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Radiance of Tomorrow
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message 1: by MJ (last edited Feb 12, 2014 11:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Franklin (heyitsfranklin2) | 63 comments Mod
This month, we are reading "Radiance of Tomorrow" by Ishmael Beah, author of the bestselling memoir "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Solider." "Radiance of Tomorrow" is a devastating and hopeful exploration of a society learning to heal. Set after Sierra Leone's civil war, two friends attempt to protect and provide for their families in the shadow of violence, corruption and industrial development.

What do you think about the book? Let us know as you read along.


Madeleine (madgold) | 12 comments Mod
A few passages that I like so far:

"Dreams were still possible here even though the paths to attain them weren't necessarily the best ones. But who can ever know what path to walk on when all of them are either crooked or broken? One just has to walk" p.143

"Tradition can live on only if those carrying it respect it--and live in conditions that allow the traditions to survive. Otherwise, traditions have a way of hiding inside people and leaving only dangerous footprints of confusion" p. 80


message 3: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Franklin (heyitsfranklin2) | 63 comments Mod
Hi everyone! Hope you are enjoying reading "Radiance of Tomorrow" this month. We have created a discussion guide with questions to think about while you read along, as well as suggested chapter groupings. You can preview and download it here: https://mashable.box.com/radianceofto....

Here's the first question from the guide: How important is physical place in building a home?
Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah


message 4: by Elisha (new)

Elisha Hartwig (elishahartwig) | 4 comments Mod
I bookmarked the same passage about tradition Madeleine :)

Madeleine wrote: "A few passages that I like so far:

"Dreams were still possible here even though the paths to attain them weren't necessarily the best ones. But who can ever know what path to walk on when all of ..."



message 5: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Franklin (heyitsfranklin2) | 63 comments Mod
Hi MashReaders!
Wanna chance to win a signed copy of "Radiance of Tomorrow" by Ishmael Beah? Then you should join our current MashableReads photo contest!

We were inspired by the way the characters in "Radiance of Tomorrow" draw strength and guidance from both their community and their ancestors; so for this challenge, we want you to show us your heroes. Share a photo on Instagram of your hero and be sure to tag your photo with the hashtag #MashReads. We will choose 15 finalists from the entries who will be eligible to win a signed copy of "Radiance of Tomorrow" from Ishmael Beah. You can learn more about the contest here: http://mashable.com/2014/02/19/mashre...

We can't wait to see who inspires you!


Andrew | 3 comments I really liked this book. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down, I finished it in 2 days. As soon as i finished it i gave it to my neighbor to read. I liked the way the author used the literal translation of African language to describe things it really made the scenes come alive. It is a sad story though about the death of rural life, and there is a message that we should respect an honor the places we come from.

For some people home is very dependent upon physical place for others home depends on other factors, like where their family and friends are located. To Pa Moiwa physical location was very important he talks about his feet wandering and not being able to settle down until he reached Imperi. I think all the elders felt this way. The younger generation though was willing to make anywhere their home as long as they could find opportunity. This is why Benjamin came to Imperi and why Bockarie left for Freetown. For me personally, physical location is important to me only in terms of being close to the ocean. I could never live more than hour away from the ocean. I love the smell of salt air, and salt marshes, it smells like home.


message 7: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Franklin (heyitsfranklin2) | 63 comments Mod
Andrew wrote: "I think all the elders felt this way. The younger generation though was willing to make anywhere their home as long as they could find opportunity."

Andrew, that's a great point! I liked exploring the way the characters created/ re-created their homes throughout the book, whether that be through physically reconstructing buildings, honoring old traditions, or (as we see when Bockarie leaves for Freetown) the preparing of food.

But I think you raise a great point about opportunity being a key focus for the younger generation in the book. What I find most interesting is that Bockarie decides to leave not for himself but because of the potential opportunities for his family. The sacrifices that the characters make (Bockarie to leave Imperi and start over/ the elders' decision to stay in a dying town to remain connected to their history) suggests that in the book, family (whether biological like Bockarie's family or adopted like Colonel's group) is the most critical component when creating a home.


message 8: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Franklin (heyitsfranklin2) | 63 comments Mod
One of my favorite quotes from the book is also where the title comes from:

"We must live in the radiance of tomorrow, as our ancestors have suggested in their tales. For what is yet to come tomorrow has possibilities, and we must think of it, the simplest glimpse of that possibility of goodness. That will be our strength. That has always been our strength." p. 167


message 9: by Madeleine (last edited Feb 25, 2014 12:24PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Madeleine (madgold) | 12 comments Mod
A line that stuck with me is:

"The world is not ending today. You must cheer up if you want to keep living in it."

This quotation is also a main theme that I took from the book. Despite so many hardships and tragedies occurring one after another (small hardships such as corruption in the school, and larger tragedies such as the community fighting with the mining company while still recovering from the horrors of a civil war) many of the main characters are still able to push forward.

Although the village is torn apart--physically and emotionally-- the villagers are able to find strength through hope.


message 10: by Nora (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nora Grenfell (nora_grenfell) | 13 comments Mod
In our conversation with author Ishmael Beah, says he decided to write fiction because the experience of writing his memoir, Long Way Gone, was painful. In fiction, he found "joy."


message 11: by Nora (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nora Grenfell (nora_grenfell) | 13 comments Mod
Ishmael is talking about translating from his native tongue of Mende to English while writing "Radiance of Tomorrow".

“In my language, if your mind is scattered, the translation is ‘your mind is like an anthill filled with smoke’” - Ishmael Beah


message 12: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Franklin (heyitsfranklin2) | 63 comments Mod
Ishmael Beah on the way the environment creates a home: "Land is not just a place that you have your house built on. There are other things attached to it. It has your family's history, it is where your ancestors are buried…so when that is destroyed, that’s more devastating than anything else."


message 13: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Franklin (heyitsfranklin2) | 63 comments Mod
Ishmael Beah on the title of "Radiance of Tomorrow" and the book's ending:

"I didn’t want to end the novel in a happy way but I wanted them to know that it would be ok...That’s where the idea of the “radiance of tomorrow” comes from. Tomorrow has not come yet. It is not tainted and you can still get something out of it."


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