Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday by Natalie C. Anderson
Hi, I am Sarah. I am fourteen years old and an avid reader; it is one of my favorite things to do. Inspired by authors’ creations of magnificent places and surprising havens built by simple letters, I aspire to be an author and, meanwhile, nurture the love to write.
When Abdi’s brother, Dahir, was kidnapped three years prior by the Islamic terrorist group Al Shabaab, he thought that he’d never see him again. But then his family is kidnapped from their home in present-day Somalia, and Abdi learns that not only has his brother survived, but has risen to prominence within the group. Forced to become both a child soldier and a spy for a government operation, Abdi is trapped in an impossible situation, made worse by his brother’s brainwashed allegiance to the group’s violent ideals, and the precarious position he is in as both a traitor to the group and a traitor to his own values.
A year later, Abdi has escaped to Sangui City, Kenya, and is picked up by a UN worker. As he lives in relative safety, he is forced to grapple with the trauma of the atrocities he saw and unwillingly partook in, and the impact of any ideals stretched too far.
This book kept me up into the wee hours of the morning with its fast-paced and brilliantly structured plot. The complicated threads of Abdi’s story unfold through three converging timelines, shining light on all characters from all walks of life, and how extremism can tear countries and communities apart. I adored this book and the way it made me wonder about a world far different from my own. I highly recommend it.