Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls. Some managed to escape. Many are still missing. A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband—these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. A girl who works hard in school and to help her family. A girl with a future as bright as live coals in the dark. And with a government scholarship right around the corner, everyone—her mother, her five brothers, her best friend, her teachers—can see that these dreams aren’t too far out of reach. Even if the voices on Papa’s radio tell more fearful news than tales to tell by moonlight.But the girl’s dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by Boko Haram, a terrorist group, in the middle of the night. Kidnapped, she is taken with other girls and women into the forest where she is forced to follow her captors’ radical beliefs and watch as her best friend slowly accepts everything she’s been told. Still, the girl defends her existence. As impossible as escape may seem, her life—her future—is hers to fight for.

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree Details

TitleBuried Beneath the Baobab Tree
Author
ReleaseSep 4th, 2018
PublisherKatherine Tegen Books
ISBN-139780062696748
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Cultural, Africa

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree Review

  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, I learnt so much reading this. The world can be such a horrible place :(
  • Kaya
    January 1, 1970
    Y'all, I'm shook. This is the kind of story that feels like it should be happening in a completely different time period, not in the present. I don't know how exactly to convey just how hard-hitting this book is but I will try. Also, TRIGGER WARNING for non-graphic sexual violence. This book was ADDICTIVE. Like, the short chapters and short length allowed me to fly through this story. But it also allows for savoring it, if you know what I mean.I love how the author sets everything up - the world Y'all, I'm shook. This is the kind of story that feels like it should be happening in a completely different time period, not in the present. I don't know how exactly to convey just how hard-hitting this book is but I will try. Also, TRIGGER WARNING for non-graphic sexual violence. This book was ADDICTIVE. Like, the short chapters and short length allowed me to fly through this story. But it also allows for savoring it, if you know what I mean.I love how the author sets everything up - the world our main character lives in, her relationships, her dreams. It makes everything all the more impactful and hard hitting.Baobab trees are magnificent and ought to be treated as such.Life is different. It honestly feels like a different world, a different time but no. This is how it is right now in other parts of the world.I will say this right now: this book is emotional. It's not afraid to showcase the horrors and ruthlessness of the Boko Haram men.The author did an AMAZING job of writing her characters. The metaphors are so distinct from ours, everything is so tragic and real.It did an excellant job of showing this event that happened yet we have either forgotten or don't know about it. It puts a face on the faceless.What Makes This Book Unique?Everything. How it tackles a topic that otherwise gets passed over by all of us alike. How genuine the narrator is. And the afterword is enlightening and heartbreaking.I'd highly recommend this to anyone who's looking for a poignant, moving story that will hopefully open your eyes to what's really going on in the world, as it did mine. What are some stories that have changed the way you view the world? Can't wait to talk with you, au revoir!Thank you to HarperCollins, who provided me with an e-ARC via Edelweiss.
    more
  • Sarah Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    This is a really powerful story that avoids a lot of clichés we see in most American-penned stories about foreign tragedies, almost certainly because the author is Nigerian, and also because a person who was her partner in research had a deep understanding of what it means to be a white person on the ground who is trying to help but be mindful of her whiteness at the same time, and that came through in the really powerful, hour-long afterword. There is no sensationalizing, no infantilizing of th This is a really powerful story that avoids a lot of clichés we see in most American-penned stories about foreign tragedies, almost certainly because the author is Nigerian, and also because a person who was her partner in research had a deep understanding of what it means to be a white person on the ground who is trying to help but be mindful of her whiteness at the same time, and that came through in the really powerful, hour-long afterword. There is no sensationalizing, no infantilizing of the protagonist, no simplifying of the issues but no reveling in gore, either. We see a really complex protagonist and get a feel for how hard it is to resist adjusting to a new life as a hostage even while being well aware that one is a hostage. The vignette style will bring to mind books like The House on Mango Street, and honestly I think this could replace that in many curricula and be a little more current and relevant. I'll be recommending this a lot.
    more
  • KC
    January 1, 1970
    Kidnapped in the middle of the night by the Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist group, young men and young women were ripped from the safety of their homes to be catapulted into a horrifying nightmare. While the boys are whisked away to begin life anew as soldiers, the girls are forced to become wives, religiously convert and submit-comply or be killed. A courageous look at this tragic scenario, collected from countless interviews with the surviving victims.
