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My Name is Butterfly

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  280 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Abebe experiences plenty of joy in Ghana as the privileged daughter of a government employee and stay at home mother. The love that her parents and extended family lavish her with knows no bounds.

When the Tsikata’s idyllic life style begins to take a turn for the worse, Abebe's father places a nine-year-old Abebe in a shrine, hoping that the sacrifice of his daughter will
Kindle Edition, 190 pages
Published April 7th 2002 by Naki Publishing
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Buck by M.K. AsanteBeen So Long by Adrienne ThompsonBeen So Long 2 by Adrienne ThompsonLittle Sister by Adrienne ThompsonMy Name is Butterfly by Bernice L. McFadden
Stories from the Soul
5th out of 33 books — 32 voters
My Name Is Resolute by Nancy E. TurnerMy Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim PotokMy Name is Mary Sutter by Robin OliveiraMy Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl EdwardsonMy Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
My name is..........Titles
7th out of 61 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

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May 23, 2012 Andre rated it really liked it
First, I can't believe a Bernice McFadden book can be had for a mere .99 cents. Simply unbelievable. The onslaught of e-reading has made this possible. Authors are being freed up and are becoming more prolific. They are frequently becoming unbound to the traditional publishing cycle. And we the readers benefit. This book at this price by this author, wow!

My Name is Butterfly is the story of Abebe. She is a child living and thriving in Ghana. Her well-to-do family are living the good life. When t
Sarah Weathersby
Jun 28, 2012 Sarah Weathersby rated it it was amazing
I knew but I didn't want to know.

Bernice McFadden's book "My Name is Butterfly" is a wake-up call for me. Ritual servitude by young girls in Ghana, I had read about. I was even there, and didn't or wouldn't connect the dots.

McFadden's story is beautifully told, the image of nine-year-old Abebe taken away to a shrine will stay with me forever. It hurts my heart to think about it.

I visited Ghana in 2000 with Elderhostel, a continuing education program for older adults, that schooled us in the Akan
Winter Sophia Rose
Mar 28, 2015 Winter Sophia Rose rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking, Poetic & Engaging! An Excellent Read! I Loved It!
Barbara Albin
Oct 02, 2012 Barbara Albin rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book, I had read 3 chapters last year when there was a chapter a month club but then I gave up because I did not have a Kindle at the time. I was finally happy to be able to upload this book, read the entire story and come to a very satisfying end. I never do spoilers so I don't really want to add much more to the story, it is easy to get into. The only problem with books that contain stories about these young girls is they can be very sad. I believe the government in some of ...more
Kimberly Hicks
Oct 10, 2013 Kimberly Hicks rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Kimberly by: Amazon Kindle
From the first paragraph down to the last one, I could not put this book down. It kept calling to me. I learned so much about the Trokoski practice in Africa. What Abebe goes through is hard to fathom, but trials and tribulations she went through.

Poor Abebe thought because she stole her Aunt Serwa's ring that this was the reason for why her father took the young 5-year-old to a village where she would spend all of her teenage years into her early adulthood.

She lived a lifetime in a span of twen
May 05, 2012 Amiee rated it it was amazing
I love Bernice McFadden! I picked up this novella when someone told me it was .99 on Amazon and it was very good! It's very short but there is a lot of emotion, history, and love packed into the pages. I started it late Friday night ...fell asleep reading it...and reached for it when I woke up. The story starts in NY and then brings you to Ghana and back to NY for a very satisfying end. Abena is truly a hero.

A must read.
Dec 08, 2013 Tiara rated it really liked it
I read this in one sitting. Could not put it down until I was finished.
After reading a few of my reviews on novellas, I realize that my issue may be that I don't like novellas. I'm always reading novellas and claiming that it is lacking pages lol. So maybe this review wasn't very fair.

