The Year the Gypsies CameJoanne Lentfer, a former volunteer in South Africa, reviews The Year the Gypsies Came by Linzi Glass, a book for young adults set in the apartheid era.

Returned volunteers who were on assignment in South Africa, especially if they went as a family, may find this book interesting.


It's written from the viewpoint of a young white girl growing up in South Africa during the apartheid era. I found the book in the 8-12 years’ section at Whitcoulls and thought it would be good to give to my grandchildren who had visited South Africa while I was there. Lots of Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans' words and references.


Thankfully I always read books first before gifting them. Phew, it's really written for young adults, i.e. children from about 14 up. It deals with family relationships and the black-white divide. There is also a sexual assault described in the story.


But it's a very good book, well written and a nice change from standard books for teenagers - Diary of a Wimpy Kid, etc. But as a parent, read it first and decide if your teenager is ready for it.