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It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
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It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  5,645 ratings  ·  705 reviews
The host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, tells the story of growing up half black, half white in South Africa under and after apartheid in this young readers' adaptation of his bestselling adult memoir Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.

Trevor Noah shares his story of growing up in South Africa, with a black South African mother and a white European fat
Library Binding, Adapted for young readers, 304 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Delacorte Press (first published April 1st 2019)
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Adam Di Filippe NoveList Plus:
Ages: 9-12
Min/Max Grade level: 5 - 12
Lexile: 780 …more
NoveList Plus:
Ages: 9-12
Min/Max Grade level: 5 - 12
Lexile: 780 (less)
Meredith They are about 98% the same. The "regular version" has more profanity in it, and a few storylines are a bit longer. For instance, the chapter about Tr…moreThey are about 98% the same. The "regular version" has more profanity in it, and a few storylines are a bit longer. For instance, the chapter about Trevor's time in jail includes some details about the people he met while he was there that are eliminated from the YA version. But for the most part, it's the same book.(less)

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Amber Kuehler
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I went into this really hesitant because I’ve read the adult version and it was explicit and mature. However, they did a fantastic job paring down the content that was too mature without sacrificing the story. I would recommend it for grades 5 and up.
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
            This is the first time I have read something related to South Africa and apartheid. Though it's legally forbidden, strangely, racism still prevails in most parts of the world socially. It's great how Nelson Mandela Sir has made a huge impact on anti-apartheid.

The reason why I love to read (auto)biographies are because through one's life we get to know about their childhood, upbringing, family, friends, hardships, education system, culture, traditions, society, taboos, their governme
Camelia Rose
I read this young reader's version with my son. He said it was an eye-opening book to him. It gave us a lot of topics to talk about: race, identity, gender, the history of European colonialism, etc...

Highly recommended for parents looking for reading materials for your children on the topic of race.
Elvina Zafril
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: times-reads
I've read the other version of this book and it was the same story.

Trevor Noah grew up in South Africa during apartheid. He was identified as a white child when he was with his mother and was identified as black when he was with his father. It was quite confusing for his identity. Trevor Noah struggled in his life with his identity and has been bullied quite frequently because of the skin color. His parents were divorced. There wasn't much stories told about his father since his father did not i
olivia ♡
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
“We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.”

Plot Summary: This book is about Trevor Noah, a popular comedian and the current host of "The Daily Show". He grew up in South Africa during apartheid and this book is about some of his experiences during it. This is the young readers edition which I accidentally got but, I enjoyed. The normal version is Born a Crime: Stories Fr
Maya ☾

Not only is it a really important book to read because it deals with South Africa and its history, you also get a personal experience and so many amazing lessons and quotes and thoughts about life in general. EVERYONE can take something from it.
Katherine Vocelka
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Made it all the way to the end before realizing I was reading the Young Readers edition. Still slapped.

Can’t wait to read the adult version after I get my parents to sign my permission slip.
David S
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I chose It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime because the title was intriguing to me, and I wanted to learn more about the term “apartheid”. I had to search for apartheid and I learned that it’s another word for a police system of segregation or discrimination in South Africa. I wondered what the differences were between the apartheid and racial segregation in the United States. Trevor Noah provided an autobiographical account of what it was like to grow up in South Africa during the apartheid. Trevor ...more
This book, adapted from the adult version for a younger audience, should be required reading for anyone interested in understanding the effects of poverty, racism, and apartheid on a generation and a society. And just as stark as the violence and desperation that lead to and often accompany crime is the awareness of what the love and guidance of a parent can do for a child. In this memoir, Trevor Noah shares humorous, painful, and confusing moments during his years growing up in South Africa, th ...more
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fairly disappointing. Descriptions of the culture and location were interesting, but the author was a self-described, arsonist, bootlegger, and thief. The most ruinous thing in his country was the minimum wage and he totally failed to recognize that it was keeping blacks out of the workforce and in poverty. Apparently, it continued even after freedom was obtained. 7/10 rating. I would never read this book again.
Joyce Yattoni
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A teacher friend texted a couple of us over the weekend and said you have to read this. So, I ordered it and got it the next day and couldn’t put it down. I’m a teacher, so I go to bed most nights by 9:00pm. I’m not in the know about late night comedy. LOL. Come to find out Trevor Noah is the man who took over for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. I digress. 🤪 His stories about growing up in post Apartheid South Africa are at times funny, but also maddening and sad. Not only did I learn a lot about ...more
Nihal Lele
Trevor Noah lived his life in a judgemental and colour-biased area but turned out to be a successful comedian of today’s times. But what inspires me the most is how he lived in it.

In this book, Trevor Noah mainly writes about his life growing up in a newly independent Africa. It wasn’t easy being a son of a black mother and a white father in the middle of apartheid. During the apartheid, relations between the foreigners and the local Africans weren’t allowed. And because of that Trevor Noah, w
Kneena xx {semi-hiatus}
May 13, 2022 rated it really liked it

So informative and eye-opening, but also witty and funny and emotional.