I couldn't decide between 2 or three stars. The ending is what gave it the extra star. I didn't hate this book but I didn't love it either. The problem wasn't the book itself. The problem is that I am a very big fan of Bernice McFadden. I know she is capable of turning this go
It really and truly was amazing. For one McFadden's writing is always a joy. Secondly, I learned something new. We like to believe that slavery doesn't exist and hasn't existed for years, but this narrative refuses to allow us to be willfully blinded. I want to say this narrative is so different for McFadden, but it's not. She's always written about the effects of slavery, segregation, discrimination and the effects on African Americans, so it seems fitting that she would write about slavery in ...more
Jul 23, 2012 Chanequa rated it it was amazing
Somehow Bernice McFadden's name fell off my radar after "This Bitter Earth." Fortunately for me, I was reminded of her recently and decided to check out her latest. "My Name is Butterfly" is engaging and smartly written. McFadden manages to craft a beautiful (and hopeful) story out of the tragic reality of modern-day human trafficking in Ghana. She doesn't sugarcoat the issue but avoids the temptation to wrap everything up neatly at the end. There seems to be solid research undergirding her desc ...more
Jul 21, 2015 Shayne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves
There are authors who are good at writing, then there authors that are gifted at writing. I have no doubt that McFadden is the latter. She has a knack for educing emotions and possesses an exceptional style of writing; this is why she remains one of my favorite authors.

To think, parents could sacrifice their child, for the sake of good luck is just unimaginable. Before reading this book I was unaware of the practice of ritual servitude actually existed. This was definitely an emotional read and
Mona Grant-Holmes
Dec 27, 2013 Mona Grant-Holmes rated it really liked it
I liked this book and I learned of a practice that was unfamiliar to me. It takes place in Ghana, then eventually in New York City. McFadden tells the story of Abebe, who is loved and cherished by her family. One day, her father takes her to become Trokosi, an form of enslaved servitude to one of the gods. The story is told with compassion and truth.
Jan 09, 2013 RenishaRenewed rated it it was amazing
Well, Bernice did it again in this story about Abebe. Every book is so different from the others. In this, we had a "happy ending" but it left me wondering about Abebe's life and if she eventually would reach back to Ghana and help other girls who may still be in Trokosi or some form of it. Granted, this book is fiction but it's realness made me wonder about Abebe's future. Really, a phenomenal book.
Carlotta Ford
Dec 24, 2014 Carlotta Ford rated it it was ok
Bernice McFadden is one of the best authors of our time!

I felt every emotion of Abebe from all the pain to triumph! McFadden takes you on a trip in all of her novels this is no exception. In my mind I've experienced Ghana. The title My Name is Butterfly is so poignant. Abebe goes through an astronomical metamorphosis. This is must read!!
Jun 08, 2012 Trudy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Heartbreaking, exciting, hopeful story about the Trokosi practice in Ghana. It is a horrific life of ritual servitude, which was only recently outlawed in 1998, but apparently has not yet been completely eradicated. A MUST read. Bernice McFadden uses her talent to enlighten us about a heart wrenching issue. I am so glad I read it.
It's been a long time since I've read one of Bernice McFadden's book and I wasn't disappointed. If you love the writing of BMF, then you will love this book. It was very different read and I fully enjoyed it. Keep up the great work Bernice!
Apr 02, 2013 Jaya rated it it was amazing
An interesting but disturbing glimpse into the life af an African child forced into a life of slavery and abuse. I was horrified to learn that this terrible tradition continues today in Ghana. Very informative book.
Jackie Kehl
Oct 18, 2013 Jackie Kehl rated it really liked it
The book is written rather simply, but it is an important fictional story about female slavery in Ghana as recently as 1998--what happens to the women and how one woman recovers. Not always easy to read.
Mar 06, 2015 Theresa rated it it was amazing

