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Let's Go Swimming on Doomsday

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  392 ratings  ·  96 reviews
Forced to become a child soldier, a sixteen-year-old Somali refugee must confront his painful past in this haunting, thrilling tale of loss and redemption for fans of A Long Way Gone and What is the What

When Abdi's family is kidnapped, he's forced to do the unthinkable: become a child soldier with the ruthless jihadi group Al Shabaab. In order to save the lives of those he
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Wyndy Jackson It was not bloody in detail. I felt it was written so you understand what had happened but not too much as to make me feel sick while reading it.

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4.23  · 
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 ·  392 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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Jan 04, 2019 marked it as to-read
Not many books that I know off that are set in my motherland.
I am intrigued by this.
Adah Udechukwu
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: releases-2019
The cover art alone... 💕👌🏾
I need this book
Jesse bowtiesandbooks
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Abdi is 13 when his older brother is kidnapped at school by a terrorist organization. 3 years later, Abdi is kidnapped and tortured for 3 days in a cell by the CIA, who give Abdi a mission: infiltrate Al-Shaabab and gather information on his brother, who is very much alive and now a terrorist leader.
If Abdi refuses, his entire family will be killed. He accepts the offer to go undercover as a soldier for Al-Shaabab, in hopes of rescuing his brother and securing passports for him and his
My feelings-- hmm. It's a tough one because the topic is on point and it's both representative of a global issue, the battles of religion and politics, wars in which children are used and abused among horrific violence and destruction with glimmers of hope.

But clocking in at 500 pages, the non-linear storytelling that tries to quicken the pace just couldn't with such a heft to the story. It's a journey. It's about relationships. I get all of that but the students that would benefit the most fro
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Abdi lives in Somalia and has to deal with some horrific stuff. The book flashes back between the present as the past as we learn about Abdi's brother, Dahir's abduction from his own home and into a radical religious group hellbent on getting revenge on non believers. Abdi is recruited by an American to infiltrate his brother's group and reveal their plans of attack. In the present, we find out that Abdi survives but is missing several fingers. The book does an excellent job of jumping between t ...more
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For this review and many others, please visit -

As soon as I saw the GORGEOUS cover and read the synopsis – I knew that this would be a book that would leave a lasting impact. I wasn’t wrong! This book FAR exceeded my expectations! I read a book by this author before. It was called City of Saints and Thieves and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t perfect, but there were a few things that she did really well. I loved her writing, the dimensions and completeness
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-read-books
Oooh,hard one to rate! I liked it,I think it’s realistic in so many ways, but I doubt there are many «happy endings» in real life... i know it’s not a nonfiction or memoir, but a YA , but still the ending was a bit «easy»
Bang Bang Books
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I really liked City of Saints and Thieves and I wanted to like this too but...

If you follow my reviews, you'll know that I don't enjoy on-the-nose style of writing. That means I don't like the type of writing where the reader isn't allowed to think-it's all black and white. Where everything is laid out for you. I like books that challenge the reader through metaphorical language or symbolism. Some of my favorite books are by Maggie Stiefvater and John Green because colors or nature or animals sy
The cover is eye-catching and the title is intriguing. Although this is a work of fiction, I hope this will be a ladder to some memoirs like A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. A book is only as good as the next book that it leads a reader to. That is the only way we can help young readers become lifelong readers.
Meera Rajeev
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What’s the one show where you can watch a team of forensic investigators uses cutting-edge scientific methods and police work to solve crimes? CSI MIAMI! (Well, technically any of the 3 CSI shows, but that’s beside the point). CSI Miami was a gruesomely intriguing show that many enjoyed and loved, included Abdi, a thirteen-year-old Somalian boy in the book Let’s Go Swimming On Doomsday by Natalie C. Anderson. However, Abdi’s content CSI-watching life ended abruptly when Dahir, his older brother, ...more
Jan 05, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: reviewed
A book about child enslavement, kidnapping and war. Just what I need when I'm depressed and anxious.
Laura (midorireads)
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
*I no longer have this book on hand because I've already returned it to the library, so this review will be based on what my brain managed to remember of it.*

This is the second novel from Natalie C. Anderson, and having now read both of her books, I think it's safe to say that I'm definitely a fan of her writing. Like City of Saints & Thieves, Let's Go Swimming on Doomsday is well-written, and was gracious enough to not only entertain me, but was thrilling, as well!

Abdi is only th
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Thank you very much to penguin teen for advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I honestly cannot stress enough how much I loved this book. I’ve had a string of slightly disappointing reads recently, but within minutes of starting this book, I was hooked. The writing invoked a very clear mental image of what was going on, and this book told an unforgettable story with characters I adored.

