida's people after their move. Desperate to stay, Shida must prove to her people that life can be better in their new home.
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"Starred Review. A mesmerizing read that expands young readers' worldview even as the pages turn." - Kirkus
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Katie Quirk fell in love with Tanzania teaching writing on the southern shore of Lake Victoria for two years. She currently lives in Maine and is working on a parenting memoir about raising her son in India.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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