Running the Rift by Naomi
Benaron is fabulous storytelling! Jean Patrick Nkuba’s wants to believe his
father’s words, that Hutu and Tutsi can live in peace. His father is a
teacher, a man who hopes for a bright future for his children. Death
claims Jean Patrick’s father unexpectedly, leaving the family bereft in a
climate of escalating tribal tensions with the dream of peace fading
fast. Jean Patrick wants to run; he has legs that fly and hopes for
Olympic Gold. But he is the wrong tribe at a very dangerous time. Benaron
has managed the formidable accomplishment of writing a beautiful, haunting
story of family, of a young boy’s coming of age, of the power of striving to be
the best, and of redemption. It is a hopeful story despite the rampaging grim
reaper that defiled Rwanda. Running the Rift deserves our attention.
January 2012 Indie Next List
“Named for the Rwandan god of thunder, Jean Patrick Nkuba is destined for Olympic glory. Pushing his body up the misty hills of his village, he dreams not only of fame, but also of bringing peace to his country and equality to his Tutsi compatriots. When the floodwaters of hatred and war with the Hutu burst out over his homeland, Jean Patrick must run a different kind of race in order to survive. Both beautiful and heart-rending, horrific and hopeful, this novel carries a message that deserves to be widely read.”
— Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
Winner of the Bellwether Prize, "Running the Rift" follows Jean Patrick Nkuba, a gifted Rwandan boy, from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life, a 10-year span in which his country is undone by the Hutu-Tutsi tensions.