Beverley Naidoo - Author

Archived News 2000-2010

Some Events in 2010

At the end of last year, I joined the End Child Detention Now campaign. Nearly 70 children’s authors and illustrators signed a letter of protest calling on the government to stop keeping child asylum-seekers in prison conditions. Karin Littlewood (who illustrated Baba’s Gift) and I visited Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre for a storytelling session with some of the young people detained there. Click here to read about our experience. It’s not something I shall forget. This shameful practice should be stopped.

The year ahead is already looking busy. Here are a few reasons why...



Seized Letter



Below are some of the different covers of the book over the years in different countries. You can see the latest covers for the UK trade and educational editions on my Journey to Jo'burg web page.



Seized Letter


Some Events in 2009

This year I look forward to becoming a grandparent… and already I’m thinking of the little one’s library! There’s a great beginner pack for babes and toddlers on the Australian storyteller Mem Fox’s website Mem believes that by the age of five, a lucky child will have listened to 5000 stories... including some that are so good that they are asked for over and over again!

Other special events are

Some Events in 2008


Some Events in 2007

Burn My Heart, my novel about loyalty and betrayal, set in 1950s colonial Kenya, was handed in to Puffin in June last year - on time! My story begins just before the State of Emergency when 55,000 British soldiers were sent to Kenya to fight the Mau Mau. After four decades of silence, this period is suddenly back in the news. In October 2006, lawyers in London launched a claim against the UK government on behalf of some members of the Mau Mau. Martyn Day of Leigh Day & Co, the Solicitors, says on the firm’s website:

“In the years following the second world war when the full horrors had emerged as to what the Germans and Japanese had done to their prisoners of war, it is impossible to understand how the British could set up a system of camps which would have been at home in either of those countries. It is right that the British Government should accept responsibility for the devastation of these Kenyan lives and should pay compensation for what they went through.”

The British Government is set to contest the case. It does not accept that the Colonial Office was to blame. Its lawyers will argue that the incidents took place 50 years ago and that too much time has passed for them to be able to defend the claim. The lawyers for the Mau Mau detainees will argue that this case is so important that the passage of time should not prevent it being heard. Writing Burn My Heart, I felt the past was very close. I wait keenly now for readers to enter the world of Mugo and Mathew and their two families…

Burn my Heart

Launch at South African High Commission in London, 5 July

Hear about Burn My Heart at:

A major family event this year concerns a real child rather than a ‘book child’! My webmaster son Praveen will be marrying Samantha on a distant island. Our grand-cats, Dennis and Jemima, will not be coming. Their parties usually involve field mice, baby rabbits, moles and birds…

Jemima the catDennis the cat

I also look forward to research and workshops in South Africa this year for a new novel.

Other 2007 events include:


Some Events in 2006

I spent most of the first half of the year working on my new novel, set in 1950s Kenya (no title yet!) but I made time for a few events and celebrations including:

India New Year

A few highlights from 2005

This year I return to novel writing but I shall make time for a few visits, including:

A few highlights from 2004


A few highlights from 2003

A few highlights from 2002

Beverley Naidoo receiving honorary degree from the Earl of Selborne

Beverley receiving her degree from The Earl of Selborne, the Chancellor of the University of Southampton. If you would like to read the citation, click here.

Photograph by Tempest

few highlights from 2001



Nigella Lawson, Beverley Naidoo, Lauren Child

Lauren Child (left) won the 2000 Kate Greenaway Award for illustration and Nigella Lawson gave us our prizes.


Talking with students at Archbishop Lanfranc, Croydon, London

Talking with students at Archbishop Lanfranc, Croydon, London



Students at Nuzha 1 School for Girls in Amman during the workshop

Students at Nuzha 1 School for Girls in Amman during the workshop

Listening to Matar Saqer, UNRWA Public Information Officer

Listening to Matar Saqer, UNRWA Public Information Officer

Beverley's husband Nandha was asked questions too!

My husband Nandha answered questions too

To read my account of this very moving visit, click here


Some highlights from 2000



"For twenty-seven years, from the time I arrived in England, I took part in anti-apartheid protests outside the South African Embassy. This celebration of my first children's book, which was banned by the apartheid government, was my first time going inside the building!"

  • Book Week in Cyprus: a week of story telling, readings and workshops centered at Highgate Primary School, Nicosia



    Chatting with children at Highgate Primary School

  • Readings, talks and creative writing workshops in Palestine, organised by the British Council, East Jerusalem


    Talking with students in Gaza


    Click here to read the article I wrote after my reading tour in Palestine

  • Publication of The Other Side of Truth and Smarties Silver Medal Award. The prize was overshadowed by the tragic killing of 10-year-old Nigerian schoolboy Damilola Taylor in South London. His complaints of bullying carried strong echoes of events in the novel.

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