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Now Is the Time for Running
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Now Is the Time for Running

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  992 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
Just down the road from their families, Deo and his friends play soccer in the dusty fields of Zimbabwe, cheered on by Deo's older brother, Innocent. It is a day like any other . . . until the soldiers arrive and Deo and Innocent are forced to run for their lives, fleeing the wreckage of their village for the distant promise of safe haven. Along the way, they face the prej ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Summary: In a dusty field in the province of Mosvingo in Zimbabwe, Deo plays soccer with his friends will his older brother Innocent watches. Then the soldiers show up and Deo and Innocent's world is turned upside down. They are now on the run, refugees from their own village, and must find a way to survive. As Deo works to protect his mentally challenged older brother while still making hard decisions, there are struggles at every turn. And d
Jan 03, 2012 Deanna rated it it was amazing
Realistic fiction, immigration, global, soccer, survival, xenophobic, South Africa

Based on true events that occurred in 2008 this gripping novel will keep you awake till you finish it. This was another 2 hour book that I couldn't put down. Definitely one of the best books I read in 2011.

One day some soldiers enter Deo's village in Zimbabwe and murder almost everyone. He escapes with his older brother to a neighboring village where a policeman helps them escape to South Africa where there is more
Amber Foxx
Mar 05, 2015 Amber Foxx rated it really liked it
At the beginning of the story, Deo, a fourteen-year-old Zimbabwean boy, has not seen much of the world. He plays soccer with his friends. He keeps an eye on his very special older brother Innocent, a sweet but damaged young man who suffered a brain injury at birth. Innocent is one of the most irresistible characters I’ve ever come across. Deo is understandably dedicated to him. The relationship between the brothers is the jewel at the center of this plot.

When political violence takes the adults
Nov 20, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it
This book is not for the faint of heart.

It is an intense story about two brothers, Deo, who is 15, and Innocent, his older disabled brother, running for their lives in modern war-torn Zimbabwe. The entire village, including their Mom and Grandfather, were killed by the army. Deo and Innocent narrowly escaped. All they have left is each other, Deo’s love of soccer, and Deo’s handmade soccer ball, stuffed with money his Mother had hidden in their hut. They escape to another village where a family
Dr. Garcia
Jan 04, 2015 Dr. Garcia rated it it was amazing
I haven't cried this much since Fault In Our Stars. What happens is all the more horrible knowing it is based on true stories. This is a book all teens will devour. It has action, survival, sports, and family. It could easily be paired with Of Mice and Men. The author's writing style reminded me a lot of Neal Shusterman. He uses figurative language and rhythm in such a way as to make the reader feel the emotional punch. I will need a lot of time to recover from this book.
Peter Swenson
Sep 29, 2016 Peter Swenson rated it really liked it
Book Plug:
I read now is the time for running. The main characters are Deo and his brother Innocent. The setting is this book is different countries of Africa. When soldiers come to Deo and his brother's village, both of them must leave the village. They must run because their lives depend on it. They must run away from all they know into dangers facing them along the way. If you liked the book Golden Boy, then you would like this book.
Feb 05, 2012 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Several times in his journey away from the soldiers who slaughtered everyone, including his mother and grandfather, in his home village of Bikita in Zimbabwe, 15-year-old Deo must run for his life. As if that isn't difficult enough, he must also bear the burden of an older brother whose developmental age presents the challenge of a much younger one instead. From station to station along a perilous trip to city and border with South Africa to cross a river and brave lions and hyenas only to work ...more
Sophie Zapoli
Deo is tough. He cares for his older brother with the patience and love of a mother, he has grown up in poverty pursuing his dream using a rolled up pile of garbage as a soccorball. He is not a stranger to living life the hard way. But when his hard but peaceful life is shattered in minutes and all he is left with is his older brother is he tough enough? A long harrowing journey brings him to a place to pursue his dream but first he must heal and learn what it is to be a member of a team, a mem ...more
This is a gripping story of what happens when a government and its leaders get out of hand. Fifteen-year-old Deo and his older brother Innocent flee their village in the Zimbabwe countryside when government soldiers kill everyone, including their mother and grandfather. They carry only a soccer ball filled with money and a box filled with Innocent's treasured items. Their journey takes them across a river, through a game preserve, and into the populous city of Johannesburg as they flee into Sout ...more
Jul 10, 2016 Wendy rated it really liked it
Deeply moving tale of a boy who loses his entire family in Zimbabwe and flees to South Africa. Intertwined with his love of soccer, which actually saves his life, Deo travels many miles physically and emotionally in order to discover who he truly is. Appropriately watered down at times in consideration of the audience, but still conveys the violence and tragedy of lost children and their families.
Nov 12, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it
I read this book for school and I ended up really liking the book. This book really made me think about how easy we have it in America, because these kids had to go through so much to get to safety. They had everything taken away from them and every time they tried starting a new life it was taken from them. This book had the perfect combination of drama, action, suspense, and brotherhood. I would definitely recommend this book and this author.
Edward Sullivan
Feb 20, 2011 Edward Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Powerful, gripping story of persecution and survival set in contemporary Zimbabwe.
Dec 01, 2016 Madison rated it it was amazing
Now is the Time for Running is an amazing example of great multicultural literature written by Wicharl Williams. Now is the Time for Running is a chapter book about two brothers, Deo and Innocent, living in Zimbabwe with a love for soccer and making a journey to find a better life after their city and family are massacred. The two boys are the only ones who survive and they try to make their way to South Africa and freedom. During this journey, Deo and Innocent encounter many interesting people ...more
Ethan Karls
Feb 07, 2017 Ethan Karls rated it really liked it
This is a really great book that shows how a boys life in Africa can change in a matter of seconds as well as what African boys must go through in order to succeed in life and let me say it is much harder than the average life of a boy in America. It is also a great book for those soccer players and fans that really understand the soccer world. Overall it was a great book.
Mrs. Gardner
Nov 03, 2016 Mrs. Gardner rated it really liked it
This was an incredible story about a Zimbabwean boy who triumphs over tragedy. It is definitely for YA readers. There are some strong themes in the story that could be highly sensitive to younger readers.

