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

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  650 ratings  ·  155 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
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
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
Sarah Herranen
Words cannot express how I feel about this book. This book attacks your emotions as well as your well-being. It literally hurt to read, yet changed my perspective on the African War history.

Now is the Time for Running is a sobering story full of dramatic emotions left and right. This inspiring story, written by Michael Williams, really captures the true nature of cultural differences, war, and prejudices. The main character Deo endures hardships like no other. The entire village of Gutu, includi
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
The best part of the plot is that it starts with a bad beginning for example when the soldiers attacked the villagers but then it starts to lead to a happy ending when Deo and innocent run away from the soldiers. What I didn’t like about the plot is that many bad things happen to the main characters and it was unfair. The plots moved quickly because it had constant situations happening. The book was interesting because some of the plots were actually based on real life stories.

My favorite chara
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
This was quite a wonderful book to read. It is not a happy soccer tale. It takes the reader into the dramatically challenging life of immigrant/refugee boys in South Africa. More challenging is the story about how the refugees are being treated in SA right now. I admit I was not aware how dangerous this situation is and I am grateful for the insight this book provided. Deo and Innocent witness the destruction of their village and family in Zimbabwe and must fend for themselves. But this does not ...more
Genevieve Knightly
I had to read this book for a social justice theme I was doing in class, but I can't say I really was feeling deo throughout any part of the book. There was only the small sections of his story that I don't find completely clear. Later in the books, a man says that deo needs to get off drugs, but it never said that he was ever on them. There was only page having anything to do with drugs and gang/street life. To be honest, I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone's personal reading. It did have ...more
Noah Plues
This book is simply amazing. There were many times where I couldn't stop myself from turning pages because the excitement was too much for me to handle. From the time when the main character's village was attacked to the time when he was living in the street, something just compelled me to keep reading. This story is about a boy, Deo, and his older brother, Innocent, and how they escape their village in the middle of Zimbabwe to find refuge in South Africa. They have to go through many hardships ...more
Sam Larsen
I just finished reading "Now is the Time for Running" by Michael Williams, and it was one of my favorite books i've ever read. The book's about a boy named Deo and his older brother innocent who live in Zimbabwe. The president president there makes sure that any one who doesn't vote for him gets silenced. And a lot of people in Deo's village didn't vote for the president and thats a problem for the government so, while Deo and Innocent are playing soccer the president sends soldiers to the villa ...more
Now Is Time for Running by Michael Williams This book is about a young teenager from Zimbabwe name Deo, Deo and his friends play soccer in a dusty field then one day soldier come to his village and forced them to leave their homes, the soldier destroyed the village and Deo has to find a way to survive and soccer is all he has. The theme is about the issue in African and how kids need something to get them off the streets the genre are Juvenile Fiction, Action & Adventure and Survival Stories ...more
Taylor Verboven
This book takes place in Zimbabwe and South Africa. The main characters are Deo and Innocent, they are brothers. Deo loves to play soccer and plays everyday with his friends in his village. They are living in Zimbabwe with their mom and grandfather until the soldiers come. They kill almost all of the villagers but Deo and Innocent escape the chaos. They flee to South Africa and try to start a new life there, but their journey is far from over. Will they be able to survive in a new country as ref ...more
"Now is the time for running" by Michael Williams is a "staggering story of survival" (front flap). I would recommend this book for middle schoolers. I really liked this book because it has lots of adventure in it. It is a normal day when Deo is playing soccer with his friends in Zimbabwe. Then soldiers come and attack their village. Deo is forced to take his brother Innocent and run before the soldiers can catch them. With little money and no food they head to South Africa in hope of being safe ...more
Edward Sullivan
Powerful, gripping story of persecution and survival set in contemporary Zimbabwe.
Terri Van Loon
This book tells the heart wrenching story of a boy who grew up in Zimbabwe but was forced to flee to South Africa with his mentally disabled older brother after his mom and grandfather were killed by soldiers. The book takes us an a harrowing journey and describes all the challenges that the boy faces even after he reaches South Africa. Some of the themes of this book include conflict in Africa, xenophobia, soccer, and mental disabilities, among others. Because of the adventurous story line, thi ...more
This book is a great way to inform yourself about the trouble in Africa. It is a very graphic book with lots of blood and guts, but unfortunately that is what many people are dealing with right now. While reading I almost was in tears, the characters are so real that when you imagine what they are going through (it is fiction) you can't help but shed some tears. At the end of the book I enjoyed reading the information in the back of the book. Great to write reports on for class. What a great boo ...more
I read this as part of my book club, therefore It wasn't my choice. I can't say that it's something that I would normally go for, and I'm glad that I read it, though it hasn't tempted me to read more books like this. I would definitely say that it's educational as well as interesting, it's quite sad too, but it don't think it was written with the purpose of making you cry. It's not your typical Nicholas Sparks or John Green, but actually based on true stories. Having finished it I feel enlighten ...more
Golly - a haunting story based on may true stories of the horrors of xenophobia in various African nations. The two Zimbabwean brothers Deo and Inocente survuve a massacre of their village and a brutal escape to South Africa only to discover life is getting no better. Innocente is the older brother, but Deo takes care of his disabled sibling until he isn't there at the right time. Eventually, many refugee camps and streetlife situations later, Deo is picked for the South African Street Soccre Te ...more
Ms. Yingling
Deo and his brother Innocent do their best to enjoy life in their Zimbabwean village even though war rages around them and they are constantly hungry. When the soldiers come and demand food from an American shipment that has not arrived, Innocent, who is mentally challenged, gets upset and runs off. When the brothers return to the village, their family and many of their neighbors have been killed. They take off to seek the help of their mother's friend, but are told that they will need to go to ...more