    more
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Told through vignettes, this book gives voice to the girls who've been kidnapped by the radicalist group Boko Haram in Nigeria. The narrator is an unnamed girl -- later given a name that isn't her birth name by the kidnappers -- and it follows as she pursues her passion for education and feels deeply the crush she has on a local boy. But when Boko Haram charges into the village, she's ripped from her family, taken into their fold, and forced to marry a ban who uses her for her body; she is to be Told through vignettes, this book gives voice to the girls who've been kidnapped by the radicalist group Boko Haram in Nigeria. The narrator is an unnamed girl -- later given a name that isn't her birth name by the kidnappers -- and it follows as she pursues her passion for education and feels deeply the crush she has on a local boy. But when Boko Haram charges into the village, she's ripped from her family, taken into their fold, and forced to marry a ban who uses her for her body; she is to become one of them. But she can't allow herself to be brainwashed, and we're taken into her heart and soul throughout and her deep longing to keep her friendships, her dream of education, and her need to be reunited with her family. There's a lengthy and powerful note at the end about the backstory of the incident that inspired this story and it provides some necessary context. We only ever know what we're told via our own media, and this allows further insight into the real tragedy going on in Nigeria and why girls are being taken as ransom by Boko Haram. Necessary, but challenging, reading. We too rarely get YA books that focus on a story taking part in the non-Western world. This is one of those books, and it's a gem.
    more
  • A Lib Tech Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, Adaobi Tricia NwaubaniRating: 3.5/5Release date: September 4, 2018Note: Special thanks to Harper Collins for providing an ARC for review.Despite being fully aware of what I was getting myself into with the tragic and outrageous occurrence, I was still caught off-guard by the powerful narrative and careful depictions of the protagonist growing up in a Nigerian village and then thrust into a terrifying nightmare as Boko Haram uprooted her home. I love a good story t Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, Adaobi Tricia NwaubaniRating: 3.5/5Release date: September 4, 2018Note: Special thanks to Harper Collins for providing an ARC for review.Despite being fully aware of what I was getting myself into with the tragic and outrageous occurrence, I was still caught off-guard by the powerful narrative and careful depictions of the protagonist growing up in a Nigerian village and then thrust into a terrifying nightmare as Boko Haram uprooted her home. I love a good story that incites the urge to research more about current affairs or topics, and that's what happened with Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree.One of the most vivid scenes that are repeated throughout the book is the juxtaposition of Hollywood and western news with the happenings of the Boko Haram terrorizing Nigeria. If you take a look at the timeline of these lawless events, you'll see that it has been occurring for many years now, and yet much like the author's point with these contrasting news clippings, it's incredibly easy to overlook this senseless tragedy in favour of box office reports. This for me created such a powerful reminder to become more aware and less ignorant of global news and to put myself out there to constantly learn what I can.While the subject matter is extremely heartbreaking, particularly after searching up news articles while I was reading through this book, the short chapters felt a little disruptive to the narrative; although it was a quick read through, I felt like I was being interrupted every time I was getting settled into a scene and it would end abruptly. This made me feel like I couldn't properly grasp the mind of our nameless narrator.Despite that minor flaw, this is still a worthy read and one that might be suitable for younger high school readers.
    more
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Edelweiss for furnishing me with an e-arc of Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree for review and thank you to my friend Sarah for recommending it to me. All opinions are my own. The purpose of this book is to humanize the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria through partial fictionalization of actual interviews from the female victims of this terrorist organization. Boko Haram is a group that has caused mass relocations and deaths throughout Nigeria and into the surrounding countries in their att Thank you to Edelweiss for furnishing me with an e-arc of Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree for review and thank you to my friend Sarah for recommending it to me. All opinions are my own. The purpose of this book is to humanize the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria through partial fictionalization of actual interviews from the female victims of this terrorist organization. Boko Haram is a group that has caused mass relocations and deaths throughout Nigeria and into the surrounding countries in their attempt to create a government based on their bastardized version of the Muslim faith. This book demands that we view these women as more than numbers on the lower third news crawl - by taking us through the experience of being abducted by the group. The chapters are short, almost diary entry style, so you can fly through this story- but the speed at which it can be read belies the impression this story makes.This story doesn't shy away from the violence, sexual abuse, indoctrination, and loss that the citizens in Nigeria have been affected by. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone. It is an important and accessible read that makes sure to remind us of the human impact of the news snippets we hear every day.
