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Out of Shadows

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  854 ratings  ·  138 reviews
Set in Zimbabwe in the 1980s, just after the war for independence, a young English boy, Jacklin, is torn between his black friends at school and his sympathy for the colonial whites after witnessing the compulsory land seizures by Robert Mugabe's government.

But with an imminent visit by Robert Mugabe to the school, Jacklin realizes that Ivan, his white supremacist schoolma
Paperback, 278 pages
Published January 28th 2010 by Andersen
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3.5 stars.

“I nodded subserviently while inside I was chewing over his words: tipped the balance of power. It seemed a strange expression to me because it gave me an image of a seesaw, and when one end was up the other was always down. It was never actually balanced.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
What… wait.. was that…? No.. it couldn’t be. Could that be an epilogue that didn’t make me superfluously angry?! I believe it was. Gosh.
And also… sadness.

High Points.
Let’s hear it for the boys. History.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found myself constantly reminded of a The Book Thief when reading this novel. They are both historical fiction, featuring a child in a new, alien setting. The narrator in both books repeatedly warns us that events are soon to take a sharp turn for the worse. Unfortunately the Book Thief is a much better novel, and is much less blatant in its foreshadowing, and is more nuanced in its characterisations.

Out of Shadows follows Robert Jacklin, an English boy who has moved to Zimbabwe following the
Feb 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Woah. This book was intense. Lots to think about. Painful, honest, compelling. The main character's arc was riveting, and as a reader I appreciated the way his own insecurities and weaknesses were entertwined with the brutal and fear-fuelled racist antagonists, his "friends." A starkly political and complicated story about the history of colonialism is a rarity in in YA lit. Recommended.
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Words cannot describe how amazing this book was. At least my words can't.

Everyone READ this!
It is written beatifully! It will haunt you. The story is very sad, but even more realistic.
I read this in one sitting. That's how good it was. Took me a few hours to finish reading this.
Edward Sanchez
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A great book for about a young man's experiences at the end of all white rule in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). It's a great book to help anyone remember the importance of standing up for others and themselves.
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 5/5
The novel is set in post revolutionary Zimbabwe. The narrator and protagonist, Robert Jacklin is a white British boy that relocated to Zimbabwe with his parents. Robert’s father came to Zimbabwe for a career in civil service. As a boy Robert is sent to Haven, a previously “all-white” boarding school. In order to please his father Robert befriends a young black student named Nelson .The school still has a very low proportion of black pupils despite Mug
Redd Becker
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
A devastating story that pulled at the depths of my compassion. Wallace explored the human ability to survive against the odds and the ways we devise to cope. When pushed far enough humans are capable of doing things we wouldn’t imagine. Wallace brings this all out in the painful story of youths placed in an impossible, but plausible environment. I could taste the depression. There seemed no relief.

The time was during the political shift of power from white supremacy to a black president followi
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a haunting, historical novel set around the time Robert Mugabe rose to power in Zimbabwe. The reader would do well to have a little bit of history of the sad and seemingly endless decline of this once beautiful and bounteous country. The breath-taking part of this book is the slow realisation Robert Jacklin, our narrator, has of himself and how much he wants to belong. But can he pay the price.?

A truly superb coming-of-age novel and would be well-worth considering for an NCEA response. I
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Painful reading at first but becomes addictively un-put-downable. Set in Zimbabwe at the start of Mugabe's rule this is the story of a young English white boy sent to a boarding school. Deals with issues of bullying and race, hatred and revenge. And the big question of "if I put a gun in your hand and told you the man in front of you was Adolf Hilter, would you shoot him?". Would be a great book for a book club read as raises loads of issues. Fantastic story, although painfully thought-provoking ...more
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
Surprisingly good:
This has been sitting on my Kindle for ages and for some reason I kept putting off reading it. Somewhere I had it in my mind it was a book written for young people and so was reluctant to read it. So I got towards the end of my Kindle on holiday and started this and I was pleasantly surprised. Gripping story and interesting points of view - easy to see how the protagonist got sucked in.
Edward Sullivan
Superb debut novel centered in an elite private boys school that begins in the early 1980s when Rhodesia has become Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe has taken power as Prime Minister. A riveting story that explores deeply and thoughtfully a host of compelling themes and subjects: colonialism, racism, guilt, bullying, inequality, justice, revenge, and much more. A richly layered, gripping story!
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy fiction that also provides a history lesson, which this one does. The characters are really well drawn - I had moments of sympathy even with the most despicable of them!
Cordelia Archer
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was a brilliant book which highlighted the hatred that each race had towards the other after Zimbabwe gained independence. Very vivid descriptions but quite distressing to read in so much detail.
Lee Al-Atraqchi
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The blatant racism described in it is very eye-opening. I recommend this book.
What do you do when your father is an idealistic ex civil servant from Britain who has relocated to Africa, and you enter Zimbabwe's social upheaval between white Rhodesian Afrikaans and native Zimbabwean's who want to assert their independence and new found power? This is the situation that Robert our teenage protagonist is thrown into in Jason Wallace's "Out of Shadows". The context is set early as Robert's father a British civil servant exclaims that to his son that colonial Britain should ri ...more
Summer PB
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this book because the author really describes the characters feelings and really pulls you into the book. I also like this book because it is a touching book for so may reasons. As well it is a understandable and heart touching story to read. The only reason I gave the book 4 stars is because some people might think it is a slow, Long and boring book, but I definitely recommend this book, Out Of Shadows.
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book many times now, and it remains one of my favourite novels of all time. Set in Zimbabwe in the 1980s, just after the end of the war, it captures vividly the feelings of the nation; black people full of optimism for a better future, and the fear from white people who had run the country for so long of what was to come, captured through the thoughts and actions of a group of young boys at one of the country’s best boarding schools.

