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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The day his mother dies, Jabu’s instinct is to run. He runs away from the Johannesburg hospital and soon finds himself amongst a gang of train surfers on top of a hurtling train. After witnessing the dark side of train surfing, he continues to flee from his hopeless life, all the while searching for a place to call home. He stows away with an unexpected creature companion ...more
Kindle Edition
Published February 16th 2018 by Green Room House
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  26 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Connie Huddleston
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So rarely do I read a children’s/MG/YA book that captures my heart and my brain, that I’d almost forgotten what it is like. Author friends, please don’t take offense, because Trainsurfer is a very different book, a recent history exposé of a time many of us would love to forget—a story of racial prejudices, hatred, poverty, and injustice. I would like to make every child read this book, but for now just let me tell you a bit about it.
Set in South Africa during Apartheid, Trainsurfer tell
Jennie Rosenblum
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This author has not only created a wonderful story she has also filled a void in children’s literature. Talking about tough subjects with the younger people in our population is a daily struggle for parents, librarians and teachers. This book not only helps fill that gap but also gives the reader a poignant story.

This book deals with apartheid and its effect on children and teens. The main character, Jabu’s life while tragic, is shown in a way that kids can relate to. When characters
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trainsurfer follows the story of a boy named Jabu. After his mother's death, the orphan begins his journey to find his aunt based on a lead written in his mother's Bible consisting of a name and phone number. He travels to his aunt's town where he encounters children whose lives are also destroyed due to poverty, homelessness, and social injustices. After moving in with his aunt, a series of events intorduces Jabu to the most unlikely of friends where he discovers and escape in surfing.

Kate Darbishire
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great story for children and adults alike. When Jabu’s mother dies, he travels to the coast to live with his aunt but he is friendless and penniless, and finding his aunt is harder than he thought. Now he is in a strange town and we see how poverty and the racial segregation of Apartheid in South Africa, limit the life chances of this young boy. Meanwhile, others in the same town live a life of privilege, access to good schools, swimming pools in the garden and surfing. The two worlds collide ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally a book for intermediates about surfing that includes a subject and story that is well worth reading about. Jabu suffers the loss of his mother and journeys by rail to the city in search of shelter with his aunt. A couple of wrong turns later and life on the streets is broken up by a new love of surfing. Jabu is a likeable character as he is eager to give things a go and take some risks but also put effort in and do the right thing. Found this quite quick to read as the story moved on at ...more
Patricia Murphy
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trainsurfer by Kate S. Richards is a wonderful heartfelt story of friendship and rescue. Through story, Kate illuminates the political world of privilege and poverty in South Africa, of the racial segregation of Apartheid, and helps the reader experience how children’s lives are destroyed by poverty. Her story of recently orphaned Jabu takes us through his travels of desperation, street life, and through to friendship. Bravo, Kate for revealing so expertly the two worlds.
Jenny Engelbrecht
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It's designed for young people, but I enjoyed it too. It did make me cry
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i liked the book i got very sad when Jabus Mum died and when Ice fell off the train it was a very good book and Im looking foward to see if this author will release any more books from this series
Julia Walker
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Richards has written a great book for tweens and young adults about growing up in South Africa during Apartheid. The book does a great job of showing what it was like for teenagers without going too deep into the history. Jabu and Kyle are growing up in the same city but experiencing life very differently. They meet on a beach that allows blacks and begin their relationship centered around surfing. This should be on every kid's summer reading list.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book not knowing anything about it beforehand, on one long 5 hour bus ride...
It captivated me from start to finish. I thought it was a great insight into the appalling times of apartheid and educated me from a different perspective. There are Christian references woven through (and I am a total agnostic), but this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book in any way at all. They were well placed and in context, and provided the hope and courage that the protagonist needed. T
I liked that this book was set in South Africa and I like the back and forth perspectives of the two characters. I would have loved more character development!
Overall, the story was an inspiring one. With a little more character development, this book could have been amazing.
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Kate S Richards lives with her husband and two teenagers in a house in the woods, with a menagerie of cats, dogs and guinea pigs. Kate is a school librarian at a primary school in the Waitakere Ranges, working in a cosy red library amidst the Kauri trees and the swooping Kererus.

Kate loves spending time with the children at school - chatting about books, dressing up as book characters, making boo
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