Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “No Turning Back: A Novel of South Africa” as Want to Read:
No Turning Back: A Novel of South Africa
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

No Turning Back: A Novel of South Africa

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  21 reviews
When the abuse at home becomes too much for twelve-year-old Sipho, he runs away to the streets of Johannesburg and learns to survive in the post-apartheid world.
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published January 28th 1997 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about No Turning Back, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about No Turning Back

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 263)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Aissata K.
No Turning Back by Beverly Naidoo

I read this book this year 2010-2011,it is a book about a 12 year old boy named Sipho have escaped from his stepfather's abuse. He have learned the rule of the streets and has been independent for several months. During his journey in the streets he has found enough work to feed himself. But Sipho couldn't continue to live this way and couldn't always find a place to sleep in the streets. The only thing Sipho wanted was to go to school and have a good education.
...more
Poop1
Sipho lives in an abusive world. He is getting ready to run away. The world he lives in is cruel and harsh. Sipho family is his step dad and his mom. His mom loves him a lot wile his dad beats him to the ground. But his world changes when he takes off into the streets only taking a hand full of coins from his mom’s purse .When he runs away he flees to hillbro city were there are many venders both mean and kind. While he is out there he has a fear of being found by his step father and what awful ...more
Renee
The characters in No Turning Back are flat. They are flat because they don’t change. You do not learn much about the main character named Sipho. You have no clue as to what he looks like except for his clothes. The major theme of the book is the hardships that South African children can face. This theme was implied both directly and indirectly. This book takes place in present day South Africa. If this book took place somewhere else then it would definitely affect the book. Since in most of the ...more
Joseph Rogers
I picked this up many, many years ago after reading a chapter as part of a Primary School English lesson. The simple fact is that I don't normally go for this kind of book, I find it hard to get 'involved' with such stories and would much prefer a non-fiction fact-fest. However, No Turning Back did keep me hooked and I was pretty surprised to find myself turning the final page so soon after starting it. It's a good book, with a interesting story. The fact that I read it at all, let alone enjoyed ...more
Debora Yao
this is a very interesting book.
at the begining Sipho ran away from his mother and stepfather's house because his step father was always beating him.
he went to Hill brow and meets a group of boys that he stayed with. He and the other boys had to sleep outside, or in a safe place. When they were cold that night, they drugs.
one day, they got attacked by some bad police mans that threw them in a lake, but an old man heleped them out. when they were going,Sipho fall as sleep in from of a man's shop.
...more
Brayden Cyphert
In my opinion, No Turning Back was a very good book so I would probably give it four stars. At times, the author refers to drugs and alcohol so it would be a good book for readers that are young adults.

A young boy by the name of Sipho runs away from home because his stepfather is abusing him. He decides to head for Johannesburg, figuring that his mom and stepfather couldn't find him there. Sipho runs into a local gang of boys his age. Desperate for money to survive, he joins them. He later find
...more
Myung-Jin S+
This book is about a boy named 12 year old Sipho, who runs away from his house because of his stepfather who beats him whenever he's drunk. So Sipho runs and goes to Hillbrow but everything is new and scary to him. But Sipho meets some street boys, and learns how to survive from them. Sipho's new life starts but still he has lots of difficulties to face.......

This book is a good book that I quite liked it because it's an interesting book. As you read more and more, you can't easily stop it.
It is
...more
Harut Musaderyan
I picked this book because I liked the title and how it was a novel of South Africa. In this a book a boy from Africa runs away from home because of his abusive father. My favorite quote in this book is when one of the guys from the gang said "Sometimes they give you nothing and you can starve" because it shows people that these poor kids live in a horrible condition and they still ignore it. The authors style was not bad and not too good either but it was an okay style of writing. I would reco ...more
Ali  Cullerton
In this novel, we explore life in 1994 in South Africa through the lens of a black adolescent male. The story begins with Sipho running away from his mother and township to flee an abusive step-father. Sipho quickly becomes "malunde" (a street kid) and finds a group of others to survive with. After realistic interactions with police officers dressed in plain clothes and resistant to change, Sipho is faced with many perspectives experienced during this time. The story is realistic, not overbearin ...more
Pksoper
This is a really good book about life on the streets in South Africa. I had a hard time starting - for which I blame Less Than Zero (that book freaked me out). However, once I got going, I cared about the characters, both the good and the not-so-good. Naidoo does a great job of keeping us from seeing the world, and people, as a dichotomy.

I highly recommend any of her books.
Olivia
I think the book really showed what malunde people go through and about the things that happened long ago. The book talks about a boy named Sipho who runs away to Jo'burg because of the abuse he deals with at home. But once he arrives at Jo'burg, he finds that freedom isn't as easy as it seems and that living on the streets is like a survival test.
Maura McDonagh
One of those book I really believed I would have enjoyed while I was younger. But an uplifting book. I never knew that much about malunde, this book was insightful, but only 3 stars just because of the language. I know the book is meant for a younger audience, but I still thought it could have been more challenging. But the history was fascinating.
Sarah
I read this book after reading another book by the same author, The Other Side of Truth, in class. It was quite good, a nice quick read, and showed some of the problems that some children have to face in everyday life.
Jasmine Roberson
a story about a south african boy who runs away to live on the streets of a major city he meets lots of people along the way and has lots of experiences- cultural awarness- would not read to class outloud
Marcel
i read this book last year in my English class. This book i about a kid named sipho who runs away from his house because of his step father. this is an very interesting and very instructive .
Jodi
This is the perfect novel study to show post apartheid in South Africa. Students love that Sipho joins a gang of boys and lives on the streets before finding a home!
Alyssa
Really rough at first and may be hard to address some issues in the classroom... but ultimately this story is really touching.
Evelyn Cook
Children's story about a homeless youth who has to learn about the street system and is forced to beg.
Leslie
Wow. I will use this in my class when we study South Africa. Want to read her others.
Leslie
good read. Would be great to use in the classroom.
Brandon I
It is a good book so far. i'm impressed.
Heather Sobek
Heather Sobek is currently reading it
Jul 21, 2015
Ashley
Ashley marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2015
Martin Marais
Martin Marais marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2015
Charlotte
Charlotte marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2015
Nathalie
Nathalie marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2015
Dylan Lougee
Dylan Lougee marked it as to-read
Jun 15, 2015
Verona Stephenson
Verona Stephenson marked it as to-read
Jun 11, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mafeking Road: and Other Stories
  • Child of Dandelions
  • Welcome to Our Hillbrow
  • Some of My Best Friends are White: Subversive Thoughts from an Urban Zulu Warrior
  • Cry of the Giraffe
  • Tsotsi
  • Tales From a Troubled Land
  • Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote
  • The Good Doctor
  • A History of South Africa
  • Maya Running
  • Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa
  • The Garbage King
  • No Safe Place
  • Rabble-Rouser for Peace: The Authorized Biography of Desmond Tutu
  • The Beast
  • Journey Home
  • The Smell of Apples
74642
Beverley Naidoo was born in South Africa on 21 May 1943 and grew up under apartheid. As a student, she began to question the apartheid regime and was later arrested for her actions as part of the resistance movement in South Africa. In 1965 she went into excile going to England and married another South African exile; they have two children.
More about Beverley Naidoo...
The Other Side of Truth Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story Burn My Heart Chain of Fire Out of Bounds

Share This Book