Books·Canadian

Orange for the Sunsets

A chapter book by Tina Athaide.

Tina Athaide

Asha and her best friend, Yesofu, never cared about the differences between them: Indian. African. Girl. Boy. Short. Tall.

But when Idi Amin announces that Indians have 90 days to leave the country, suddenly those differences are the only things that people in Entebbe can see — not the shared after-school samosas or Asha cheering for Yesofu at every cricket game.

Determined for her life to stay the same, Asha clings to her world tighter than ever before. But Yesofu is torn, pulled between his friends, his family, and a promise of a better future. Now as neighbours leave and soldiers line the streets, the two friends find that nothing seems sure — not even their friendship.

Tensions between Indians and Africans intensify and the deadline to leave is fast approaching. Could the bravest thing of all be to let each other go? (From HarperCollins)

From the book

Yesofu glanced at his watch. Nine o'clock. He'd promised Mamma he'd be back no later than nine thirty. "Yanguwa!" she'd called to him as he ran out the door, telling him to hurry up in Luganda, the language of the Ganda tribe. It was mostly dark now except for the light spilling out the windows of the Entebbe Institute. From what Yesofu could tell, only a couple of people were still inside. He stepped back into the shadows of the banyan tree and waited. The band announced it was their last song for the night and started howling like McCartney and Lennon.

They say it's your birthday.

We're gonna have a good time.

They sounded almost as good as the Beatles. Yesofu tapped his foot and sang along. He stepped forward and peered through the thick branches. Inside he saw Asha jumping around, her arms in the air and a big smile on her face. Her twelfth birthday party was all she'd talked about for the past few months. Yesofu pulled out the crumpled card from his pocket. It was the first invitation he'd ever gotten from her. He'd thought about going... wanted to go, even up until last night, but then he remembered Mamma's words.

You and Asha are from different worlds.


From Orange for the Sunsets by Tina Athaide ©2019. Published by HarperCollins.

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