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Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,329 ratings  ·  315 reviews
On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls. Some managed to escape. Many are still missing. A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband—these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. A girl who works hard in school and to help her family. A girl with a future as bright as live coals in the dark. And with a government scholarship right arou ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Katie I got an digital advanced copy on edelweiss. There is no guarantee you will win one, but its worth a try.

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April (Aprilius Maximus)
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Wow, I learnt so much reading this. The world can be such a horrible place :(
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Y'all, I'm shook. This is the kind of story that feels like it should be happening in a completely different time period, not in the present. I don't know how exactly to convey just how hard-hitting this book is but I will try. Also, TRIGGER WARNING for non-graphic sexual violence. 

This book was ADDICTIVE. Like, the short chapters and short length allowed me to fly through this story. But it also allows for savoring it, if you know what I mean.
I love how the author sets everyth
Sarah Hannah
This is a really powerful story that avoids a lot of clichés we see in most American-penned stories about foreign tragedies, almost certainly because the author is Nigerian, and also because a person who was her partner in research had a deep understanding of what it means to be a white person on the ground who is trying to help but be mindful of her whiteness at the same time, and that came through in the really powerful, hour-long afterword. There is no sensationalizing, no infantilizing of th ...more
Book Concierge
This young-adult novel tells the story of the “stolen girls” of northern Nigeria, where the militant terrorist group Boko Haram has been burning villages, kidnapping the young girls, and slaughtering the rest of the residents.

The author gives the reader a vivid picture of life in a small Nigerian village. The unnamed narrator is a young girl who excels at school, and dreams of new shoes, going to university, marrying a good husband – the kinds of things most girls dream of. She helps her mother
Told through vignettes, this book gives voice to the girls who've been kidnapped by the radicalist group Boko Haram in Nigeria. The narrator is an unnamed girl -- later given a name that isn't her birth name by the kidnappers -- and it follows as she pursues her passion for education and feels deeply the crush she has on a local boy. But when Boko Haram charges into the village, she's ripped from her family, taken into their fold, and forced to marry a ban who uses her for her body; she is to be ...more
Kidnapped in the middle of the night by the Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist group, young men and young women were ripped from the safety of their homes to be catapulted into a horrifying nightmare. While the boys are whisked away to begin life anew as soldiers, the girls are forced to become wives, religiously convert and submit-comply or be killed. A courageous look at this tragic scenario, collected from countless interviews with the surviving victims.
A Lib Tech Reads
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, first-reads

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
Rating: 3.5/5
Release date: September 4, 2018
Note: Special thanks to Harper Collins for providing an ARC for review.

Despite being fully aware of what I was getting myself into with the tragic and outrageous occurrence, I was still caught off-guard by the powerful narrative and careful depictions of the protagonist growing up in a Nigerian village and then thrust into a terrifying nightmare as Boko Haram uprooted her home. I love a good story that incites the urge to research more about current aff2018
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m glad I read this book, it opened up a perspective that I wasn’t privy too, so many things happen around the world and so many realities that are not our own get ignored that I think for anyone to read this book it is a a great accomplishment on its own . I also agree that not many teens will pick this one on their own and that beyond a “special school project “ this book might get ignored, maybe that’s enough reason for this book to be read by people more.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fictional account based on the Chibok school girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria in 2014. It's so sad and distributing to think that this happened so recently and that many of the girls are still missing. It was very well written and I thought the author did a good job of helping the reader understand why some of the girls would choose to stay with their kidnappers and not try to escape.

Popsugar 2019 Challenge - A book with a plant in the title or on the cover
laurel [suspected bibliophile]
Trigger Warning: sexual assault, rape, assault, murder, forced starvation, slavery, poverty, suicide bombing, brainwashing, extremist religion

For the Chosen Generation of girls in Nigeria, life appeared to be everything better than what their mothers had had. Now they had a chance to attend university, to wear new, shiny shoes, a decent job, enough food and a husband.

Then Boko Haram came and took it away.
Inspired by the abduction of 276 girls a boarding school in Chobik
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-arcs
Thank you to Edelweiss for furnishing me with an e-arc of Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree for review and thank you to my friend Sarah for recommending it to me. All opinions are my own.
The purpose of this book is to humanize the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria through partial fictionalization of actual interviews from the female victims of this terrorist organization. Boko Haram is a group that has caused mass relocations and deaths throughout Nigeria and into the surrounding countries in their att
A book that highlights the horror of being stolen in the middle of the night with little warning or understanding. This is what happens to the young lady at the heart of the story.

I like how the radio segments between chapters indicate what is going on in the wider world.

A quick, but necessary read for young people to be aware of what is happening to young women, so they can advocate for change.
Ms. Yingling
Public library copy

Our main character, an unnamed girl being raised in a Nigerian village with five brothers, has big dreams for herself. She works very hard in school and hopes that she wins a scholarship. She and her best friend Sarah also watch a lot of Nollywood films about young me in arranged marriages to village girls who instead are secretly in love with female students at the university where they study. Sarah seems to just enjoy the romance, but this further mot
A solid 4 stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had not kept up with the Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria since the Bring Our Girls Back campaign surfaced several years ago. This book, however, prompted me to do some additional research. The men loyal to the Boko Haram movement used tactics of starvation, physical and sexual assault, jealousy, and brainwashing to control the young girls and women they kidnapped, and at times were successful in radicalizing them. They used girls as young as 7 as suicide bombers. They traine
Jen Brodehl
2.5 Stars- I didn’t love the writing style with the very short and choppy chapters. But I did appreciate learning about this horrible event in Nigeria. So devastating. I would’ve liked a story that goes deeper into the details to feel more connected to the characters.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you, Katherine Tegan Publishing, for an ARC for an honest review.
Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
will be Released on September 4th, 2018.