This was an amazing story that I read in one day!!! My reading a book in one day is a has to grab me in a powerful way. I have read several of McFadden's books, but it has been quite a few years since I last read anything by her. I vaguely recall them being reasonably good, but nothing that stood out. This book changes all that. What a truly well written story. I had to put it down several times because it evoked such deep feelings in me, but those same feelings brought me
Tisha Johnson
Jul 16, 2012 Tisha Johnson rated it really liked it
Beautiful story!
Nov 08, 2014 Joan rated it it was amazing
I am still reading this book. It is very good, but I must tell all of you that it was very difficult to read certain parts of this book. It is about how many African nations still turn their back on this ritual of giving a daughter to a tribe of so called priests who will take your daughter as penance to rid your family of bad luck. The girls are then forced into work in fields and then used for sex at a very young age. If they step out of line they are treating even worse...honestly ...more
Nov 12, 2014 Cateyesmd rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-challenge
This book was suggested to me by a good friend as a book for us to review and discuss. I would have given this 4-stars if it weren't for all the editing errors I spotted throughout the book.
The book really picks up around Chapter 9. It definitely takes some unexpected twists and turns.
I will update with a full review once I go through my discussion questions. :-) I really did enjoy this story.
Colleen Pina-Garron
Jun 06, 2012 Colleen Pina-Garron rated it really liked it
Okay, this was a lot different than anything I've read by Bernice McFadden. I love this writer and have read just about everything by her. I'll start by saying that I definitely got an education with this book. The story is horrifying and too real, but worth the read. I would have liked to see some of the characters "fleshed out" a little more, but that's minor. I am stunned by these real-life practices and if this book was meant to shock the reader, it certainly accomplished that! I also hope t ...more
Sep 22, 2012 LaTonia rated it it was amazing
This was a great story. I found myself pressed between the reality of Abebe's situation and the hope that came from her survival. This story could have been longer, and the characters more devoloped. However, I don't know that I could have endured the pain each character would have had to tell. Perhaps, that would have made the story too long and way more painful.

I hope that everyone learns a new word: Trokosi - shrine slavery, or ritual servitude. I was sad to learn that this wasn't a made-up
Jul 06, 2012 Rell rated it it was amazing
Totally unbelievable but yet very real. While reading this book I found myself halting my reading of the story to look up the term "Trokosi" and was astonished to learn about these women living in slavery......sexual bondage to pay for their family misfortune. So sad.....its not too often that i'm emotionally enthralled in a character but wow! I really wish that the story would've went more indepth about Abebe "dad " that basically gave her away and his new life, but it didn't matter. excellect ...more
Sep 01, 2012 Aneicia rated it really liked it
First ebook i have read and of course it would be one from Bernice McFadden. Been a McFan forever and she did not disappoint. This tale was difficult to read at times, but i was riveted by the easy storytelling. I rooted for Abebe throughout praying the ending would be all roses. Although it summed up as life does... with much uncertainty, i was comforted by the final appearance of butterflies. If you want to know why, read it!!
Jul 04, 2012 Hope rated it liked it
The subject matter being discussed in this book is very important. However, the writing was not what I have come to expect (and love!) from Bernice McFadden. Definitely not one of my favorites.
Apr 03, 2013 Rachel rated it liked it
Gripping and well told - a very easy summer read. Wholly unexpected ending, the characters were relatable and the themes have the ability to challenge one's patterns. Decent book.
May 23, 2013 Marva rated it it was amazing
I felt chills reading My Name Is Butterfly. I smiled, and cried, lost and gained my heart all in the span of just over 100 pages.
Jul 03, 2013 Rosa rated it really liked it
It was a good book and I read it without stopping. It was good to read about child slavery from a different angle.
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African-American ...: My name is Butterfly: March group read 105 35 Mar 17, 2014 07:42PM  
African-American ...: My Name is Butterfly: Book Blast (Spoilers) 4 10 Mar 09, 2014 08:50AM  
What did you think of My Name is Butterfly? 4 39 Feb 12, 2013 11:12AM  
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BERNICE L. McFADDEN is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels including Sugar, Loving Donovan, Nowhere Is a Place, The Warmest December, Gathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012), and Glorious, which was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. She is a three-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finali ...more
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