I stayed with doctor friends at a mission near the village of Mulanje in Malawi and, with Paul, spent most of my time walking down the many paths there. One day we found a place that was surrounded, unusually for there, by a hedge. There seemed to be no entrance. When we did eventually find an entrance and went in, we realised swiftly that we were intruding, and that we had no right to be there. This, combined with the good people there who were taking in children orphaned by AIDS, gave me the idea for my story.
'Vivid descriptions of place, character, mood and atmosphere...
The ending is warm and satisfying as Sam finally comes to terms with his new world. A good book for the sensitive reader.'
School Librarian, U.K.
'Sam's emotional journey is painful. He has to learn how to fit in - and that means sharing and forgetting about his previous life. The story is sure to find a warm response in young readers, especially since the feelings and responses that Sam experiences are those of every child.'
Books For Keeps, U.K.
'Much of the story's tension comes from Sam's fish-out-of-water status as a "spoiled townie"... and its portrayal of a country besieged by a devastating epidemic while its people press on with their daily lives.'
The Horn Book, U.S.A.
'A sad and yet hopeful story about the pains of growing up.'