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We Are All the Same: A Story of a Boy's Courage and a Mother's Love
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We Are All the Same: A Story of a Boy's Courage and a Mother's Love

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  771 ratings  ·  103 reviews
The extraordinary story of the little South African boy whose bravery and fierce determination to make a difference despite being born with AIDS has made him the human symbol of the world's fight against the disease, told by the veteran American journalist whose life he changed.

Five million more people contracted HIV last year alone. We've all seen the statistics, and the
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Published December 1st 2004 by Tantor Media
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Annie Mesaros
The author does a great job of painting a picture of Nkosi's humanness, his connection with the past, present, and future of his society and country, and in so doing, makes the reader feel as though they too are connected to something bigger than themselves. Wooten points out that Nkosi, a young boy born HIV-positive, is a part of many families--not just his biological and foster families, but many others as well: The family that all black South Africans are a part of, that of all people who are ...more
Deb Stern
Beautiful, sweet, sad story of a mother(Daphne)putting her child before herself, another woman(Gail)strong and selfless, and a little, brave boy(Nkosi)that will live in my heart from this day forward. The story of these real life people is woven within daunting statistics of the HIV/AIDS outbreak in Africa. I am so bad at remembering names, but I will not forget these incredible people.
This book is an absolutley amazing work of non-fiction. It details the life of a young African boy born HIV positive, who is given up for adoption by his mother who is gravely ill from full-blown AIDS. A white South African family adopts him, knowing full well that his ailments will eventually overcome him and that they will have to pay out of their pockets for his care. This young boy naturally becomes a part of the AIDS advocacy work in which his family is so involved in Africa and does some r ...more
Marjie Smith
Spoiler alert
This is the amazing story of a young South African Zulu boy named Nikosi, whose HIV-positive mother inadvertently passed on the virus to him in the womb. This story interweaves Nikosa’s struggle to survive with South Africa’s terrible history of its treatment of blacks and its road to recovery. The book constructs the historical and environmental context for the rapid spread of the HIV virus in the country, describing how the Zulu homeland, along with that of other groups, was taken
Jerrod Carter
Add up the trifecta of poverty, apartheid and AIDS and you sure get a horrifying story of human misery. From this stench of human failings, Jim Wooten carries forth the story of courage portrayed in Gail Johnson who passed on her fighting spirit to her foster son, Nkosi. Nkosi had all the strikes against him as he came into this world, even receiving HIV from his mother during his birth.

He survived many great obstacles to grow into boy who helped combat the ignorance, both innocent and wanton, t
A true story written by journalist Jim Wooten about his experiences with a family in S. Africa in which a little boy is suffering from AIDS. Soon to be a movie...
Jessica Vekas
This book is an amazing story of a young black african boy and his journey through life born hiv positive. His birth mothers surrender of him and his unofficial adoption by white african. Their fight for his education, medicine and the aids community. Born into a country that covered up or denied the existence of hiv and aids throughout his life he and his mother Gail fought to better and enhance the life's of so many. I laughed and cried at Nkosi fought so courageously for a haven for mother's ...more
(Spoiler alert)
This book is a narrative of two families' interconnection--one Zulu, and one Anglo South African. The politics of South Africa and, to a lesser degree, of HIV infection, are interwoven with the families' narrative as it focuses on Nkosi, one South African boy living with HIV.

One senses not only that this is a book meant for the general, lay reader, and that the author had a limited kind of permission, emotionally, with his subjects. That is, the intensity of the subject, and the
I absolutely believe that everyone should read this book. Parents and children alike. We in the US forget or sometimes, don't know, things that the rest of the planet has to deal with. I was sickened by the policies and the stubbornness of President Mbeki. The absurdity and stupidity of the statements and policies he was making were making me crazy. The aid that he turned away. He wanted all of the victims of AIDS to suffer and die, It seemed that it was his way of cleaning the slate, but his po ...more
Jan 22, 2008 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in an amazing account of the life of truly courageous 12 child and his mothers.
Recommended to Megan by: randomly found it at Borders
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
This book is amazing. One of the best books I have ever read. This is a true account of one reporters visits with a boy named Nkosi (HIV positive), his mother Daphne, and his adopted mother Gail. Gives great history of South Africa and the Aids Crisis and how this crisis has come to be such an epidemic in South Africa. Amazing story of love and courage. Here's the book info:

From Publishers Weekly
The author, an award-winning senior correspondent for ABC News, has written an extraordinarily movin
We Are All the Same: A Story of a Boy's Courage and a Mother's Love
By Jim Wooten
Reviewed by Alina Oswald

He is the Zulu boy who carries his mother's virus and who, because of his mother's last brave and selfless act before her death, ends up in the care of Gail Johnson, a white South African woman in charge of an AIDS hospice for white patients. Soon, Gail becomes Nkosi's foster mother and, together, they make history: they succeed in pursuing the authorities to allow HIV positive children to go
Connie Tinoco
Wooten, Jim. We Are All The Same. New York: The Penguin Press, 2004. Print.

