A review by libscote
Let's Go Swimming on Doomsday, by Natalie C. Anderson


Although not an own voices novel, I did really enjoy this one. It tells the story of Abdi, a boy forced by the CIA into being a Lost Boy. His brother had been kidnapped by the Lost Boys earlier, and the CIA grabs the rest of Abdi's family to make him become one and feed them information. The narration flips back and forth between the present and the past. Abdi ends up having to do some horrible things, and feels a lot of guilt about them. With the help of a UN worker named Sam and students at a local girl's school, he slowly opens up.

This is a hard story. It doesn't make the US look good, or the Lost Boys, or the Somali government. There's no real winner in this book, just a bunch of grey areas. That's not always my favorite. Here, though, the context made it easy for me to see. I heard that the structure was hard for some people, but I didn't find it difficult. I think teens will learn a lot from it.