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Scared (On the Edge of the World #1)

4.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  458 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Stuart Daniels has hit bottom. Once a celebrated and award-winning photojournalist, he is reeling from debt, a broken marriage, and crippling depression. The source of Stuart's grief is his most famous photo, a snapshot of brutality in the dangerous Congo. A haunting image that indicts him as a passive witness to gross injustice.

Stuart is given a one last chance to redeem
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by David C. Cook (first published January 1st 2009)
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This is a life changing story! Tears were flowing down my cheeks through a good portion of the book. I don't recommend reading this in public because you'd have a hard time getting past the lump in your throat to explain just what it was that evoked that level of emotion in you. I'm not exaggerating. You'd have to have a heart of stone not to be emotionally moved when you read Scared. The entire time I read this book I was in Africa right along with the characters. That's great writing.

While the
Apr 10, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing

Maybe it's because I think I left my heart in Africa, in the northern regions of Ghana. Maybe that's why I loved this book. Or maybe it's because I am deeply saddened by the state of children and women in some of the poorest nations on earth. Or because sometimes I don't feel like I do enough and I need a swift kick in the pants to jolt me out of my American complacency to remember the marginalized. Despite the why, I'm thankful I read Scared by Tom Davis.

Davis holds nothing back. The reader
Amanda G. Stevens
Aug 20, 2014 Amanda G. Stevens rated it liked it
This novel is a prime example of agenda fiction. The point of view alternates between two first-person accounts: photojournalist Stuart Daniels, who has come to Swaziland hoping to take a career-resurrecting photo, and twelve-year-old Adanna, a Swazi girl barely surviving in a land of starvation and abuse. The plot isn't so much a linear arc as a series of events demonstrating the plight of Africa. Stuart arrives skeptical and jaded and leaves transformed by all that he's witnessed.

The author su
C.J. Darlington
Feb 16, 2015 C.J. Darlington rated it really liked it
Here in America it's easy to hole ourselves up in our cozy little houses with our laptops and iPods, oblivious to rest of the world. Our knowledge of foreign affairs comes from Twitter. If the AC goes out, the coffee burns, or the car won't start, our day's ruined. But the truth is that even the poorest in our country would be considered rich in some parts of Africa. What if a bad day wasn't the barista getting your order wrong but going hungry . . . for five days in a row? What if instead of ly ...more
Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
This book is truly inspiring and eye-opening. It is a work of fiction based on fact and reads like a true story. I try not to read a lot of info about a book before I start it, so as not to have any preconceived notions - but I was so moved after reading the first chapter I had to go back and find out whether or not it was true!

This book tells the story of two vastly different people. Adanna, a young girl living in Swaziland, and Stuart, a photographer for the New York Times.

Adanna's life has be
Sep 06, 2009 Lorrie rated it it was amazing
When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue. Most of the story takes place in Africa and depicts the unbelievable atrocities that occure--rape, incest, violence, extreme poverty, AIDS, and the fear and reality of becoming orphaned to AIDS. It was overwhelming and depressing, as it was meant to be.
However, the more I read, the more I was convicted of my own materialistic life style, as the author contrasted the ways of the rich Americans and the poverty-stricken
Aug 01, 2013 Joann rated it really liked it
This novel is was a powerful read and one that leaves you thinking about how we are blessed here in the USA. It is based on true people and makes for a mesmerizing book from beginning to end. Stuart Daniels is an award-winning photojournalist who is sent to Africa to cover the AIDS crisis in a small African country. Here he meets Adanna, a young orphan fighting for survival in a community ravaged by disease and other events. In Adanna he finds the hope he needs to recover his faith in God and hi ...more
Feb 21, 2016 LeAnne added it
This is an agenda-driven book. True, I am passionate about the same agendas—the plight of AIDS orphans, poverty, corruption and exploitation from African leaders—but that doesn’t make it a good book.

I think the problem with the structure is that there are too many agendas. Is this a book about the horrors suffered by AIDS orphans or about an African community (including AIDS orphans) responding to a tragic flood? There are multiple first person narrators, including excerpts from the journal of
Apr 27, 2015 Tracey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I have ever read! I cried happy tears, I cried sad tears, I chuckled, I clamped my hand over my mouth in shock... Davis had me running the full gamut of emotions throughout his story of a western photojournalist's life-changing encounter with an African community suffering from HIV-AIDS. I'm not usually a re-reader, but I know I will read this book time and time again.

Scared's 300-ish pages seemed to fly by because the story never drags its feet. I don't normally e
Havebooks Willread
Jan 19, 2014 Havebooks Willread rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, kindle

These are the words I would use to describe Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World by Tom Davis. It shakes me out of my comfortable little life in Midwestern USA. The novel is fiction, but it's based on Davis's experiences in Africa.

