Scared: a Novel on the Edge of the World

Imagine that you have only one outfit, and it’s dirty and full of holes. Imagine that you only have enough food to eat once every few days—maybe once a week. You live in a one-room mud hut. You’re physically abused. Two other people are totally dependent on you. Then it gets worse.

Now imagine living like that if you’re only twelve years old, and you’re an orphan.

Scared is a novel, but the conditions that twelve-year-old Adanna faces are drawn from real life. She’s one of millions of orphans, struggling to survive in Swaziland, the part of Africa hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic.

Enter in Stuart, an award-winning photojournalist from the NY Times. He’s fighting his own demons, and returns to Africa to distance himself from his failures at home.

Adanna and her two younger siblings melt Stuart’s heart, as his ability to provide food and care gives this young girl hope.

As the president and CEO of Children’s HopeChest, author Davis knows firsthand the many obstacles facing orphans in Africa. But rather than just provide us with the facts, he weaves his knowledge into a story that surely reveals the Father’s heart for His orphaned children.

The book is beautifully written, the characters are very human, and the message comes across loud and clear without being preachy. Be sure you have a box of tissues handy, and plenty of time, because once you start reading, you won’t want to stop. Even more importantly, you’ll be motivated to act, to do what you can to reach out in Jesus’ name. I hope you do.

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