Now is the Time for Running, by Michael Williams (fiction) – soccer, escape, survival

book cover of Now Is The Time For Running by Michael Williams published by Little BrownWorld Wednesday, and time to see what’s happening right now, the reality that doesn’t always make news headlines.

School, soccer, and time with friends – that’s what Deo’s life in Zimbabwe should be like. But as in too many places in the world, powerful forces take away his teenage dreams, take away his family, take away his future.

It’s up to Deo to help his older brother survive, as they avoid soldiers, wild animals, brutal prejudice, and the gangs of the big city. South African author Michael Williams shows us how hope tries to survive in the face of dire adversity – you won’t want to miss this book!

Book info: Now is the Time for Running / Michael Williams. Little Brown, 2011. [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher. (One of 5,000 books recommended on

My Book Talk: The soldiers didn’t care that the homemade soccer ball was Deo’s prized possession. They didn’t care that Deo’s village was hungry. They didn’t plan to leave anyone alive to complain…

Suddenly Deo and his older brother Innocent are on the run through the scrublands of Zimbabwe, fleeing the President’s soldiers – the President who fought for liberation from foreign rulers, like Grandfather did. It’s up to Deo to keep mentally disabled Innocent safe as they seek help from friends in Bikita, then trek onward toward the border, trying to find their father who was away when the soldiers came.

The dangers of crossing the river into South Africa, crossing the wild lands of the lions and hyenas, finding a place to hide in the city that wants no more refugees – how much can one teenager do?

Will Deo ever be able to just play soccer again? Or return to school? Or find a way out of the grim shanties and shadows to a place with soap and water so that Innocent can wash up and be happy again? Can he escape gangs and drugs and hatred all around him?

A compelling story based on the real lives of too many refugees in Africa, Now is the Time for Running starts in a faraway place and takes our hearts and minds even further.

5 thoughts on “Now is the Time for Running, by Michael Williams (fiction) – soccer, escape, survival

  1. Nice review. I used to be such a huge fan of YA literature when my kids were in school. I think it’s a good idea for parents to read what they’re kids might be reading or are, so they can have conversations about it. It really opens up those channels of communication.

  2. @Bike Lady – absolutely! And much YA is truly reflective of kids’ (and families’) real lives, so it also gives adults a window into what’s going on in teens’ worlds. So many great stories, too…

    **Katy M
    Recommending YA books beyond the bestsellers at
    Follow me on Twitter @BooksYALove

  3. Pingback: Memories of Africa (reflective) – tales of travel, hope, survival | BooksYALove

  4. Pingback: Memories of Africa (reflective) – tales of travel, hope, survival | BooksYALove

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