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Aluta
Cover of Aluta
Aluta
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For eighteen-year-old Charlotte, university life is better than she'd ever dreamed — a sophisticated and generous roommate, the camaraderie of dorm living, parties, clubs and boyfriends. Most of all, Charlotte is exposed to new ideas, and in 1981 Ghana, this may be the most exciting – and most dangerous — adventure of all.

For eighteen-year-old Charlotte, university life is better than she'd ever dreamed — a sophisticated and generous roommate, the camaraderie of dorm living, parties, clubs and boyfriends. Most of all, Charlotte is exposed to new ideas, and in 1981 Ghana, this may be the most exciting – and most dangerous — adventure of all.

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  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    770
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

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About the Author-
  • Adwoa Badoe is a Ghanaian-born physician, storyteller, educator, writer and African dance instructor. She is the author of the novel Between Sisters, as well as several picture books, including The Pot of Wisdom, illustrated by Baba Wagué Diakité and Nana's Cold Days, illustrated by Bushra Junaid.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 3, 2016
    It's 1981 Ghana, and 18-year-old university student Charlotte's world feels full of opportunity. She has an older, sophisticated roommate (who teaches her to relax her natural hair and introduces her to wealthy men and dance clubs), challenging classes led by inspiring professors, and new friends like political activist Banahene. Encouraged by her political science teacher and Banahene, who persuade Charlotte that her passion and voice will inspire other women to become more involved in politics, she becomes an active member of the university's student government. When the Ghanaian government is overthrown, political factions recruit and threaten students to advance their agendas, manipulating public news sources and the dialogue surrounding the violent takeover, and Charlotte quickly learns that politics and power can be a treacherous game. Though the pacing is uneven, with the stakes raised significantly near the very end of Charlotte's story, Badoe (Between Sisters) captures the setting with authenticity, and the focus on student involvement in politics is timely. Charlotte, however, often feels more like a passive observer than an active part of the novel. Ages 14–up.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2016
    As author and storyteller Badoe chronicles 18-year-old first-year political science student Charlotte Adom's college life at the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, it's one of studying hard, eating home-cooked meals between classes--and dating. Charlotte, her roommate, Mary, and floor mates Juaben and Sylvia go together to nightclubs, where they meet wealthy professional men. Such a man is Asare, a shady businessman who aggressively woos Charlotte with gifts and a passport. However, she gives up the financial security Asare offers for the love and burgeoning political consciousness that fellow university student Banahene gives, which solidifies when Jerry Rawlings comes to power for a second time in a 1981 coup and forces the university students into work camps, along with other, increasingly violent tactics used to shut down popular and student dissent. Unfortunately, Charlotte's bland first-person narration fails to convey the adrenaline involved in love and struggle under Rawlings' dictatorship. ("I felt the heat in my face as he twirled his pen around and around, smug as a magistrate" is typical prose.) Thus, the shock of what happens to Charlotte near the end comes from the fact of the violence itself, not how the author describes it--which may be fine for a griot but not for a writer. As revolutions go, this is a rather dull one. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2016

    Gr 9 Up-Set in 1981 Ghana, this tale centers on 18-year-old Charlotte Adom, who is enjoying her newfound freedom as a political science student in the Kumasi region. Her strict and opinionated father wants her to focus on university by getting good grades, but she is preoccupied with having fun. Charlotte befriends a sophisticated roommate, Mary, and becomes a social butterfly at parties and clubs where R&B, pop, and jazz dominate. Charlotte quickly attracts the attention of three males: political science professor Dr. Ampem, student activist and Mary's cousin Banahene, and wealthy petroleum oil broker Asare. Her carefree freshman days come to an end when Jerry John Rawlings overthrows the government with a coup on New Year's Eve. Charlotte and other students are forced to transport the cocoa harvest to various parts of Ghana when the universities are closed down. Her life goes downhill after she receives a package of documents and money from Asare. The brilliant storytelling resonates with its vibrant cultural landscape. Music fans will welcome Badoe's incorporation of the different genres into the book's world-building. The author has created believable characters who represent various aspects of Ghanaian life and culture. There are also moments of romance within the chaos as Charlotte and Banahene fall in love. The fast-paced novel neither shies from nor neutralizes the atrocities and human rights abuses associated with coups, yet it is written appropriately for YA readers. VERDICT Teens will appreciate the storytelling, honesty, and feminism presented in this work in addition to the inside view of Ghana's history, culture, and society during that tumultuous time.-Donald Peebles, Brooklyn Public Library

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Groundwood Books Ltd
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