Wooten tells the story of Nkosi Johnson, a boy born in South Africa with the infected HIV virus. While Wooten tells his story, the reader learns the tragedies South African citizens had to go through because of the government’s denial of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Their stubborn refusal to actively search for a solution not only stonewalled progressive research, it allowed HIV & AIDS to grow exponentially. This source gi
Faith Gray
Nkosi is born with HIV...his mom has AIDS and eventually can not take care of him. Left at an adult home for those with HIV / AIDS Gail Johnson eventually adopts him. He lives to be 12 years old because he lives in a clean home with food and medicine. He becomes a spokesperson for HIV / AIDS cause. You can feel the tension between the relationships of Gail's family and Nkosi's family. The author finds himself looking at the disease in a more personal way after meeting Nkosi. I recommend it to ev ...more
There's now way you will read this book and not be moved by the love, compassion and strength of the young South African boy Nkosi Johnson and his adopted mother Gail as told by former ABC News correspondent and author Jim Wooten.

This was an amazing book. The story of Nkosi was truly inspiring. To know that he never even had a chance at life being born with AIDS, he still remained positive and upbeat. He seriously makes you look at your own life's priorities. To have Nelson Mandela recognize you and have wonderful words to say about you would have been an amazing accomplishment for Nkosi if he were alive to see it. His mother's dedication to her son and his health was powerful, to find him treatment with Gail Johnson, wa ...more
Josh Mcnair
Really interesting story of a very courageous boy and his adoptive mother. Helped me to think about the Aids epidemic and its history in places like South Africa. Glad I stumbled on this one.
Tammy Crompton
A short, yet heart wrenching book about a young boys struggle to live in a world foreign to most of us. Very moving and very informative.
Inspiring and sad story of a young boy born with AIDS and his adopted mother's battle for his life and dignity.
Great story of courage in joburg. HIV, AIDS, adoption, strength and ignorance of SA government
It was a great read and a great inspirational story. A true story that everybody needs to read.
A young black boy in Africa is taken in by a white woman; he is suffering with AIDS; race inequality in the country & a government that won't acknowledge the AIDS virus. She is part of a home for men with AIDS & she & the child become well known for his courage with his disease & her
care of the boy as they make the war on AIDS known.
I read a lot & am an impatient reader--I didn't like reading all the statistics in the book but
that's just me; it's written by a reporter in a re
What would have been an excellent series of articles, stretched painfully to the length of a book.
Tyron Miralda
amazing story very good book!
Mar 06, 2008 Arryn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arryn by: my mom
This book touched me profoundly through its life-size portrayal of an AIDS orphan in apartheid South Africa. Nkosi Johnson's vibrant personality and enduring spirit are beautifully portrayed. Even so, Wooten doesn't gloss over the tragic details of life in a divisive South Africa during the last few decades. The writing is somewhat journalistic, but provides an important political backdrop for the human-interest story that is told with optimistic realism (or realistic optimism). Nkosi is a hero ...more
A very informative era on Africa and the AIDS crisis. You can tell a journalist wrote it, it works here.
Very touching story about a young boy who has AIDS and the impact he made on his country. The author gave so much history to understand how this country was affected by the disease and have the politicians reacted to the people, the information and providing medication.
God Bless Nkosi and his legacy of love and understanding. We are all the same! Yes, indeed.
It is eye opening, even to me who is close to this subject matter. Sad to think that this took place just a few years ago. You would think the world was far above it. It left me feeling like I wanted to do more. I will be doing further research to see if South Africa has come any further on the subject matter. I have so much respect for Gail. I would love to meet her and I wish there were more people in the world like her. Nkosi was just amazing!
Nkosi Johnson's story should be a lesson and a reminder to all that as humans, the only thing that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is our compassion and our ability to empathize with our fellow human beings. Gail Johnson demonstrated this in her unconditional love for this little boy that was but a stranger to her. Nkosi's courage motivated me to do more with my life and to not take life for granted. A poignant story, beautifully told.
AIDS does not choose based on color, unfortunately the children suffer the most from adult decisions. The evidence of apartheid continues to destroy lives. I had my oldest son there the same year Nkosi was. I remember the way the whites treated anyone of color and was appalled by it. Unfortunately, now every color treats each other that way instead of moving on with courage and conviction to better a country with so many resources and so much beauty.
Shazeena Taherbhai
Jim Wooten gives a soul and voice to the aid's epidemic in Africa. It's a raw and emotional account of a little boy who is the youngest AID's advocate this world and South Africa has ever seen. His name was Nkosi Johnson and though his life was cut short his spirit will live on. I was truly touched by Wooten's words I admit it did bring tears to my eyes a few times. It's a tale of unconditional love, heart ache, and overcoming stigma and obstacles.
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