Waiting for the Rain

Waiting for the Rain

3.7 20
by Sheila Gordon
     
 

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This novel shows the bonds of friendship under the strain of apartheid as two lifelong friends, Tengo and Frikkie, come of age amidst the tragedy of South Africa.

Overview

This novel shows the bonds of friendship under the strain of apartheid as two lifelong friends, Tengo and Frikkie, come of age amidst the tragedy of South Africa.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A novel about South Africa, sure to give American readers an understanding of the conflicts of the country. Ages 12-up. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9 Ever since he can remember, Tengo, a young black boy whose parents are a housemaid and a boss-boy on an Afrikaans farm in South Africa, has wanted to read. Ever since he can remember, Frikkie, nephew of the white owner, has loved the farm more than anything else in the world except for Tengohis dear friendand never wants his idyllic life to change. Of course, it must. As Tengo grows up, he begins to realize the inequities of a system like apartheid that keeps him shackled to ignorance and gives Frikkie, somewhat of a gentle clod, a free and fine education. Through the efforts of his aunt's liberal employers, he is at last able to leave the farm and go to school in the city. Frikkie, who cannot understand why Tengo is not happy looking forward to a future of servitude like his parents, begins his Army service at the same time that Tengo finds his educational goals threatened by increasing militance among black students. Wanting desperately to finish school rather than strike against the educational system, and knowing that his duty is also to disdain that system, Tengo's involvement is accidental and terrifying as incidents of militancy escalate and the Army arrives to quell disturbances. In a coincidental and bloody confrontation with Frikkie, the two enemies, once friends, become symbols of the tragic dilemma of South Africa. The trouble with this book is that the characters become symbols rather than people. Neither Tengo (who is too good to be true), Frikkie, nor anyone else engages readers' sympathies because each is a vehicle for the sober messages that Gordon wishes to deliver, messages that are terribly important but that make for didacticism rather than compassion. The final coincidence weakens the plot further. Still, young readers need every shred of message they can get, and if the book is disappointing as a story, it has its place as a polemic. Marjorie Lewis, Scarsdale Junior High School, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440226987
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
10/06/1996
Series:
Laurel-Leaf Bks.
Edition description:
Book in plastic jacket
Pages:
214
Product dimensions:
4.30(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Waiting for the Rain 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book tells about how white and black felt about slavery. it showed that white people were being brought up to think that life was meant to be like this so while the blacks were being tortured the white boys and girls were thinking they had a great time & didnt notice what was realy going on. i think this is a great book but some parts needed to be more exciting without loosing its factuality.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think the book 'Waiting for the Rain' was a really good and also inspiring book. The Apartheid was the ones who really made it worse for the blacks and South Afirca thats really how it all begin and some what of what this book is about. Mainly it was all about this two boys named Tengo and Frikkie who grow up together and had known each other since they were little. But, then as they grow up they go their seperate ways and some belifes starts to change over time as Tengo realizes things that he didn't before. That the whites didn't treat the blacks right and that they weren't given equal rights. This book teaches you that just because of the color of your skin, you are all the same; other then what shows on the outside and should still be able to have equal right. Overall I think that ths book was interesting and really does teach if you get the full understanding for it. And I would highly recommend this book to everyone no matter what age because your never to old to learn.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book back when i eas in 8th grade. it made me want understand the things that had happend in south africa. But this book is really amazing i think it captures the reader and you don't want to put the book down. I think if you liked this book than you should rent the movie Sarafina. or the color of friendship which is similar to this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was ok. It was a little boring when Tengo and Frikkie were on the farm as boys. The interesting parts where when Tengo and Frikkie lead there separate lives. It just goes to show you that you should never let skin color come between a true friendship!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't really enjoy this book that much. I am not into novels but if anyone is this is the book to get
Guest More than 1 year ago
We read this book in geography class this year. I really enjoyed it, as I knew something about apartheid, and felt that it was wrong, but waiting for the rain really showed me how little white people knew about what went on behind their polished floors and nicely-cooked meals and always-made beds. It showed that a lot of them didnt know that they were wrong or how miserable life was for the blacks while apartheid was going on. I really liked this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
waiting for the rain inspired me to be true to my friends and family
