Samuel's parents and young sister, innocent bystanders during an uprising, are killed by South African police. Samuel is sent to live with his uncle, a tribal chief in the Bantu homeland, while his brother vows to join the African National Congress armed struggle and avenge his family's deaths.
In the homeland, Samuel discovers he can run faster than anyone and before long begins to train under his English-educated uncle. Years later, after the end of Apartheid, Samuel is selected to run in the Olympics. President Nelson Mandela is there when he wins his gold medal, and Samuel dedicates it to 'a very special man... I was running for the President. I was running for my country.'
This powerful and moving story portrays what it was like growing up in South Africa under Apartheid and the different ways in which people struggled to gain their freedom. For some, like Samuel's brother, it was an armed struggle, but for Samuel it was the opportunity to prove he could run better than any white man.
- Age Range: 12 - 15 years
- Grade Level: 7 - 10
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Lincoln Children's Books (February 21, 2012)
- Language: English