Apartheid was not something I knew much—if anything—about, but this really taught so much about it, and prompted me to want to learn more. There are some lines in here that really stuck with me.

“𝐖𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐨 𝐭𝐨 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬, 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦. 𝐈𝐟 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫’𝐬 𝐩𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫; 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐛𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐡 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐮𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐦
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Edited version of the original memoir. Excellent for middle school and up (there is still some violence).
kate ♡
Oct 21, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 22-faves
i had more fun reading this book than i've had reading nonfic for a LONG TIME.
def rec for the rep, but also just for the book! it's such an enjoyable read. i love the way noah writes and how he tells his life story.

fave quote:
"being chosen is the greatest gift you can give to another human being."
Michelle Zhou
Aug 13, 2022 rated it really liked it
Jan Raspen
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ms-appropriate
Gosh, I don't really know what to say about this book. I read it because it is on our state young readers' list and we will be participating in that program when schools starts up again. I need to wrap my brain around what I didn't like about it... I will try here:

Reading about life in South Africa was very interesting. While I remember hearing a lot about the ANC and Nelson Mandela being released from prison, I definitely didn't have a context for that information. It was great to read about it
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm writing this right after I finished reading. My first thought of the book was "Trevor's mother is such a cool badass" Her coolness is beyond my imagination because I just couldn't comprehend how they can live in that kind of environment... Mindblown. Yup, that's the word.

Trevor is rich with life experience. He's a full spirit guy, naughty, cool and smart too. But one thing I learned from him is never take your comfort for granted. He experienced eating caterpillars during his poor times, fi
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is an instant favorite. Now I must go write a proposal to Donors Choose to try to get copies of this
memoir for my 8th grade classroom.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hilarious as always :)
Lollie George
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
It took me until Chapter 6, page 79 to get excited about this book. The beginning is background about Noah's life as it was nestled in apartheid, South Africa. I scan the book and it is all text, no photos or pictures. I immediately think to myself,"my middle school students won't like this book. It is too hard to get into." After chapter 6, Noah totally jumps into the most fantastic stories from his childhood. Stories that make you think, I can't believe he lived through that. Or, he is the wor ...more
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
85% Great

In this adapted version of Trevor Noah's novel Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood, the violence and sexual mentions were less frequented, though in the first there was barely any sexual mentions and more violent scenes, which is to be expected given Trevor Noah grew up during Apartheid and experienced the horrors of living with an alcoholic, abusive stepfather.

Author:Trevor Noah
Ages: 11+ for violence
Bethany Parker
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-school
Memoirs and autobiographies are not usually my jam. Often times, when writing about themselves, it seems as though people are romanticizing their existences in a way that's unrealistic and frankly, a little vain. However, Trevor Noah is incredibly down-to-earth and honest with himself about his strengths and weaknesses. I loved learning about Apartheid, the mischief he got into growing up in South Africa, and about the unrelenting love of family even in times of poverty and abuse. I would recomm ...more
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this YA version of Trevor Noah's story and took my time going through to make questions and projects based on it for my incoming sixth graders in our Africa unit in the fall. It's a necessary story to be told. I appreciate Trevor's humor, candidness and brutal honesty.

Apartheid is a part of history we must not forget. We should speak of it, learn from it, and make ourselves better so that it cannot and will not happen again. Trevor Noah is a "normal guy" but at the same time te
Oct 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Trevor Noah Born A Crime is a wonderful novel written about the life of a boy who lived in South Africa under Apartheid. Trevor struggles to understand where he fits in. The reader reads his story and can't help but want to laugh, cry, and angrily shout at the same time. The lessons the reader learns from Trevor and his mother are throughout the entire story. You learn about the innocence of a five year-old, and the decisions he makes when he is older. Throughout his good and bad decisions his m ...more
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Personally it was a hard read the beginning, but it slowly developed and became a great book. There’s a bunch of plot twists that you don’t see coming until they happen. It is also amazing to see the story, while also hearing Trevor‘s opinions in it. It’s non-subjective but still giving the author’s side. I truly don’t like autobiography/biographies but this is a must read.
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love Trevor Noah. He is smart, hilarious, and oh-so cute! I thought this was a great adaptation for young readers and did a great job of explaining apartheid. I am so excited to tell my students that they MUST READ THIS BOOK!
Reagan Cope
May 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
funny and serious and shows how people origanize themselves into groups
Jul 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book was eye opening into South Africans racist history. It is told in a way that is heavy and also hilarious. Which seems wrong, but Trevor Noah makes it work. His love for his mother was touching and his book left me wanting to binge his late night show. I’m recommending this to everyone and having my 6th grader read it. I love that it has been adapted for younger readers. I didn’t read the adult version, but I appreciated that there was no language in the younger adaptation. Read this bo ...more
kate ♡
Feb 25, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
bro this is the the one adapted for young readers, how insane is the original one ?
-this was so good and very eye opening
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Trevor Noah is a South African comedian, television and radio host and actor. He currently hosts The Daily Show, a late-night television talk show on Comedy Central.

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