I've heard about the plight of widows and orphans in Africa, but somehow it makes more of an impact on me to experience the hopelessness vicariously through characters in a novel.

The story is about a photojournalist's personal growth
Jan 12, 2014 Emilie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredibly powerful. Through the eyes of an American photographer and a young African girl, Mr. Davis has created a picture of the poverty, abuse, and violence that is happening in Africa today. I almost deleted the book from my kindle app because of the beginning chapters, but I was compelled to keep reading as I knew this was something that happens in real life. I knew that I couldn't just ignore it. I was swept away into Africa with the characters, and I am forever changed becaus ...more
Jun 17, 2015 Kenzie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, summer-15
The heart wrenching and compelling stories of the characters in this book brought me right back to Swaziland where I spent just about 3 weeks last summer. The situations and circumstances Davis describes in this novel are ones that are eerily existent and equally horrifying in Swaziland today. Tom Davis has accomplished much through his writing and his organization (Children's Hopechest). Favorite quote: "I realize at this moment, the life and death of one little girl has turned my face toward t ...more
Sean McCoy
Jun 28, 2015 Sean McCoy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incite a passion to give hope

You cannot read this book and not feel a need for change. Dear God, how is it possible that so many children, people, go for for frightening periods without the basic necessities of life. Whether it's Africa, South America or the struggle of the impoverished in the U.S. We all need to help.

Words to truly live by:
Think globally, act locally!
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my
Pj Gamm
Apr 18, 2015 Pj Gamm rated it liked it
The premise was interesting, as was the dual perspectives of the two leading characters. The characters stayed a little superficial; their depth was glossed over. It was also a suspension of disbelief to imagine Stuart, a world traveling photo journalist, being so naive as to the struggles of the Swazis. Those were my two issues with the book. It was interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. I would read another book by this author, partly because there is a lack of Christian books with a ...more
May 19, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: college students and everyone who needs to broaden their perspective of the world
Well, I don't read much fact, I think the last novel I read was in 2004 while vacationing poolside in Mombasa, Kenya. It was a Grisham novel...I love Grisham!

And I love Davis! Tom is a fellow doctorate student with me at George Fox University. Together, we are working on our Doctor of Ministry degrees in the Global Missional Leadership program.

Tom is the President of Children's Hopechest and is passionate about caring for orphans. I have a deep amount of respect for him, and only ho
Lindsey Norman
Nov 12, 2009 Lindsey Norman rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a moving story; people looking to put a face to the AIDS epidemic
Scared paints a vivid picture of tragedies taking place in Africa. The book follows Stuart Daniels, a photojournalist, haunted by his past, and Adanna, a young orphan, who radiates hope despite catastrophe. Their lives are woven together when Stuart travels to Swaziland to capture the AIDS crisis in Adanna’s African village.

Author Tom Davis does not hesitate to recreate a world filled with devastation. The story wrestles with honest questions regarding God’s providence. “Where is God in all of t
Clockstein Lockstein
Jun 15, 2009 Clockstein Lockstein rated it it was amazing
Scared by Tom Davis is a heartbreaking look at a world we spend much of our lives trying to ignore. Adanna is a 12 year old girl in Swaziland trying to make the best of the life God has given her. She cares for her two younger siblings when her mother is ill and tries to ignore the pains of hunger that color every aspect of her life. Stuart Daniels is a award-winning photographer best known for a photo of horrific violence that indicts him as an witness to horror. His inaction has haunted him in ...more
Oct 15, 2009 Simmonsmry rated it really liked it
In Scared, debut novelist Tom Davis takes us on a journey to Africa, bringing the continent’s real struggles and hardships into our lives in a way that cannot be ignored.

In the Prologue, we are introduced to Adanna, an African girl who is struggling to survive in horrific conditions with next to no food to eat. She wants to be hopeful, but she is stuck in a quagmire. She says, “I think about what hope means for the people in my village. I try to imagine them rising up in glory…But I only see the
Julie Gillies
Feb 27, 2012 Julie Gillies rated it it was amazing
Tom Davis' first novel gripped me by the throat and refused to let go. I no longer sat in a comfortable chair in my bedroom merely reading a book; I bumped along in a jeep on dusty clay roads, inhaled sweaty fear, witnessed atrocities that provoked gut-wrenching despair and anger, and grieved over inhumane conditions that pound innocent families on a continent plagued with disease and corruption.

Sweet little Adanna, already fatherless and literally starving, faces the unthinkable when her mother
Jason Lilly
This was the right book at the right time for me. After a fierce dose of Jesus' sermon on the mount, combined with writings by authors like Shane Claiborne, Jim Wallis, and David Platt, I needed a good story that helped put a face to what these authors were talking about, caring for "the least of these." The publisher David C. Cook made Scared free for a limited time, and having read Davis's Red Letters: Living a Faith That Bleeds, I downloaded it immediately.