    more
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Katherine Tegan Publishing, for an ARC for an honest review. Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani will be Released on September 4th, 2018.Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani was born in Enugu, Nigeria and as of 2015 lived in Lagos, Nigeria. While researching Ms. Nwaubani I noticed something very striking. Of all the essays, letters and work she has done for media outlets such as the BBC and the Guardian (and they took some digging to find) only two focused on her story.Even her Thank you, Katherine Tegan Publishing, for an ARC for an honest review. Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani will be Released on September 4th, 2018.Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani was born in Enugu, Nigeria and as of 2015 lived in Lagos, Nigeria. While researching Ms. Nwaubani I noticed something very striking. Of all the essays, letters and work she has done for media outlets such as the BBC and the Guardian (and they took some digging to find) only two focused on her story.Even her own website offered only a brief five sentence summary on her about page. Mine is two paragraphs long and this world has much more to gain from Ms. Nwaubani having the gift of ramble than I. The rest focused on the stories of others, such as a series of letters on the BBC from Africa They included one about a Nigerian man who wrote hymns. He also had Leprosy.Knowing the background of Ms. Nwaubani, it should be no surprise that Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree is the fictional account of true events from the 2014 raid by the Boko Haram terrorist group on a Nigerian village. Young women were kidnapped, and it is the testimony of survivors that this story is based. Factual and chilling emotional context is brought to that night in 2014 by award winning journalist, Viviana Mazza. Before working with Ms. Nwaubani on Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree the co-authored Stolen Girls. Seven girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram in 2014 were given voices through both narration and true accounts.There will be analysis of the plot but I will not spoil the emotional upheaval of what befalls Ya Ta and Sarah and the other girls after the chapter Bang. There is nothing I can say or do to bring justice to Ms. Nwaubani and Ms. Mazza’s work. Spoilers for the foundation, structure and techniques utilized in the writing but not in the plot from the chapter Surprise going forward. ___________________________________________________________Ms. Nwaubani interlaces coming of age rituals that bond all girls together such as common household chores, daydreams and waiting for puberty, praying for scholarships and acceptance to your number one university pick. Similarly relaying the traditions of best friends, educational routines we take for granted soon to be shattered by the reality of a world that makes us grow up and apart without warning.Foreshadowing is employed well multiple times. There is a class lesson early in the book that centers on democracy. When asked by the teacher to define it, only she and her best friend Sarah can answer the question. The boys do not know what it means. At school, Ya Ta is free to answer and it is demanded by the teacher that all clap for her but at home she is not allowed to speak. Another time her mother reminds everyone that“We must always find reasons to thank God… Everything happens for a reason.”In the chapter Storyteller, you start to see some of the warning signs many spoke of at the time of the actual incident. Smaller incidents that were breaking out here and there but went without being dealt. As the Ya Ta mentions, sometimes they weren’t always believed. However, the incidents continue. They grow, and they spread. A second incident, this one a car bomb in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri killed at least 17 people was also claimed by Boko Haram. Although the military arrested a suspect. This isn’t the last warning sign to come as Boko Haram continues their reign, targeting police stations, government buildings, churches, villages and towns.Until they reach Izghe. Here, the repetitive line of, “We are/They are/He is talking about Boko Haram utilized well to emphasize the tactics developed by the terrorist organization to infiltrate villages, towns and other places they mean to annihilate. Sometimes killing all the men and wearing their clothes, dressing in the uniform of their trade until they can catch women off guard, kidnapping and making the women disappear. Or they use fear tactics of motorcycles and automatic ammunition. Suicide bombers hide their weapons in tool boxes before going into markets, schools, churches or other well-occupied areas to detonate their bombs.I think we’ve all had days or weeks where the greatest and worse thing in the world has happened to us. I think we can also say we have never (I can’t even say working in Rockefellar Square during 9/11 comes in the ballpark of reading the chapter Bang and what follows), have experienced the exhilaration and utter terror that Ya Ta does between the chapters of Surprise and Bang.There is proof in these pages that follow that within masterful imagery, foul language and gore is not needed to evoke gut wrenching pain that stays with you long past the reading of any text. Nor to singe that imagery in your mind’s eyes forever.From the loss of loved ones to learning to disassociate and barely hold on to your own will to survive, it tells the tale of women who bare unthinkable violations against their bodies, their minds, their beliefs and their basic sense of humanity, of existence. They are stories that took courage, bravery and fortitude just to tell. To live through them, to write them are acts of sheer will unknown by me. But I thank all involved for bringing it to the world as a path to discussion, a call to action for all women who suffer at these acts around the world everyday.There is proof in these pages that while resilience is an light that burns brighter than any other will in those that possess it, it can be finite. Watching someone you love have their resilience broken, their mind succumb can make you give up your resilience to all you hold true. Unless you can hold on to the one thing: Yourself. Make it out in one piece and you can bring them back to and that is the most precious gift you can give anyone. Give them back themselves. And then, just maybe, you will have the chance to breakdown yourself and they will be there to hold tight to you.Ms. Mazza’s Afterword: The Chosen Generation is essential to the reading of this work. It is a history, a discussion of how people all around the world took action in 2014 and what has inspired them both to keep their call to arms. It is both successes and disappointments. It is also a very realistic portrait of life in Nigeria as it currently plays out day-to-day. From Nigeria’s own fake media issues to what they often call the battle for the country’s soul. While this is an important story, a famous story. It is but one story, one piece of a larger puzzle that is far from understood and even farther from being neutralized.Due to the nature and content of this novel and the review, should I have gotten anything out of context, incomplete or wrong, please let me know so I can fix it immediately. Thank you.
    more
  • FloeticFlo
    January 1, 1970
    Powerful and so, so sad.The format really helped to emphasize the agony of the story.