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani was born in Enugu, Nigeria and as of 2015 lived in Lagos, Nigeria. While researching Ms. Nwaubani I noticed something very striking. Of all the essays, letters and work she has done for media outlets such as the BBC and the Guardian (and they took some digging to find) only two focused on her st
Richie Partington
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Richie’s Picks: BURIED BENEATH THE BAOBAB TREE by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, September 2018, 336p., ISBN: 978-0-06-269672-4

“Many analysts believe that Boko Haram emerged as a consequence of deep religious and ethnic cleavages that have long troubled Nigeria. The British, during their nearly half century of rule, merged various territories and peoples that had little in common other than geographic proximity. Nigeria comprises nearly 350 ethnic groups
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Powerful and so, so sad.
The format really helped to emphasize the agony of the story.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A girl has a family - a mother and a father who want her to continue her education rather than get married young; brothers whom she loves and takes care of, like a good girl does. A girl has friends - both Christian and Muslim; friends whom she walks to and from school with, telling secrets of crushes, riddles, and facts they learned at school. A girl has dreams - getting a scholarship because she's smarter than all the boys, earning her master's degree, making enough money to help her mother b ...more
Laura Jean
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Wow, this is a tough read, but the authors handled it excellently.

I went into this book not knowing much about Boko Haram except the kidnapping of the girls from Chibok. This book did a wonderful job of explaining what Boko Haram stood for, how they developed, what they were trying to accomplish, and how the rest of Nigeria and other Muslims felt about them.

The authors also did a wonderful job of illustrating how and why some of the kidnapped girls might become r
I don't know how to give a proper review for this book. All the typical "book review" words sound hollow. But I also feel compelled to say something after finishing this book, because Nwaubani imbues so much life and hope and humanity into the narrator. She is a young girl. FUll of hopes and dreams and anxious joy for education. But one night her village is attacked; her father and brothers and killed in front of her and she kidnapped by Boko Haram, an extremist group that speaks in violence and ...more
Jen Widmer
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fictionalized account of a girl kidnapped by the extremist group Boko Haram in Northeastern Nigeria. It was written to bring attention to the hundreds of women and girls abducted. The novel is written as a series of diary-like entries from a young girl and talks about her everyday life, her education, the fear of Boko Haram as they ramp up attacks in her area, and her eventual abduction and time as a slave in a Boko Haram camp. Though this is a YA book, there is still a lot of powerful ...more
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved the way this was written, poetic and like a stream of consciousness. I loved the way it uses media to force our perspective. It’s easy to pretend this isn’t happening NOW but when confronted by the juxtaposition of Frozen box office stats and terroristic murder sprees it’s a little more difficult to do so. I loved that it wasn’t politically or religiously slanted against Islam, which would have been too easy to do.

I hated that this happened. Is happening. Will happen in the future. I ha
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a powerful and painful book. Written in brief prose snippets that seem almost poetic, we meet an unnamed female who is taken by Boko Haram in the mass kidnapping of 2014. The hardest part of reading this book was watching this happy and intelligent young woman be dealt such a terrible hand. If she had been kidnapped on page one, it wouldn't have been nearly as impacting. I feel like this book created a brilliant image of the horrors those poor girls faced, and in some cases are still fac ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Definitely a very painful, difficult story to read because of the horrific reality of the subject matter. I distinctly remember when this event happened and the horror of following it on the news but this book takes this event and in a fictionalized account, describes what has happened to many of these girls. The authors have taken extreme care not to overly describe details of specific things that have occurred but you can't avoid the mature topics due to the very nature of this story and what ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-releases
The afterword was gripping. The actual novel not so much. Only because it failed to individualize the kidnapped girls. Young girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram but not before they were forced to watch their loved ones get slaughtered— While western news focused on The Latest Who The Hell Cares? The kidnapped girls’ daily life of indentured servitude consisted of Brutal rapes, torture and witnessing more death. Their bright futures were robbed. I thought this book would highlight their individual ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
It's not too often that a book makes me angry and sad at the same time. This is a YA novel that deals with the kidnapping of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram. The author does an excellent job of explaining how this came to be, what life in Nigeria is like for young girls, and the coexistence and clash of Christians and Muslims in Africa. Told from the perspective of a young girl, the reader is given a realistic account of her life before, during, and after captivity. Short chapters and a gripping st ...more
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Since the kidnapping of 276 girls from their school made news, I have often wondered what happened to the girls who weren't released. I had no idea of the extent of Boko Haram's terrorism. This is tough subject matter, but it isn't especially graphic. The author adds a lengthy afterword with details regarding her research into this tragedy. I thought the non-fiction information in the afterword was even more valuable than the story itself.
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
SO GOOD!!! In turns, I felt heartbreak, despair, hope, sorrow, and familiarity at watching a young woman come of age with her best friend. A fictionalized account of the Boko Haram kidnappings, I was drawn in from the first moment via both the vignette-style storytelling and the knowledge of what was to come later in the narrative. Really well done, and I hope this helps draw continued international interest in this tragic event(s).
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing!! I read it in two days. Before I read it, I did not really know much about the Boko Haram. Now I not only understand who they were and what they did, but I know what it was like on the inside for the man terrorists or so called hero’s, and for the girls who were kidnapped. It gave me a whole new perspective on all those religious terrorist groups, some of which are still out there today.

Usually I read books like this to gain information due to interest on the subject, but
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Adaobi Tricia Obinne Nwaubani (born in 1976) is a Nigerian novelist, humorist, essayist and journalist. Her debut novel, I Do Not Come to you by Chance, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Africa), a Betty Trask First Book award,and was named by the Washington Post as one of the Best Books of 2009. Nwaubani is the first contemporary African writer on the global stage to have got an ...more