I don't want to go on too much about the story or my thoughts. I have MANY questions but they are hopeful questions rather than despairing ones.
Karin Haddad
Feb 16, 2017 Karin Haddad rated it liked it
So far, I'm not a big fan. I need to go back into the book and trudge on, but the thing is: I don't like the violence and the sadness. As a sixth grade teacher, it's making me sad to read this, not happy. So I plan on revisiting and finishing it, but it keeps getting put on the bottom of my list of things to do. Maybe a beach read...
Kevin Mills
Nov 18, 2016 Kevin Mills rated it really liked it
In Now Is the Time for Running I learned that I am very fourtunate to like in the USA because some 3rd world countries have very unjust laws.
Jan 23, 2017 Bryce rated it really liked it
Good book
The ending I felt was a bit short/rushed seems as though Michael Williams ran out of time. But generally a good story for reading at school.
Dec 10, 2012 Amreen rated it really liked it
This book. Oh this book. I don’t even know where to begin. Well, first if you don’t mind, I’d like to award myself a dancing banana because I finally finished it! WHOOP! Not that it was a really slow dull boring book that I had to crawl myself through and the only thing it has going for it was the plot, because it isn't. It is just one that, for me, requires some deeper thinking and I can’t read books like these unless I’m in a quiet environment which I couldn't achieve for quite a while which i ...more
Mar 21, 2016 ThomasBEnglish9 rated it it was amazing
The story starts off in a small village in Gutu, Africa. The main character, Deo, is a young child that starts out playing soccer with other kids of the village in the dusty field right outside of the village when soldiers in trucks come down the road. Everyone thought that the soldiers came to help with the food crisis that many villages were struggling with. But the reason they were here was not to help with the food struggle. After Deo was forced to run from the village with his older brother ...more
Dec 19, 2012 Kayson rated it really liked it
I do like a book that has sports in it, especially when the sport is soccer. And, I love books set in countries far away and different from the United States. That means this book was meant for me; it's got a soccer playing boy living in Zimbabwe (southeastern Africa).