  • Kap
    January 1, 1970
    I don't know how to give a proper review for this book. All the typical "book review" words sound hollow. But I also feel compelled to say something after finishing this book, because Nwaubani imbues so much life and hope and humanity into the narrator. She is a young girl. FUll of hopes and dreams and anxious joy for education. But one night her village is attacked; her father and brothers and killed in front of her and she kidnapped by Boko Haram, an extremist group that speaks in violence and I don't know how to give a proper review for this book. All the typical "book review" words sound hollow. But I also feel compelled to say something after finishing this book, because Nwaubani imbues so much life and hope and humanity into the narrator. She is a young girl. FUll of hopes and dreams and anxious joy for education. But one night her village is attacked; her father and brothers and killed in front of her and she kidnapped by Boko Haram, an extremist group that speaks in violence and bloodshed. While it is a work of fiction, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree is born from the real voices of the Chibok girls, who were kidnapped from their boarding school on April 14, 2014, and their family. The short sections read like diary entries--snapshots of a life. The unnamed narrator represents both a singular story and the story of hundreds of girls. This book is short; the language is simple, but it is immensely powerful.
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely a very painful, difficult story to read because of the horrific reality of the subject matter. I distinctly remember when this event happened and the horror of following it on the news but this book takes this event and in a fictionalized account, describes what has happened to many of these girls. The authors have taken extreme care not to overly describe details of specific things that have occurred but you can't avoid the mature topics due to the very nature of this story and what Definitely a very painful, difficult story to read because of the horrific reality of the subject matter. I distinctly remember when this event happened and the horror of following it on the news but this book takes this event and in a fictionalized account, describes what has happened to many of these girls. The authors have taken extreme care not to overly describe details of specific things that have occurred but you can't avoid the mature topics due to the very nature of this story and what has happened. It is very eye-opening and the afterword by one of the authors is so enlightening.
    more
  • Erikka
    January 1, 1970
    This is a powerful and painful book. Written in brief prose snippets that seem almost poetic, we meet an unnamed female who is taken by Boko Haram in the mass kidnapping of 2014. The hardest part of reading this book was watching this happy and intelligent young woman be dealt such a terrible hand. If she had been kidnapped on page one, it wouldn't have been nearly as impacting. I feel like this book created a brilliant image of the horrors those poor girls faced, and in some cases are still fac This is a powerful and painful book. Written in brief prose snippets that seem almost poetic, we meet an unnamed female who is taken by Boko Haram in the mass kidnapping of 2014. The hardest part of reading this book was watching this happy and intelligent young woman be dealt such a terrible hand. If she had been kidnapped on page one, it wouldn't have been nearly as impacting. I feel like this book created a brilliant image of the horrors those poor girls faced, and in some cases are still facing. This isn't historical fiction: it's now. #BringBackOurGirls
    more
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    4.5.
  • Catherine Boddie
    January 1, 1970
    Heartbreaking and hard but important.
  • Claudia Silk
    January 1, 1970
    I learned more from this book about the situation in northern Nigeria and the Boko Haram than any news reporting. This is a heart breaking and beautiful book about one girl and her desire to get educated, get married and bring good things to her village. Instead she is kidnapped and her world is turned upside down. The author does an amazing job with this book and it is based on many interviews with actual girls that have been kidnapped and their families. I think everyone should read this book. I learned more from this book about the situation in northern Nigeria and the Boko Haram than any news reporting. This is a heart breaking and beautiful book about one girl and her desire to get educated, get married and bring good things to her village. Instead she is kidnapped and her world is turned upside down. The author does an amazing job with this book and it is based on many interviews with actual girls that have been kidnapped and their families. I think everyone should read this book. (and I forgot to say that this is a young adult novel because it was so irrelevant to my reading of the book)
    more
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    What a powerful read. It's a quick read - many chapters are only a page long - but it's heartbreaking. There's a long author's note at the end about some of the real girls kidnapped by Boko Haram that really hit hard. This is a rough read, but such an important one. Boko Haram still has so many girls enslaved, some of them brainwashed. I hope that every teacher and librarian can get this in their classroom.
    more
  • Linda Quinn
    January 1, 1970
    A really powerful middle grade novel told from the point of view of a teenaged girl abducted by the Boko Haram. The chapters are almost poetic in their short lengths that speak to us in the voice of one young woman who has to learn to survive through terror and abuse, who refuses to let the poison of the Boko Haram message filter into her spirit. Its easy to imagine this story taking place hundreds of years ago; it’s unthinkable that it is happening in current times.