 Summary: Deo’s life in Gutu, Zimbabwe is not an easy one, but he’s happiest when playing soccer with his friends on a dusty field even though their soccer ball is a warped, much-repaired cow-leather pouch. Deo’s family is very poor and they sometimes don’t have enough food to eat. Another hardship for Deo is taking care of his older brother, Innocent, who was born brain-damaged and usually acts like a little kid. Life gets much tougher the day the President’s soldiers stop in his village to pu
Sep 19, 2012 Beverly rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Jan 11, 2011 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Kelly Hager
Deo and his older brother Innocent are refugees. They fled their home in Zimbabwe after a massacre in their village. Their journey leads them, eventually, to South Africa.

This is a hard book to describe without spoiling something. So I will say that it is about family and courage and soccer.

There's a lot in the world I don't know about, but two of them are "Africa" and "soccer." So it's probably surprising to some that I loved this book as much as I did. I think one of the things about good li
I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I kept looking at the cover, and the back of the book, and the reviews to MAKE SURE I wasn't, in fact, wrong, that the book really was fiction. Really, fiction? Not non-fiction? The book just read SO TRUE I kept needing to make sure. At the end of the book there is an interview with the author where he mentions interviewing three refugees and getting his ides for this story as a compilation of their three stories. Aha! Now that makes sense, and it lends crede ...more
Honestly, this book really exceeded my expectations. I recommend this to anyone looking for an uplifting story, to soccer fans, and to anyone who is interested in what is going on in Africa.

Deo and his brother Innocent live in Zimbabwe until their village is destroyed. Then they must make the terribly difficult journey to South Africa in search of their father--who neither one of the brothers really knows. Deo loves playing and watching soccer. He has dreams of playing professionally, and he is
Jodi Papazian
I chose to read Now is the Time for Running because it is a 2014 Teen Nutmeg Nominee. That being said, it isn't the type of book that I would generally gravitate towards but I am glad that I had the opportunity to read it.
Deo and his brother, Innocent, manage to escape the mass genocide happening in their African country. With the help of a family friend, they find themselves in a group of refugees trying to escape to South Africa. However, once they make it through that perilous journey, the
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.

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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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