What I love most about this book is it’s intri
Jenny / Wondrous Reads
Out of Shadows is one of the best debut novels I've ever read. It's fantastically written, and has left me close to how I felt when I read The Book Thief for the first time. It's powerful and important, and at times horribly shocking. I sat there in stunned silence after reading one particular page, and had to take a minute to fully comprehend what had happened. That's strong writing, if ever I saw it.

Out of Shadows begins in 1983, a few years after the end of the Rhodesian Bush War (or the Zimb
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Wow! This is an amazing book, but I must warn you---it will haunt you. I had to check that it was a novel and not a memoir, as it seemed as though it could have really happened. It reminded me of the adult nonfiction book, "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight" by Alexandra Fuller.
Robert Jacklin, a British boy, has moved to the new Zimbabwe in the early 1980s when his father gets a job at the British embassy. His mother is terribly unhappy and wishes to return to England, but his father is enthus
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 11-18 year olds
Recommended to Joanna by: The Carnegie award
I read this book as part of the carnegie award voting thing. Personally, I would never have chosen this book as i usually don't like historic books or anything to do with wars but this book is COMPLETELY different. Through out the book we follow a young boy as he goes through his school life. So many unfortunate thing happen to him such as bees almost killing him, close deaths in his family and others which I do not want to spoil for future readers. However, there are many bits of strong languag ...more
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Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
The book was really good. I had a nice start and a nice amount of problems that the main caricature has to deal with the Ending was really strong and the hole book was easy and understandable to read. I will fit really well to people that live in are world with a country that envoles different problems with White and Black people and it tells how they feel t reattach other making it really sad but still intresting to read and The book Is amassing Afryone should read it
Reating 4.5/5
Marion Benwell
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
All the characters will stay with me for a very long time. The tale, the poignancy, the terror, the horror, the cruelty of this book makes me smile in amazement and want to weep at the same time. So much unsaid you want to yell at the characters, warn them; I feel like I'm longing to be a part of the book.
I'll also underline I read it twice and, with more maturity, this book hit me more than the first time. So a world-addressed call: Read Your Books More Than Once!
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sin duda alguna, sin margen de error, sin equivocarme, puedo decir que es ahora mi libro favorito. Te muestra tantas caras de los humanos vistas a través de los ojos de un adolescente... Tantos sentimientos... Amistad, venganza, dolor, familia, odio... Es un maremoto de emociones que terminan en una calma que continúa después de cerrarlo. Un libro asombroso sin duda. "Entre las Sombras"... Nunca te voy a olvidar. Mazviita, shamwani.
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book just after it came out and hnnnnng its one of my fave books ever and I still wish it ended with Robert/Ivan because I'm a terrible person. Anyway this book is great and lovely and DEPRESSING AS FUCK JESUS CHRIST, but I love it with all my heart
Andrew Johnston
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's bob on this book. Read it now.
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, books-2015
Amazing book, truthful. It's really engaging and the writer has woven this perfectly. I'm pretty sure I will read this again in a couple of years.
Paula Guinto
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Hhmmm...I learned a lot about Zimbabwe in the 80s and how not to write a book. Sorry. I really wanted to like this more and I finished only so I could say I did. Next, please.
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
very touching
Ben Chang
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book Out of Shadows takes place in Zimbabwe after their civil war. The Africans had won their freedom from Britain and Robert Mugabe is made prime minister. The book follows a boy named Robert Jacklin who moved from Britain to here. He isn't liked by either side because he is a white
kid from England. The book follows him and his struggle to get through school and do the right thing. While the book is entertaining at some points, it involves a lot of inappropriate content. While this did giv
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Out of shadows 1 3 Feb 24, 2017 09:24PM  
Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Final Book Review 1 13 Nov 24, 2013 07:04AM  
Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Outside Reading Book Discussion 1 13 Nov 12, 2013 03:52PM  
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Jason Wallace is related to Tolkien and a descendant of one of the first International English cricketers, and also of the world-renowned Victorian circus owner 'Lord' George Sanger. He was born in Cheltenham in 1969 but moved to London after his parents split up. Aged 12 his life was turned upside down when his mother remarried and the family emigrated to Zimbabwe. It was this experience in a tou ...more
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“If I stood you in front of a man, pressed the cold metal of a gun into your palm and told you to squeeze the trigger, would you do it?'
'No, sir.'
'Are you sure?'
'Of course, sir. No ways!'
'What if I then told you we'd gone back in time and his name was Adolf Hitler? Would you do it then? Would you?”
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