    more
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    “What if all the legends surrounding Boko Haram are true? What happens to all the girls and women they cause to disappear? Do they end up in another world strange and new, or do they simply become nothing?”What a powerful book! I read it in less than 24 hours, unable to sleep until I knew what happened to the narrator. It’s harrowing, full of trauma, but so exceptionally well written.The novel starts in the village of an unnamed narrator. It was really exciting at first to see her life in the vi “What if all the legends surrounding Boko Haram are true? What happens to all the girls and women they cause to disappear? Do they end up in another world strange and new, or do they simply become nothing?”What a powerful book! I read it in less than 24 hours, unable to sleep until I knew what happened to the narrator. It’s harrowing, full of trauma, but so exceptionally well written.The novel starts in the village of an unnamed narrator. It was really exciting at first to see her life in the village. The author does a really nice job of showing the complexities of contemporary rural Nigerian life. The narrator is the best student in school and dreams of a scholarship. She excitedly awaits the pink van that brings pads and when her friend Aisha makes goat soup. But she also watches rom-coms with her friends and crushes on the cute boy at church. This part is genuine and adorable. It has a nice balance between showing the difficulties of poverty in rural Africa, without infantilizing or stereotyping their experience.Obviously, this book is billed as a book about Boko Haram and therefore, the novel takes a really dark turn. The narrator and her friends are kidnapped. I really appreciated how the book differentiated between Islam and Boko Haram. At one point, Aisha, a young kidnapped Muslim girl, says, “This is not Islam.” I think that for teenagers who might pick up this book, this is a really important point. Even though Aisha is Muslim, she is still treated as horribly as the other girls. There are a lot of intensely difficult moments in the book: Seeing the indoctrination of her friend Sarah. Seeing the sexual violence inflicted on the girls in the book. Seeing how the terrorist group stripped the narrator of so many of her dreams. And of course, the worst part is that in reality these girls have not been freed. There are real girls with these same stories, waiting for freedom. I liked that the narrator (and her Boko Haram husband) are unnamed. It makes it seem like she could be any girl and he could be any boy. This cruel, heartbreaking story could happen to ordinary people.The book is written in a really beautiful and approachable style. It’s quite poetic, with easily accessible passages that are mostly a page each. I think that people who enjoy Rupi Kaur poetry or other books in that style would find the writing captivating. I can see it being particularly appealing to teenage audiences.As a teacher, I’d be a little uncertain what age to give this book to. The narrator seems to be between 14 and 16. It’s the kind of book that in some ways, I’d really like to teach to students as it makes these atrocities relatable. However, this book is incredibly heavy and violent. It has several incidents of murder and rape. While I have some students who would probably be fascinated with it, both for its justice and empathy components, I know there are other that would struggle with how heartbreaking the content is.I definitely recommend this book to others who want to learn about the Boko Haram kidnappings. There are also deep messages about the power of womanhood, the celebration of education, and nuance of religion and identity. I love that there is so much to unpack. I love that it is written with so much compassion and thought. The ending made me cry and I hope that the kidnapped girls get their own hopeful endings.
    more
  • Jennifer Laseman
    January 1, 1970
    Such a bold choice to make the Boko Haram kidnapping of young girls and forced conversion and marriage the subject of a middle grade novel. Nwaubani doesn’t diminish or soften the truth of what her main protagonist is experiencing as a young girl bursting to break through gender based cultural restrictions before her kidnapping, nor after her abduction, as she relates all her protagonist must go through to survive. I love that she has that kind of respect for her young adult audience and realize Such a bold choice to make the Boko Haram kidnapping of young girls and forced conversion and marriage the subject of a middle grade novel. Nwaubani doesn’t diminish or soften the truth of what her main protagonist is experiencing as a young girl bursting to break through gender based cultural restrictions before her kidnapping, nor after her abduction, as she relates all her protagonist must go through to survive. I love that she has that kind of respect for her young adult audience and realizes this is an important story that teens and tweens (and adults!) should know about. I found the short chapters helped lend some authenticity to the narrator’s voice and her life experience and also gave a certain poetic quality to her storytelling. This is a book that will spark discussion about how we view the world and the roles women and girls are assigned by their culture, religion, family, and friends.