There are many who will dispute this
Leah Good
4.5 stars. NOT for readers under 18.

Stuart seems to have it all, but his life is crumbling. After seeing and photographing unspeakable horrors in the Democratic Republic of Congo, anxiety, lethargy, and guilt seem to rule his life. He tries to block the pain with drinking and drugs prescribed by his doctor.

When his boss sends him a "last chance" assignment to Swaziland, Stu isn't even sure why he's going. He hates Africa. But perhaps his shattered heart is just what Swaziland needs.

What I Didn't
Dec 30, 2013 Victoria rated it really liked it
I read this book within a few hours. It was very good!!!

Stuart Daniels is a photographer for The Times and feels lousy about his award for a photo in which he felt terrible about, because he was helpless to be able to help anyone within the situation. He is sent out to Swaziland for his next story.

Adanna is a 12 year old girl who grew up in the beautiful Swaziland that has now turned bitter, filled with death and disease due to the AIDS crisis. She has a mother and two siblings.

Both of the mai
Apr 19, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put it down..

I'm paying for last night's readathon today. I got into the "just one more chapter" syndrome and before I knew it it was one in the morning. There was nothing I didn't enjoy about the book, sad as the story was: I loved the characters and they felt totally real to me. I wanted to do something to help. Reading this book will change some lives--for the better.
May 18, 2016 Don rated it it was amazing
A riveting story that takes a snapshot of the AIDS crisis in Africa. Tom Davis has expertly woven real life stories into a fictional account that will grip your heart. I would usually tend to ramble and gush about any book that I loved as much as this one, but I won't this time. Get your copy and read it for yourself.
Elice Mcneely
Sep 25, 2015 Elice Mcneely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book tugs at your heart strings and introduces REAL LIFE social issues that Africa faces that I had no clue about.

Even though this story is fiction it's loosely based on actual events and it's that that makes this book so moving

You can't read this and not be moved
Lynn Spencer
Oct 07, 2012 Lynn Spencer rated it really liked it
I found this book difficult to grade in some ways. As I read, I would note in my head that this or that piece of dialogue seemed awkward or that the character of Stuart Daniels, the photographer, seemed thinly drawn,and some of the mystical aspects of the story didn't quite work for me. However, the depictions of Swaziland and the plight of Adanna and the other people Stuart encounters there pack a heavy emotional punch. Though simply written, this book is not an easy read by any means. The rava ...more
Jan 29, 2014 Rich rated it really liked it
Painful reminder of man's inhumanity to man. While a fictional story, it is based on real people and experiences. The author does a great job of bringing these characters to life, depicting the absolute horrors that are occurring in Africa and frankly other parts of the world. Be prepared to be emotionally impacted, not summer beach reading :)
Sep 06, 2011 Kayla rated it liked it
This book is...not well written. The writing is startling bad at times. It's also heavy handed. It's written to manipulate your emotions.

But I don't think people read this novel for the writing, they read it for the message. The message is good. Very good. I rate the message with 5 stars. It is so important that we care for one another! It is so important that we not only preach the gospel, but live it as well. We need to reach out to people and help them. We need to do ALL we can.

This book ha
Aug 28, 2012 Liz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
This book messed up my heart in all the right ways. Having just come back from a mission trip to Kenya, I felt a whole new awareness to the events of the book and the characters that experience them. Almost all of one chapter is highlighted in my Kindle because my heart broke over and over and so many quotes resonated with me. I was outraged by the injustice and grieved by the tragedy, while being warmed by the tender moments in the book. Just as God spoke to Stuart, I feel He called to me as we ...more
May 25, 2016 Cindy rated it it was amazing
This was a difficult book to read, but also a very good one. It makes my heart hurt to know there is so much suffering. It also puts everything I've been through, or that my family has been through in perspective. I wish this book was required reading in every high school.
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This book needs discussing. 1 10 Mar 10, 2013 09:05AM  
The Free Book Cha...: Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World, by Tom Davis 2 7 Nov 08, 2012 07:04PM  
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  • Love Has a Face: Mascara, a Machete and One Woman's Miraculous Journey with Jesus in Sudan
  • Veiled Freedom
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  • Sifted: God's Scandalous Response to Satan's Outrageous Demand
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Tom Davis is an author, consultant, and the president of Children's HopeChest ( a Christian-based child advocacy organization helping orphans in Eastern Europe and Africa. Tom holds a Business and Pastoral Ministry degree from Dallas Baptist University and a master's degree in Theology from Th
More about Tom Davis...

Other Books in the Series

On the Edge of the World (2 books)
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