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Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed

book cover of Black Mamba Boy

Black Mamba Boy follows a boy named Jama as he struggles through crushing poverty and war in a number of locations: Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea, Egypt, Palestine and England. It’s almost more of a travelogue than a novel; we follow Jama as he goes to different places and sees and does different things, but there’s no real rising tension or climactic conclusion. Still, depending on your tastes that may well be no deterrent to you.

★★

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.