    more
  • Zachary Morris
    January 1, 1970
    I got an ARC copy of this book rom the library through this summer reading event. Because I read 5 books an wrote a review for each of them I was able to choose 2 books from the library I wanted to keep and this was one of them.Having chosen this book, I would like to say that it was truly amazing and I am so glad that I chose it as one of my books. At first glance it looked like an easy read, and it was physically, but mentally this book had me in shambles. I wanted to cry and scream and cry so I got an ARC copy of this book rom the library through this summer reading event. Because I read 5 books an wrote a review for each of them I was able to choose 2 books from the library I wanted to keep and this was one of them.Having chosen this book, I would like to say that it was truly amazing and I am so glad that I chose it as one of my books. At first glance it looked like an easy read, and it was physically, but mentally this book had me in shambles. I wanted to cry and scream and cry some more at this book. It was emotional and I could feel the life that this girl was living. The style of writing actually reminded me of The Handmaid's Tale at times just because of insane conservative views and the first person narration. It seemed like a dream, like a dystopian fantasy horror novel when things like this truly happened. We never learned the girls real name, but we did learn her new name, instead of being Offred, she was Salamatu. Saftey.I read this book and I knew what was going to happen and I don't know if that made it harder for me to continue or not. Th beginning of this book had me wishing for the girl to escape, to live free without ever knowing how her lie could have changed forever. I saw myself in her, my love for learning and reading and when an author can write that into a novel I always love and appreciate it.The story behind this book being written was amazing to read too. The afterward both educated and inspired me. I had no idea about any of this, I for one never truly paid any attention to politics or world issues until after Trump was elected, and that may also be because I was 15 when he was elected, but also because I do not trust him, nor truly how America or any other imperialistic countries act. This afterward inspired me through the two woman who came together and wrote this book and researched it. I want to write a book about the AIDS epidemic and how it affected people and seeing how these women went about it was enlightening and it also showed me that people actually experienced these things. This is something that happened. I want to be able to do more for my community through my writing and to let people know through my writing that things like this happened and that things like this are not acceptable. What happened with the Boko Haram is disgusting and never should have happened. It should have been stopped immediately, yet it was not. GIrls had to be raped and kidnapped and nothing happened, boys and men were murdered in their homes or forced to become murderers. They forced them to change their religions, to learn how to kill, to learn to become suicide bombers or shooters. And it was awful.The characters in this story were real, and when I was reading the afterward about Dorcas Yakuba I saw the distinct connection to Sarah but also to the main character. Sarah was possibly the saddest part of this story. She was corrupted and became something that should never have been allowed to exist. I also found it extremely interesting that the author connected Sarah to the best friends of the girls they based the story around who's best friends were named Saraya, Saraya, and Sarah.Overall I must say this book was an incredible experience, and an amazing window into the culture and lives of those who live in Nigeria, but also those who suffered from the Boko Haram attacks and how they coped with it during their life in the camps, as well as after they were brought back to their democratic societies. It is a wonderful book and I would recommend it to anyone once it reaches shelves.
    more
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    3.5*I received a digital review copy from Edelweiss* This is an incredibly important and powerful story. In the news it feels like the Boko Haram does not exist because it is not talked about, but they do exist and what the girls went through is still real and greatly affecting their lives. It was interesting to read about a different culture. I feel I learned a lot about Nigerian people from this book. I do think the beginning dragged a little. Despite the important topic I was tempted to dnf 3.5*I received a digital review copy from Edelweiss* This is an incredibly important and powerful story. In the news it feels like the Boko Haram does not exist because it is not talked about, but they do exist and what the girls went through is still real and greatly affecting their lives. It was interesting to read about a different culture. I feel I learned a lot about Nigerian people from this book. I do think the beginning dragged a little. Despite the important topic I was tempted to dnf the book at about the 20% mark. It was only due to other reviews I read that convinced me to keep reading, which I am ultimately grateful for. Due to the premise of the book, it is obvious that the main character will be kidnapped. This made it hard to care about any of her day to day activities or worries because I knew everything was about to change. I know that the reader needed this section of "before" to understand what exactly the girls lost but I still feel like it went on for a bit too long. The middle was the best written, most intriguing, and hardest to read because we are learning about what happened after the girls, women, and young boys were taken. I appreciated how much research went into this book. The authors mention that they interviewed many girls and families about what happened to best explain this horrific time. After the middle section, I was again let down by the ending. I feel like it ended too soon. Nearly all the chapters are only a page or so long, with some only being a few paragraphs. Because of this I wasn't surprised by the end when a chapter abruptly ends. It was only after I turned the page of the apparent last chapter and found the author's note that I realized the book was over. I can understand why the authors chose to end the story where they did, but I feel like a few more chapters would have made the story feel more complete. But maybe that was what they were going for. The story of the Boko Haram girls are still being written and the aftermath of what they went through is still affecting them. Their story is not complete or guaranteed a happy ending, and the book reflects that. Overall, I'm glad I read this book. The Boko Haram as a whole are terrifying and their ability to turn people to their side so easily is chilling. I think this is a story everyone should read.
    more
  • Lena
    January 1, 1970
    I started reading this book yesterday at the bookstore and I said I would only be there for 30 minutes, but by the time I caught myself I was so many chapters in. I came home and immediately downloaded it on my iPad. This book is beautifully written from start to finish. It is a difficult subject, that I must admit I heard back when the abductions happened, but once the news coverage dwindled I was to scared to look into it. It is like stepping into another world reading about how going to schoo I started reading this book yesterday at the bookstore and I said I would only be there for 30 minutes, but by the time I caught myself I was so many chapters in. I came home and immediately downloaded it on my iPad. This book is beautifully written from start to finish. It is a difficult subject, that I must admit I heard back when the abductions happened, but once the news coverage dwindled I was to scared to look into it. It is like stepping into another world reading about how going to school is a total luxury for these girls and how they face so many obstacles to continue their education. Like the mention of the pink van. "I had better save the remaining five pads for a more critical time, someday when we are writing tests or exams. I pray that I will see the woman in the pink van again someday." Stuff I take for granted and are a guaranteed item at home, for these girls it is a luxury they cannot afford. Then comes Aisha's story and how she married and she cannot return to school because her husband's family decided she did not need an education. But then she finds solace in having a husband who brings her movies, he chooses them, and treats her well which is a relief because she didn't know him before they married.Then comes the kidnapping and all the horrors of it all. With all the hardships, abuse, confusion, and being stripped away from everything you they have ever known, Ya Ta never lost hope and never lost herself. she even took a beating and even after it she saw her chance and she took it. It was such a fast paced book and the fact that I learned so much from it want me wanting more. When I came to the afterword I still felt like I wanted to keep going with her. I wanted to know how she went on with her life because I truly got attached to her. I found myself terrified when they talked about the Oscar nominees and how normal it was for me, but where they were they were hearing this as Boko Haram was taking everything from innocent people. I also loved that Ya Ta always knew that this was not an entire religion's doing. "This is not Islam" That's right, it is not.
