The Bite of the Mango

The Bite of the Mango

by Mariatu Kamara, Susan McClelland
4.3 11

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The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara

As a child in a small rural village in Sierra Leone, Mariatu Kamara lived peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Rumors of rebel attacks were no more than a distant worry.

But when 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soldiers, many no older than children themselves, attacked and tortured Mariatu. During this brutal act of senseless violence they cut off both her hands. Stumbling through the countryside, Mariatu miraculously survived. The sweet taste of a mango, her first food after the attack, reaffirmed her desire to live, but the challenge of clutching the fruit in her bloodied arms reinforced the grim new reality that stood before her. With no parents or living adult to support her and living in a refugee camp, she turned to begging in the streets of Freetown.

As told to her by Mariatu, journalist Susan McClelland has written the heartbreaking true story of the brutal attack, its aftermath and Mariatu’s eventual arrival in Toronto where she began to pull together the pieces of her broken life with courage, astonishing resilience and hope.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554512140
Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
Publication date: 09/12/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 196,628
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Now 22 years old, Mariatu Kamara has been named a UNICEF Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict; a Voices of Courage Honoree by the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children; and has established The Mariatu Foundation, which aims to offer much needed refuge to the ongoing victims of the civil war in Sierra Leone. A documentary about child victims of war, featuring Mariatu, is in the works.

Susan McClelland is an award-winning journalist and recipient of the 2005 Amnesty International Media Award. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Bite of the Mango 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put this book down and i cried and ccouldnt believe that this actually happens to people i am still in shock, i think this a wake up call telling people how they need to do more than just feel pity for the people of sierra leone....
Tani Schrift More than 1 year ago
it was a really inspirational story. i would recommend it to a mature reader. i defenitely teared up a little... very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Bite of the Mango by Susan McClelland retells the true story of Mariatu Kamara. At first, Mariatu began her childhood living a structured life. She worked in the mornings, played in the midday, danced in the night, and planned on one day being wed to her best friend Musa. By the time she was eleven, the Sierra Leone civil war broke out and caused rebel attacks on villages all over the country. Mariatu and her family had to flee to a new village to avoid being violently harassed. Despite their attempt to escape, the rebels invaded the new village and instantly killed people right before Mariatu's eyes. Mariatu's life was spared but she did not leave unscathed, as the rebels cut off her hands. A treatment facility helped heal her exposed flesh on her arms. Once she left the facility, Mariatu's lifestyle drastically changed as she had to learn to function with no hands. Her new life leads her on a path of more pain and confliction but then later to new opportunities that she finds in England and Canada. In England, she learns her first words in English and also the importance of self-dependence. This guided her to new adventures in Canada. Here, she learns fluent English and begins her journey on a life of great success. This book conveys the message that you should never lose faith in yourself. Despite having her hands amputated, Mariatu learned to get by using only her arms and teeth. Also, although she came from a poor country and had to learn a new language, she embraced the opportunity to an education. Mariatu could have easily given up on her hopes of a better life. However, she didn't and is now on her way to a very accomplished career. In The Bite of the Mango, I really enjoyed Mariatu's story and her attitude. She at one point almost gave up on her life. Then, she changed her perspective and ultimately became a better person. I respect her for that. Also, reading this book reminded me about the gift of an education that I sometimes take for granted. I didn't like that some parts in this book were a little bit too descriptive though, such as one specific cultural tradition and the rebel attacks. In my opinion, the book was cut short as I wanted to read more about Mariatu's life in present day. Even if someone isn't into nonfiction, they should still definitely read this book because for one it is not very long, two it is an awesome story about someone overcoming adversity, and third it gives a reminder about how good life is in places such as the United States, and also Canada and England that were mentioned in this book. There are a lot of things we as Americans take for granted that people like Mariatu, who come from third world countries, can only dream about. This book reminded me about how fortunate I am.
Anonymous 11 months ago
jbristow More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It is sad to hear what children experienced during this time. I find Ms. Kamara remarkable for her courage. After this book, I read one written by a boy soldier to hear the other side. It is just as sad to read what he experienced. both children just trying to survive in their home land.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing story by an amazing woman. In addition, I learned so much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its impossible
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am reading this now and it is wonderful but this e version is missing pages and i am very frustrated