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really good for the most part. It shows how life can be with the issues of racism. Life is hard as you may see in the book. At some parts it was slow but most books are like that. I really enjoyed this and reccommend this book for all people who like insperational book with all aspects of life in it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoy the begining of the book then as I was reading it I got bored. Then Sheila gave it a Part 2, this made you wander why she did this. This book is 214 pages, and 16 chapters. She uses great details that makes you picture it in your head. Now I'm going to give a brief summary: The story starts where Tengo a Black child is living on a farm. The oubass's(literally means boss) nephew comes to visit the farm every break, he is kind to Tengo but is rude in a way he doesn't realize. Frikkie and Tengo grow-up together. The funny thing is that Tengo wants to go to school but can't and Frikkie wants to live on the farm, and hates school. Soon after the book starts Joesph (Tengo's Cousin) tells Tengo about Apartheid( an AfriKaan word that is like segartion in the U.S.A) Tengo goes to school with Joesph then.... You need to read the book to find out. If you want to know more about the book e-mail me at ldkatiem_1989@yahoo.com. Bye.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Waiting for the Rain' is a book I had to read in my reading class in the sixth grade. Sheila Gordon drew out the story very well. The book shows the downfalls of having a black friend in a period of great prejudice. It shows the hardships of being black in a town full of people who hate you. Gordon uses strong vocabulary, and vivid description to show the characters' feelings and emotions. Frikkie, a white boy in the country, hates school and has a best friend named Tengo, who is black and yearns to learn what Frikkie is learning in school. The book is over a period of time in which Frikkie and Tengo grow older, and grow apart. Tengo goes off to school in the city, suffering great hardships, and sees Frikkie for the first time after years. Things have changed, and as you read on till the end of the book, Gordon brings it to an almost abrupt, yet slow, and calm ending. You can understand what is happening, yet you want to know more, you want to know if the relationship between the two boys will ever change! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading talented, efficient, and historical works. It's like reading Social Studies work, but from a view that you can plainly relate to!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Waiting for the Rain is a book about two young men, one black and one white, that live completely different lifestyles but manage to forge a friendship. As the boys get older problems of apartheid begin to set in and they gradually drift away from each other. The author of the novel, Sheila Gordon, Puts you right in the action using many details and vivid imagery. After reading this book I now understand the struggles and complications that black citizens of South Africa are forced to encounter every day of their lives. If you are interested in reading a book about the different lifestyles and cultures outside of the US or if you just enjoy reading I would strongly suggest that you read this novel. You wont regret it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book Waiting for the Rain was the most boring book I have ever read. There is SO much detail in it that my eyes closed while I was reading. Detail is good until it takes up 5 pages to describe one thing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book in my ninth grade English class in our study of Africa. It is a quick book to read and is enjoyable. It tells the story of apartheid, the discrimination between the races. It is very suspenseful leaving you wanting to know what happens next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book had a lot of good points describing the hard and painful life of the blacks in South Africa during th time of colonization but it think the author could have done a better job describing the scenery in the first chapter and the setting from a time stand point. I also think the book exaggerated details a bit and had usage of words that many normal highschoolers and average readers would not be able to comprehend. Over all i thought it was a compelling but extended tale.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For my Honors 9 Geography class we have been reading a book based in another class country and are doing research for a project on the books that we read. I think that this book is for high school age kids not any younger, because of the different German words. I do recommend this book if you are okay with slower books in the start. Tengo, a young african boy whose parents are housemaids on an Afrikaans farm in South Africa, has grown up wanting to learn to read, but his mother is worried, because of some unfortunate losses in the past. Ever since he was little, Frikkie, nephew of the white master, has loved the farm more than anything else in the world except for Tengo his friend and never wants his life to change. Of course, sometime it will. As Tengo grows up, he begins to realize the real meaning of education. Through the efforts of his aunt's liberal employers, he is at last able to leave the farm and go to school in the city. Frikkie, who cannot understand why Tengo isn't happy looking forward to the rest of his life doing back stressing work like his parents, begins his Army service at the same time that Tengo finds his educational goals threatened by his fellow black students. Wanting desperately to finish school and go to college rather than strike against the educational system, and knowing that he is being pressured into going against that system. I have not finished the book yet to find out what will happen between Tengo and Frikkie will they stay friends or enemies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This wonderful novel paints a picture of a suffering people in the midst of exciting change. One could only wish to have the bravery shown by Tengo who finally comes to his senses and realizes that things do not need to keep going the way they always have; they can be changed. It is a compelling and educational novel; Apartheid in a nutshell. This novel is wonderful for young readers and deals with the important issue of slavery which did not only occur in the United States. We must be critical of our past in order to learn to live better in the future. A must for any collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS WONDERFUL BOOK IS LETTING PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THE STRUGGLES PEOPLE HAD TO GO THROUGH IN SOUTH AFRICA. EVERYBODY SHOULD READ THIS SPECTACULAR BOOK!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book starts out pritty dule but does get interesting near the end and turnes out to be pretty good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a mixture of very good and okay in my opinion. Sheila could have made it more truthful about the terrrible things apartheid did. I also would have wanted to know more about Frikkie. I give it 3 stars