However, Now is the Time for Running is so much more than a sports book. Yes, Deo plays soccer, but soccer is a means to keep him going, to help him through the tough times, and to bring hope to his tragic life. So, this isn't a so
Linda C.
Dec 26, 2016 Linda C. rated it really liked it
Harrowing tale of two brothers and the hardships they face as they become refugees. Reads like nonfiction, but is a realistic fiction work inspired by the author's experience working with homeless teens in South Africa. Well worth the read, but be aware of violent content that may not be appropriate for some younger or more sensitive readers.
Mar 03, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it
Deo and his family might be slowly starving in the Masvingo Province in Zimbabwe, yet they have confidence that their President will send soldiers with food. But when the soldiers arrive, they bring death instead.

After everyone in his village in murdered - except Deo and his brother Innocent - the two boys must escape from their home country to the safety of South Africa. Yet while that in itself will be a harrowing journey, surviving South Africa will be just as dangerous to attempt.

"All of the people in the room want to be somewhere else. None of us wants to live on the streets of Cape Town.

All of the people in the room want to belong somewhere and be treated as somebody, not something.

As each person speaks, the stories get easier to tell and easier to listen to. I notice too that as each of the people in the room talks, something changes in their faces. A light goes on in their eyes. It's like they were gray, but now they have color. No one is nervous anymore, and with th
Sep 19, 2012 Beverly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 13-15 year olds
Recommended to Beverly by: Best Books for Young Adults/
Now Is The Time For Running is an excellent story about genocide, refugees and xenophobia. But mostly, it is the story of an overwhelmed, innocent young teen trying to save himself and his mentally disabled brother. Deo lived a poor, sheltered, happy life in rural Zimbabwe until the day government soldiers came into the village kidnapped the boys and young men and killed everyone else. Deo and his brother hid from the soldiers, but after the massacre they are homeless orphans. They walk to the c ...more
Angel Romero
Nov 27, 2013 Angel Romero rated it it was amazing
The book Now Is The Time for Running, written by Michael Williams is based on a true story. Deo and his friends are playing a tied soccer game, 2-2, when Deo sees the soldiers arrive to Zimbabwe. Deo thinks that the new president is providing them food, but he was totally wrong as he realizes later on. The commander tells the villagers “You voted wrongly at the election.” The soldiers beat people and the first one to be beaten was Deo’s grandfather and second his older brother, innocent, who was ...more
Oct 26, 2014 Wisteriouswoman rated it it was amazing
Wow! Such a powerful book. It isn't something I would recommend to everyone. It doesn't come off as a fairy story and it is hard to imagine anyone will live happily ever after. That said, it really made me empathize with people in war torn African countries that have huge problems with changes in the government. Voting rights don't always make a country a democracy.

I liked it because it made me see what is on the news in a new light. Through one boy's eyes we get a truly gripping story of survi
Jan 11, 2011 Sara rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: middle school aged boys
Now Is the Time for Running by Michael Willams, follows Deo a young boy who is forced to leave his home in Zimbabwe after his family is killed in political violence. Deo is out playing soccer with his friends and his older mentally challenged brother Innocent when soldiers roll into town. They abuse his brother and then kill everyone in his town while Deo is trying to save his brother. Deo and Innocent escape and through the help of friends and strangers they escape and cross the border into Sou ...more
Becky B
Deo's village in Zimbabwe had people who voted "wrongly" in the last election, so the President's soldiers come to punish the town. Deo and his older brother Innocent (who has special needs) are the only ones to escape alive. They make it to another village where a friend lives who gets them smuggled down to the South African border. From there, the brothers are escorted across the border through a wildlife park and given jobs at a tomato farm. But the nearby town resents the refugees who steal ...more
Kathleen Jones
Feb 26, 2012 Kathleen Jones rated it really liked it
Now is the time for running
by Michael Williams
Young Adult Fiction

Deo and Innocent live in a village in Mugabe's Zimbabwe. Times are hard. Their mother is a single parent, struggling to bring them up against a background of spiraling inflation and food shortages. Deo goes to school and tries to look after his brain-damaged brother. Their big pleasure is playing football. But one day their lives change.

'The game is 2-2 when the soldiers come in their jeeps down the path to Gutu.
Jani shout
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Michael Williams is a writer of plays, musicals, operas, and novels and the Managing Director of Cape Town Opera in South Africa. He began writing "radio plays" while studying at University of Cape Town and had his first novel published when he was twenty-five years old. He has written operas for young people based on African mythology as well as the libretti for symphonic operas that have premier ...more
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