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It's Trevor Noah : born a crime : stories from a South African childhood
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Booklist Reviews

A television host, political commentator, and comedian, Trevor Noah has a reputation for wit. In this insightful memoir, adapted from the adult volume Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (2016), his clever mind and grasp of languages are unveiled. Noah intersperses his life experiences with a layered look at the history of South Africa. Growing up at the end of apartheid, he was evidence of a crime—his mother was Black and his father was white, and mixed-race children were illegal—and it made him an outsider. Noah grew up understanding that many aspects of his upbringing were fundamentally different: his mother raised him with an imagination and showed that there were no barriers to whatever he wanted to be. Readers will find this journey through Noah's formative years humorous and exciting. He has lived during a tumultuous time in South African history and come through it to become one of the most prominent voices in the world. An engrossing read on one of the most oppressive times in history for people of color. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5 Up—Comedian Trevor Noah is the son of a Black South African mother and a Swiss-German father. He considers himself born a crime as under apartheid law in South Africa, interracial relationships and marriages were seen as illegal until the law's decriminalization in 1985, a year after his birth. Noah navigates through a childhood filled with poverty, discrimination, and uncertainty as a biracial person who does not know where he fits in under a racially stratified government. His religious mother's unwavering faith serves as the saving grace and guiding light in his life. She sacrifices to ensure that he receives the best education as a means out of wayward behavior, hustling, and a life of crime. Their mother-son relationship is severely tested with the addition of her new husband Abel, whose personal demons reveal themselves and lead to an unexpected turn of events. The young readers' adaptation utilizes South Africa's colonial and apartheid histories as background context, offering keen insight into the diversity of South African culture, such as its many languages. Readers will appreciate Noah's comedic wit and timing during the good, bad and ugly times of his upbringing. On the other hand, readers will cringe at some of the more painful situations, such as the downplaying of domestic violence. VERDICT A necessary purchase for readers who will appreciate and understand how a parent's love enabled Noah to become the successful man he is now.—Donald Peebles, Brooklyn Public Library

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Author Biography

TREVOR NOAH is the most famous comedian from Africa and is the host of the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa to a black South African mother and a white European father, Noah has hosted numerous television shows, including South Africa's music, television, and film awards and two seasons of his own late-night talk show, Tonight with Trevor Noah. It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime is his first work for young readers and is based on his New York Times bestseller Born a Crime: Stores from a South African Childhood. Visit him online at and follow @TrevorNoah on Twitter and Instagram. - (Random House, Inc.)


A middle-grade adaptation of The Daily Show host's best-selling adult memoir traces his experiences growing up half black, half white in South Africa under and after apartheid, describing how he used his wits and humor to navigate a harsh life under a racist government. TV tie-in. Simultaneous eBook. - (Baker & Taylor)

The comedian traces his coming of age during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed, offering insight into the farcical aspects of the political and social systems of today's world. - (Baker & Taylor)

The host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, shares his personal story and the injustices he faced while growing up half black, half white in South Africa under and after apartheid in this New York Times bestselling young readers' adaptation of his adult memoir.
&;A piercing reminder that every mad life--even yours--could end up a masterpiece." --JASON REYNOLDS, New York Times bestselling author

We do horrible things to one another because we don&;t see the person it affects. . . . We don&;t see them as people.

Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, shares his remarkable story of growing up in South Africa with a black South African mother and a white European father at a time when it was against the law for a mixed-race child to exist. But he did exist--and from the beginning, the often-misbehaved Trevor used his keen smarts and humor to navigate a harsh life under a racist government.

In a country where racism barred blacks from social, educational, and economic opportunity, Trevor surmounted staggering obstacles and created a promising future for himself thanks to his mom&;s unwavering love and indomitable will.
This honest and poignant memoir adapted from the #1 New York Times bestseller Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood will astound and inspire readers as well as offer a fascinating perspective on South Africa&;s tumultuous racial history.

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