    more
  • Lizz DiCesare
    January 1, 1970
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree is told in short vignettes, which make it an addictive read. The story, while based on interviews, focuses on two fictional girls—best friends—who are kidnapped together, but ultimatley forced apart by Boko Haram.Throughout the book many difficult topics are addressed: forced marriages, suicide bombings, religious conversion (not by choice), gender-based restrictions, and sexual assault and harassment. Feminine hygiene, an often overlooked topic, was also addressed Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree is told in short vignettes, which make it an addictive read. The story, while based on interviews, focuses on two fictional girls—best friends—who are kidnapped together, but ultimatley forced apart by Boko Haram.Throughout the book many difficult topics are addressed: forced marriages, suicide bombings, religious conversion (not by choice), gender-based restrictions, and sexual assault and harassment. Feminine hygiene, an often overlooked topic, was also addressed. The pain the girls went through, both physically and emotionally, while menstruating was heartbreaking.That being said, the story also touches on family relationships, friendships, and the strong, relentlessness sense of hope that helps humans survive, even in dire situations.This book is not easy to read. However, it is incredibly important. The situations and events discussed are very real, and are happening to people every day. The narrative is uncomfortable and harrowing, but also uplifting. It will definitely pull at your heartstrings, open up important conversations, and leave you reeling with emotions.My full review can be found at: https://literarylizard.com/2018/08/28...Thank you Harper Collins Canada for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree uses vignettes to tell the story of an unnamed girl who is kidnapped by Boko Haram. The kidnapping of women and girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria briefly captured the world’s attention in 2014.I really liked that Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree brings some focus back to a story that the Western media covered for a relatively short period of time. The narrative does a good job providing a look at everyday life in the Borno region of Nigeria prior to Boko Haram and expla Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree uses vignettes to tell the story of an unnamed girl who is kidnapped by Boko Haram. The kidnapping of women and girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria briefly captured the world’s attention in 2014.I really liked that Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree brings some focus back to a story that the Western media covered for a relatively short period of time. The narrative does a good job providing a look at everyday life in the Borno region of Nigeria prior to Boko Haram and explains some of the factors that contributed to the rise of this terrorist group. The vignette element of this story was not my favorite. The shortness of the chapters made it hard for me to feel emotionally invested in the story, particularly as the focus of the story could shift quickly. This emotional distance from what's unfolding in the narrative may make this book better for younger YA readers, as the horrific events happening to the kidnapped girls mostly happen off-page and in a way that feels distant from the narrator. This is a story that definitely needs to be told and I'm glad to have read Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree even though I didn't like the method in which the story was told.
