Customer Reviews for

Say You're One of Them

Average Rating 3
( 185 )
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5 Star

(38)

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(49)

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(36)

2 Star

(42)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

39 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

A worthy Oprah's book club selection

I read this book last week and wasn't surprised to see it selected to Oprah's book club, simply because it's a wonderful and unusual book that is deeply touching.

SAY YOU'RE ONE OF THEM is a book of five short stories written by Uwem Akpan. All of the stories are set...
I read this book last week and wasn't surprised to see it selected to Oprah's book club, simply because it's a wonderful and unusual book that is deeply touching.

SAY YOU'RE ONE OF THEM is a book of five short stories written by Uwem Akpan. All of the stories are set in Africa and are told from a child's perspective. They deal with such topics as slavery, religious conflict, genocide and poverty. These are stories of love and sacrifice. They are stories of compassion and confusion. They make you wonder how children can grow up and survive under such circumstances. Some of the stories will leave you feeling numb.

The story that had the biggest impact on me was My Parent's Bedroom. It's the story of Monique, a young girl living in Rwanda with her Tutsi mother and her Hutu father. There is conflict between the two tribes, which Monique and her brother Jean don't understand. It all comes to a horrifying ending for their family when their mother makes the ultimate sacrifice. I can't describe the horror I felt at the end of this story.

I enjoyed SAY YOU'RE ONE OF THEM and think it's a significant book, but I found some of the dialogue very difficult to read. I think it would have been even harder if I didn't know some French. There were times when I had to read sentences several times to extract their meaning. Here's an example of dialogue, chosen at random:

"My mama no be like dat," Jubril argued. "I say I dey come. I go join una now now. Ah ah, no vex now. Come, pollow me go fark dis cows, and I go join."

This book isn't a fast read, but I think it's an important one. The title of the book comes from the fact that children in Africa sometimes have to deny their identity and say they're one of "them" (another tribe or religion) in order to survive. You will be a different person after you've read this book.

This week I'm reading EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE 2.0, which is also an incredible book that is having a HUGE impact upon me personally. If you have any interest in personal development, I recommend buying both books. Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to read next week!

posted by Cheryl_Foster on September 18, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Not for the faint of heart

A great piece of literature, but it is not for the faint of heart. The stories are well written, and gives us just a glimpse of the travesties that children in Africa have had to face due to poverty & war from the perspective of a child.

In all honestly, I just wante...
A great piece of literature, but it is not for the faint of heart. The stories are well written, and gives us just a glimpse of the travesties that children in Africa have had to face due to poverty & war from the perspective of a child.

In all honestly, I just wanted to finish the book because it was too sad, and with each story, I kept anticipating that something bad was going to happen. My stomach was in knots.

If you want an honest read, this is for you. If you're looking for a good piece of fiction to escape, I would suggest you look for something else.

posted by momoftwinsMM on February 9, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    I cannot rate this book due to the contents - all of the stories

    I cannot rate this book due to the contents - all of the stories were very upsetting because I know they're real. During my entire read, I was in pain/miserable. Truly I did not enjoy the book and more power to the people who did like it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    Slow to start

    I was disappointed and felt it was hard to follow. I understand what the author was trying to put forward but it was frustrating to read

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  • Posted December 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    No, not for me.

    This book is a hard read because of the extensive use of pigeon English (I guess that is what you would call it.) I knew going in that it was not an easy read however, I thought the stories would be worth the effort; I did not find that to be the case. I just did not enjoy this book.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    Not what it's cracked up to be.

    Stories are interesting but the writing is not of a style to invite the reader in. it's very sad, but the plot is lost in trying to follow the story due to the poor writing.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    Didn't like itand it was a waste of time

    I didn't like this book. I understand where the author was trying to go with it but for me there wasn't enough to it. It had an interesting child's point of view but it was too narrow. Felt it was a waste of my time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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