Saturday’s Book: “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah

Now you see a bench but…
Naomi’s Photos
… does it still look like a bench now? Naomi’s Photos

This is audiobook number two of the three books I am treating myself to and it was an EXCELLENT choice as a book AND as an audiobook.

Trevor Noah is a brilliant narrator of his own tale. Trevor knows how to employ different accents and make his characters sound differently. This is the kind of book you want as an audiobook.

Noah combines his memoirs of growing up as a mixed race child in South Africa before and after Apartheid ended (hence “born a crime” – white father, black mother, it was illegal!) with historical information and background. From his unique perspective as a child who moved in different circles (he spoke 4 languages!) but didn’t seem to belong anywhere, he takes care to point out how different groups of people viewed the same events, situations or concepts.

South Africa’s borders are not Noah’s borders. He connects his personal childhood experience to a much bigger picture of our world in general. As a language teacher I would love to teach in class the chapter in the book where Noah presents the advantages of knowing four languages. Knowing languages is really a superpower – it lets you connect to people but also allows you to perceive others from a totally different perspective. This knowledge helped Noah deal with complicated situations – students could relate to that.

Hmm… I guess there is a disadvantage of having heard this book as an audiobook. I can’t quickly flip through the book and tell you which chapter it was that I’m talking about. You will just have to read the book yourself!

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