The soldiers didn’t care that the homemade soccer ball was Deo’s prized possession. They didn’t care that Deo’s village was hungry. They didn’t plan to leave anyone alive to complain…
Suddenly Deo and his older brother Innocent are on the run through the scrublands of Zimbabwe, fleeing the President’s soldiers – the President who fought for liberation from foreign rulers, like Grandfather did. It’s up to Deo to keep mentally disabled Innocent safe as they seek help from friends in Bikita, then trek onward toward the border, trying to find their father who was away when the soldiers came.
The dangers of crossing the river into South Africa, crossing the wild lands of the lions and hyenas, finding a place to hide in the city that wants no more refugees – how much can one teenager do?
Will Deo ever be able to just play soccer again? Or return to school? Or find a way out of the grim shanties and shadows to a place with soap and water so that Innocent can wash up and be happy again? Can he escape gangs and drugs and hatred all around him?
A compelling story based on the real lives of too many refugees in Africa, Now is the Time for Running starts in a faraway place and takes our hearts and minds even further.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA