Beverley Naidoo

cover - Free as I Know

Free as I Know

A multicultural collection of international extracts, short stories and poems about young people gaining insight into themselves and their society through challenging experiences.

Both new and well-known authors have been selected to appeal to readers in their mid-teens. Settings cross place and time, from the 1920s to the future. The book has been widely used as a source book for GCSE English and English Literature.


Literature has the tremendous quality of allowing us to engage imaginatively in the lives of others. It enables us to move beyond ourselves and our own experiences. If we allow ourselves to respond to it fully, it can be a great educator. For those of us brought up monoculturally, literature which springs from outside our own boundaries can be a life-line.

From the Introduction by Beverley Naidoo:



Peter Abrahams
Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
Julius Lester
Gabriel Okara
Samuel Feijoo
Joyce Carol Oates
Tariq Mehmood
Adrian Mitchell
Beverley Naidoo
Ravinder Randhawa
Hummarah Quddoos
Dawn Newton
Lerato Nomvuyo Mzamane  
Robert Swindells
David Upshall
Accabre Huntley

An extract from Tell Freedom
An extract from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Still I Rise
An extract from Basketball Game
Once Upon A Time
Private Eloy
Small Avalanches
An extract from Hand On The Sun
Back In The Playground Blues
A personal essay, Young, Gifted and Black
A Tanned Version and Looking
True Grit, Hard Graft
If Someone Were To Ask Me
An extract from Brother In The Land
The Child
Free As I Know

Anyone reading it must look at themselves, as well as the person beside them on the bus or behind the counter with newly opened eyes.

The Guardian, UK