Let’s go Swimming on Doomsday was a story about Abdi, a boy who loses his brother to a te
Kiki Cole
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was definitively difficult to read. With its topics of violence, sexual abuses, and religious terrorist groups, this Somali based story gave no air to breathe. Every page felt like a constant struggle where I even felt on edge and as if eyes were watching me. For Abdi, our brave and persistent MC, he was so young to have to mature and experience all of the hardship and blood at 16. I gave this a 4 stars rating because although this story was a unique tale that I would have never though ...more
Staci Vought
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I flew through all 400+ took me a few minutes to get acclimated to the set-up of the story, but then I loved seeing it all come together. What a powerful story, and I’m sure it is sadly realistic. It was well-plotted and the characters fleshed out, realistic, and compelling.
Shauna Yusko
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this one even more than the authors previous book. I think there are several memoirs that would pair with this one.

My only real hesitation is that it always makes me pause when author writes realistic fiction about a place and people that she has not been to nor is her own. There is an author’s note that address this.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heart pounding action and all too real. This book brings attention to the very real climate in which children are forced to be soldiers, and the atrocities that are occurring today in the name of religion.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked how the author played with time and sequence in this solid, plot-driven thriller about a young boy who rescues his older brother from Al Shabaab.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow wow wow wow!!!! Words cannot describe how much I adored this book, but I'm going to try to formulate my thoughts later in order to tell you why you should read it!!! As a Somali, I never really saw myself portrayed as a human being in popular media, so this book is a godsend! I am going to write a full review and film a video about it later, but lets just say I found a new fav!!!!
Jessica Haney
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
Alyse Stolz
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good Lordt Natalie C. Anderson can write. This book had me from the first minute until the last. I love the characters and the redemption. And the cover is gorgeous.
Sep 18, 2018 marked it as a-few-words

A young adult novel focused on a member of an ACTUALLY EXISTING terrorist organization



Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was definitely something that stuck with me for a long time after I read it. I won't bother with a description, as you likely already know what the story is about, but here are some strengths and weaknesses that stood out to me:
-The writing. There were so many beautiful phrases contrasting with the horror of the novel. The story was quick-paced and hard to put down. I've read some reviews of complaints about the length, but I thought the length was hardly noticeable once I go
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday by Natalie C. Anderson, 447 pages. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2019. $19.

Language: R (90 swears, 8 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13;



Abdi is a sixteen-year-old Somali boy whose home city, Mogadishu, has been torn apart by violence involving the militant group Al Shabaab. Abdi keeps his head down after his brother is kidnapped by the Al Shabaab until a few years later when Abdi’s entire family is abducted by th
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars
for prompt

Abdi is only thirteen-years-old when his older brother Dahir is kidnapped from school by Al Shabaab a local jihadi group. Three years later, Abdi himself is kidnapped, but this time by the CIA, who forcibly recruit him after several days of torture, and threats against the family he has left. They force him to infiltrate Al Shabaab, and find out where the group plans on striking next. This is also when he finds out that his brother is actually still alive, but just so happens to
Krutika Puranik
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
{ Book Recommendation}
Let's go swimming on doomsday.
The Black and white Kindle cover does not do justice to how pretty the actual book cover is. I have been reading such amazing books lately and this one falls under the bucket of 'Must read' category. Let's go swimming on doomsday is a story that sheds light on how horrible the Somalian refugees' situation has been over the years. But more importantly this book is about Abdi who is the protagonist and goes ahead to break our hearts into a mill
Priscilla (Bookie Charm)
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I tell myself I've chosen to live but the water knows the truth. Waves brush my arms- soft as shroud linen. The water knows. I have to die.

4.5 stars*

Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday had me hooked from the first page. Well from the cover art actually because this has to have one of the best covers I've seen for 2019 releases!

Told in dual timelines of 'then' and 'now', Abdi is a child soldier and spy for the US government infiltrating the jihadi terrorist organization Al Shabaab. Then – Compelled b
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was amazing. This is a story about Abdi and him wanting to reunite his family after being separated due to war in his country.
This story is told in two different timelines, "then" and "now". I loved how the timelines ended up connecting towards the end because you would read a "then" chapter and then go read a "now" chapter and would just wonder, well how did he end up here?
In Somali there is a religious group who evade cities, businesses and events because they believe the people are
Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)
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Wow, let me first say that Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday tackles an extremely difficult subject. For many, it’s a window into a culture not seen in YA lit. Abdi struggles with what happened when he was a part of Al-Shabaab. We get his experience in snippets, flipping between the past and present. While this is a bit difficult to follow at first, the inclusion of dates helps in keeping the reader straight throughout the book.

Anderson paints a light on
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Natalie C. Anderson is a writer and international development professional living in Boston, Massachusetts. She has spent the last decade working with NGOs and the UN on refugee relief and development, mainly in Africa. She was selected as the 2014-2015 Associates of the Boston Public Library Children's Writer in Residence, where she wrote her debut novel, City of Saints and Thieves.