Annotated Award-Winning Titles
Chanda lives in a small mining town in Africa. When her father and two older brothers die in a mining accident, her mother, Lilian, is left to fend for the family on her own. Although her mother remarries, she is widowed again. Lilian is then courted by Jonah, a good looking man who drinks too much and cheats on her.
Chanda is 16 years old when her baby sister dies. After the baby's funeral, Jonah leaves. A few months later, he returns sick and begging for help. Everyone in the community knows he is sick with AIDS but no one helps him. Lilian's health declines rapidly, so Chanda has to do all the chores, care for younger siblings, and then go to school. Nobody talks about Lilian's disease out of fear and shame. When Lilian goes away to hide, Chanda courageously brings her back to let her die at home, surrounded by her children and friends.
Chanda's Secrets is a story of courage and hope. It shows the devastation that AIDS brings to families and communities, especially when it is hidden or not talked about.