    more
  • Chardon (dis.cat)
    January 1, 1970
    I believe I'm not too far off when I say that: most Americans have very little knowledge about Boko Haram. This includes myself. Sure, we heard news clips here and there: terrorist cell, missing girls, rising death count, bad. But that's about it. We had no idea where these people came from, what they wanted, the full extent of what horrors they were inflicting on these people. None of it. So when I saw the synopsis for this novel, I requested it immediately. I wanted to begin to understand.This I believe I'm not too far off when I say that: most Americans have very little knowledge about Boko Haram. This includes myself. Sure, we heard news clips here and there: terrorist cell, missing girls, rising death count, bad. But that's about it. We had no idea where these people came from, what they wanted, the full extent of what horrors they were inflicting on these people. None of it. So when I saw the synopsis for this novel, I requested it immediately. I wanted to begin to understand.This novel follows the story of an unnamed girl living in a Nigerian village with her family. Over the course of the book, we get to see glimpses of what her life is like before, during, and shortly after the rise of Boko Haram, and what affects it has had on, not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows, and the home that she loves.This novel is hard. Not only because the events that are discussed in the book are difficult to read about, but because the knowledge that, this happened, IS happening, right under our noses, and so very little is being done on our side of it. These people are being brutalized, and murdered. These young girls are being taken, brainwashed, raped, and killed. And most people in American probably wouldn't even know what Boko Haram is if you asked them. This is a very difficult pill to swallow. What is being done to help these people? Are we just leaving them to fend off these terrorists by themselves? What about these girls? What are we doing to try and get them back? Anything? It's all so very heartbreaking.There were several, very deliberate choices made in the telling of this story, that made it work so very well. One of them being the aforementioned namelessness of the main character. This really conveyed the message that, this could could be ANY girl in Nigeria's story. That it is the harsh truth of MANY girls from Nigeria. It's not just one, particular instance, or experience. It's the story of many. It's a story that many girls will never get to tell, because we will never hear their voices again. Another choice was that of the very short chapters. The author didn't spend great lengths of time describing things. She gave us glimpses. This made the story feel more authentic. It made us feel like we were actually there, living life along side this young girl. It also made the horror feel that much more real. We didn't need long, drawn out explanations of the brutality being done to these people. This violence is being done quick, and methodically. The narrative does a very good job of conveying this to the reader.I also appreciated how, after the novel was finished, the author's translator went into detail explaining: how Boko Haram came into power, what was being done to help find the stolen girls, how she became involved with the project, etc. It really just showed how much both, the translator and the author, care about this topic, and how much care they put into getting this story just right.This novel isn't an easy one to get through, but it's so very important. What is happening to these people is horrendous, and should be discussed, and learned about, and dealt with. And, even without the horrors, this novel was still so informative. I learned so much about Nigerian culture from this novel, that I never would've known had I not picked up this book, which is also very important. This is a story that everyone should read, and learn from, and act on. Stories like this exist so that these voices will be heard, and so that these atrocities can be stopped, and prevented. We need to listen, and act. We need to do better.
    more
  • Just Reading Everything
    January 1, 1970
    Poignant, powerful, heartbreaking, and, sadly, real. In April of 2014, Boko Haram gained national media attention when he kidnapped 276 girls from Chibok in Nigeria, 50 of who were able to escape. Although Nwaubani tells a story of a fictionalized girl, the events are true to reality. The nameless narrator of this story is determined to gain a government scholarship in order to attend university for free and help her family. But then her village is attacked by Boko Haram, and she and her best fr Poignant, powerful, heartbreaking, and, sadly, real. In April of 2014, Boko Haram gained national media attention when he kidnapped 276 girls from Chibok in Nigeria, 50 of who were able to escape. Although Nwaubani tells a story of a fictionalized girl, the events are true to reality. The nameless narrator of this story is determined to gain a government scholarship in order to attend university for free and help her family. But then her village is attacked by Boko Haram, and she and her best friend are kidnapped and forced to serve their captors’ radical beliefs. Yet despite everything, she is determined to escape.
    more
  • Anita Eti
    January 1, 1970
    As a Nigerian American, this book really had such an impact on me. Even though you hear of the events occurring, it's hard to really picture as you go about in your air-conditioned house or workplace with most modern conveniences. Reading the experience of this young girl going through what she did was a wake-up call to me. I think everyone who's interested in whats going on in Nigeria, or even those who just want to be more compassionate should read this. Honestly, it's not even that long, some As a Nigerian American, this book really had such an impact on me. Even though you hear of the events occurring, it's hard to really picture as you go about in your air-conditioned house or workplace with most modern conveniences. Reading the experience of this young girl going through what she did was a wake-up call to me. I think everyone who's interested in whats going on in Nigeria, or even those who just want to be more compassionate should read this. Honestly, it's not even that long, some chapters have only one paragraph. Definitely a book you'll remember long after the last word is read.Received this ARC from Edelweiss+ Thanks!
    more
  • Corrie
    January 1, 1970
    This book was hard to put down. The narrator is an unnamed girl who has hopes and dreams for the future and most of all an education. Everything changes when her village is attacked in the middle of the night by Boko Haram, a terrorist group. Her father and brothers are killed and she and the other girls in the village are kidnapped. The girls are forced to be salves, to become wives and religiously convert or be killed. It's horrifying to know that this happened to real girls and that hundreds This book was hard to put down. The narrator is an unnamed girl who has hopes and dreams for the future and most of all an education. Everything changes when her village is attacked in the middle of the night by Boko Haram, a terrorist group. Her father and brothers are killed and she and the other girls in the village are kidnapped. The girls are forced to be salves, to become wives and religiously convert or be killed. It's horrifying to know that this happened to real girls and that hundreds are still missing. It's a powerful & painful story. I definitely recommend this book.
    more
  • Michelle Schultze
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think I've ever read a story more potent than this one. Artistically stunning, but also delivering incredibly haunting subject matter. And the worst part—it's all real, all things that have happened in the past 3-4 years and are still happening now. This was a beautifully written, terribly important book. I can't wait until it comes out and the story can get the attention it deserves.
    more
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    This was an intense read. It's hard to imagine people having to live through the events that transpired in the book. I knew about Boko Haram before reading but have a new-found empathy for those who live in fear of them every day. It hurts my heart that these things are happening in the world today.
    more
Write a review