Forced to become a child soldier, a sixteen-year-old Somali refugee must confront his painful past in this haunting, thrilling tale of loss and redemption by the bestselling author of City of Saints & Thieves. Now in paperback.
When Abdi's family is kidnapped, he's forced to do the unthinkable: become a child soldier in the ruthless jihadi group Al Shabaab. To save the lives of those he loves and earn their freedom, Abdi agrees to be embedded as a spy within the jihadi group's ranks, sending dispatches on their plans to the Americans. But it's a dangerous role and if Abdi's duplicity is discovered, he will be killed. For weeks, Abdi trains with the jihadi group, witnessing atrocity after atrocity. But after being forced into a suicide bomber's vest, Abdi finally escapes to Sangui City, Kenya. Homeless and shell-shocked, Abdi is picked up for a petty theft, setting into motion a chain reaction that forces him to reckon with a past he's desperate to forget.
In this riveting, unflinching tale of sacrifice and hope, critically-acclaimed author Natalie C. Anderson delivers another tour-de-force that will leave readers at the edge of their seats.
About the Author
Natalie C. Anderson is an American writer and international development professional living in Geneva, Switzerland. She has spent the last decade working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the United Nations on refugee relief and development, mainly in Africa. She was selected as the 2014-2015 Associates of the Boston Public Library Children's Writer-in-Residence, where she wrote her debut novel, City of Saints & Thieves.
Praise for Let's Go Swimming on Doomsday:
Indies Next Kids List – Winter 2018-2019 A North Star YA Book Award 2019 List Pick
★ “Anderson...breathe[s] ferocious life into a story that needs to be told. This is one of those tough but invaluable books with the power to increase a reader's awareness of and empathy for teens who have lost the right to be young.”—Booklist, starred review
“A riveting account…[where] greed, guilt, and redemption are layered in a sober yet tender narrative showing the lengths one will go to for loved ones.”—Kirkus Reviews
“An intriguing examination of ways familial loyalty and guilt can lead anyone to make desperate choices. Anderson uses the exploration of manipulation and coercion to craft a thought-provoking narrative.”—School Library Journal
“[Anderson] makes it clear how difficult it is for even children to survive this faith-based and historically rooted conflict unscathed.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Narrator Kevin R. Free breathes dramatic urgency into Anderson's intense story…Listeners hear and feel Abdi's horror and numb, helpless despair at the atrocities he witnesses—and perpetrates—and we rejoice at his redemption.” —AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner