Catalogue


We are all the same : a story of a boy's courage and a mother's love /
Jim Wooten.
imprint
New York : Penguin Press, 2004.
description
x, 243 p. ; 20 cm.
ISBN
1594200289 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Penguin Press, 2004.
isbn
1594200289 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5782509
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, USA, 2005 : Won
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-10-01:
At first glance, this book is about Nkosi Johnson, a young African boy with AIDS, and his fight both to live and to help other AIDS victims. But it becomes much more than that. ABC senior news correspondent Wooten tells the story of the bond between Nkosi and his birth mother, Daphne, who gave him up for the sake of his health and who subsequently succumbed to AIDS, and his white adoptive mother, Gail, who made his illness her number one priority. With Nkosi's help, Gail established two homes in Africa for AIDS victims and traveled around the world with Nkosi as he educated people on the plight of those who suffer from AIDS. Wooten is a clear and visual writer, but at times he gets sidetracked; the meat of the story, Nkosi's AIDS activism, doesn't appear until more than halfway through the text. Nevertheless, this multifaceted book will complement many library collections, particularly health collections in public or academic libraries.-Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2004-09-06:
The author, an award-winning senior correspondent for ABC News, has written an extraordinarily moving account of a courageous South African boy's battle with AIDS that is also a scathing indictment of South African leaders who have failed to confront the AIDS epidemic in their country. Nkosi, born in 1989 in the former Zululand, was infected by his poverty-stricken mother, Daphne. As Wooten recounts, Daphne moved heaven and earth to insure that her son would be provided for after her own death and agreed to his adoption, at age three, by Gail Johnson, a white South African, who had met Nkosi at a hospice. A hero in her own right, Johnson nourished Nkosi's strong spirit, which gave out only when he died at the age of 12. Before then, Johnson and Nkosi traveled internationally to gain support for Nkosi's Haven, a home for women and children with AIDS in South Africa. Looking at the larger picture, Wooten points out that Nelson Mandela refused to deal with the AIDS crisis because he was embarrassed to speak publicly about sex (a position he later said he regretted). Mandela's successor, Thabo Mkebi, has also hampered attempts to get antiretroviral drugs to AIDS victims, absurdly denying that the virus HIV exists. According to Wooten, 20% of South African girls are currently infected with HIV and 7,000 infants die of AIDS each month. This powerful account puts a human face on a catastrophic epidemic that grows worse daily. (On sale Nov. 4) Forecast: Nkosi's fame was such that his obituary appeared on the front page of the New York Times. A tie-in to World AIDS Day promotion should help garner sales for this title. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Booklist, September 2004
Publishers Weekly, September 2004
Library Journal, October 2004
Chicago Tribune, November 2004
Los Angeles Times, January 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
The extraordinary story of the little South African boy whose bravery and fierce determination to make a difference despite being born with AIDS has made him the human symbol of the world's fight against the disease, told by the veteran American journalist whose life he changed. Five million more people contracted HIV last year alone. We've all seen the statistics, and they numb us; on some level our minds shut down to a catastrophe of this scope. As with other such immense human tragedies in the past, it can take the story of one special child's life to make us open our minds and our hearts. While the majority of all AIDS cases occur in Africa, a South African boy named Nkosi Johnson did not become "an icon of the struggle for life," in Nelson Mandela's words, because he was representative but because he was so very remarkable. Everyone who met Nkosi Johnson was struck by his blinding life force, his powerful intelligence and drive, his determination to make something of his short life. By the time of his death, the work he had done in his eleven years on earth was such that The New York Timesran his obituary on the front page, as did many other papers, and tributes appeared on the evening news broadcasts of every major network. Nkosi Johnson did not live to tell his own story, but one writer whose life he changed has taken up the work of telling it for him. Luckily for the world that writer is Jim Wooten. In his hands, We Are All the Sameis a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit, even as it bears witness to the scope of the tragedy that is unfolding in Africa and around the world, cutting down millions of boys and girls like Nkosi Johnson before they can reach their promise. Written with the brevity and power of a parable, We Are All the Sameis a book that is meant to be read by all of us, of all ages and walks of life. Its beginning and ending are terribly sad, but in the middle is the extraordinarily inspiring story of a very unlucky little boy who said, Never mind. I'm going to make my life matter. And he did.
Main Description
The extraordinary story of the little South African boy whose bravery and fierce determination to make a difference despite being born with AIDS has made him the human symbol of the world's fight against the disease, told by the veteran American journalist whose life he changed. Five million more people contracted HIV last year alone. We've all seen the statistics, and they numb us; on some level our minds shut down to a catastrophe of this scope. As with other such immense human tragedies in the past, it can take the story of one special child's life to make us open our minds and our hearts. While the majority of all AIDS cases occur in Africa, a South African boy named Nkosi Johnson did not become "an icon of the struggle for life," in Nelson Mandela's words, because he was representative but because he was so very remarkable. Everyone who met Nkosi Johnson was struck by his blinding life force, his powerful intelligence and drive, his determination to make something of his short life. By the time of his death, the work he had done in his eleven years on earth was such that The New York Times ran his obituary on the front page, as did many other papers, and tributes appeared on the evening news broadcasts of every major network. Nkosi Johnson did not live to tell his own story, but one writer whose life he changed has taken up the work of telling it for him. Luckily for the world that writer is Jim Wooten. In his hands, We Are All the Same is a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit, even as it bears witness to the scope of the tragedy that is unfolding in Africa and around the world, cutting down millions of boys and girls like Nkosi Johnson before they can reach their promise. Written with the brevity and power of a parable, We Are All the Same is a book that is meant to be read by all of us, of all ages and walks of life. Its beginning and ending are terribly sad, but in the middle is the extraordinarily inspiring story of a very unlucky little boy who said, Never mind. I'm going to make my life matter. And he did.
Unpaid Annotation
"We Are All the Same" is a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit, even as it bears witness to the scope of the tragedy that is unfolding in Africa and around the world, cutting down millions of children like Nkosi Johnson.

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