Twelve-year-old Lukobola lives with his parents and little sister in the vicinity of The Great Zimbabwe ruins, and whenever Noni, the storyteller, throws bones on the ground to foretell Luka's future, they only speak of blood, guns, and tears, none of which are the stuff of celebration. When Luka's cousin, Selo, arrives to celebrate his rite of passage, he also brings news of the troubles in Zimbabwe. The only way of escaping imminent danger is to cross the border to Botswana, which is home to many Shona residents and refugees. In this enlightening, powerful, and heart-wrenching story, Luka is left for dead after being shot in the leg by President Mugabe's soldiers. When a Doctors Without Borders helicopter crew rescues him, he learns his village was burned to the ground. As Luka recovers in Groote Schuur Hospital in South Africa, he grieves for his family and regrets not having the chance to find his spiritual guide. However, he eventually finds comfort sharing his tragic story with Ann, a white student at Cape Town City Ballet, who befriends him when she becomes a hospital aid. In the end, Ann and her father take Luka into their home, he starts going to school, and he is reunited with his little sister. He even gets to finally perform his rite of passage into manhood. Swan Luka is part of the My Friends Around The World series of books for young adults about young adults in other countries. It aims to educate, inspire and raise cultural awareness around the world.
Used availability for Janet Berliner's Swan Luka
December 2012 : USA Paperback
January 2013 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition