Read Zulu Dog by Anton Ferreira Online


An honest and compassionate look at post-apartheid South AfricaVusi, an eleven-year-old Zulu boy growing up in poverty in rural South Africa, is enchanted by the helpless puppy he finds in the bush. He names it Gillette for its razor-sharp teeth and hides it from his mother, who disapproves of bush dogs as pets. His devotion to Gillette only grows stronger after the puppyAn honest and compassionate look at post-apartheid South AfricaVusi, an eleven-year-old Zulu boy growing up in poverty in rural South Africa, is enchanted by the helpless puppy he finds in the bush. He names it Gillette for its razor-sharp teeth and hides it from his mother, who disapproves of bush dogs as pets. His devotion to Gillette only grows stronger after the puppy is mauled by a leopard and loses a leg. But as boy and dog play carefree games, storm clouds are gathering over Vusi's family - ruthless rival taxi owners are trying to drive his father out of business. While Vusi and Gillette learn to hunt together, they meet the daughter of a neighboring white farmer. Gillette becomes the catalyst for their unlikely friendship, which has a decisive impact on the fate of Vusi's whole family - and the larger community.A starkly realistic story set against the backdrop of the country's tortured racial history, Zulu Dog holds out the hope that a new generation of South Africans can create a better future for their land. Zulu Dog is a 2003 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year....

Title : Zulu Dog
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780374392239
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Zulu Dog Reviews

  • Katy
    2019-03-17 14:57

    Zulu Dog, by Anton Ferreira, is the story of a Zulu boy, Vusi, who lives in post-apartheid, rural, South Africa. He and his family live in huts with no electricity while white farmers live nearby on huge pieces of fertile land with large homes.In the beginning of the story Vusi saves a dog who has been attacked by a leopard. He trains it to hunt even though it now only has three legs. Vusi names the dog Gillette because of his sharp teeth. During this time Visi meets a white girl named Shirley. They develop a friendship which they keep hidden from both families. They meet every weekend in the bush and share stories even though there are language and cultural barriers.Through the relationship between Vusi and Shirley the reader is able to see the vast differences that exist in their lives. Even though they live near each other the blacks live in poverty with very little land while the whites are rich and own all the best hunting terrain. They talk about how Vusi eats off of a tin plate with his fingers while Shirley eats off of china with silverware. Despite the contrasts that exist in the way they live, they both value friendship and hold the same interests. When Vusi thinks that Shirley is mad at him he goes to his grandmother and asks her to cast a spell to make things better. When Shirley finds out about this she is scared and angry. She even stops meeting Vusi for a while.Meanwhile there are problems for the Zulu tribe. Vusi’s father is not able to make money driving his taxi cab because he is being strong-armed by thugs who are trying to take over the business. To make matters worse his father has to steel cows from the white farmer to feed his family.Throughout the story Shirley’s father makes racist comments about black people, and decides he will send her to boarding school to get away from them. Shirley does not want to go and ends up running away. The quest to find Shirley brings both groups together, and forever changes their relationship. I enjoyed this book as a tool to better understand life in South Africa after 1994 when apartheid ended. The author, Anton Ferreira, gives an honest portrayal of both sides of the issue. Much of the racist language from Shirley’s father and brother is harsh, but necessary to understand the reality of life in South Africa.There are many ways this book could be used with students. First kids will understand that even though there is no more apartheid things are not equal. This book could be a springboard to study the history of South Africa, and how things have changed since all races were given the right to vote.Ferreira’s story is action-packed. It also shows the value of friendship, and how it crosses racial boundaries. Finally it is a dog story. The relationship between Vusi and Gillette is real, special, and one that kids will love.

  • Idell
    2019-03-13 16:00

    it was sad and happy at the same time

  • Ian Wood
    2019-03-05 14:58

    This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's novels reviewed on the blog will generally have some images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.Note that I don't really do stars. To me a novel is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate a novel three-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or a one-star (since no stars isn't a rating, unfortunately).I rated this novel WORTHY!WARNING! MAY CONTAIN UNHIDDEN SPOILERS! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!Yeah, I know, I should have posted this one earlier when I also reviewed Alpha so I could have had the start and end of the phonetic alphabet all in the same month! Oh well!This middle-grade novel is really enthralling, well-written, and full of interest. On the micro level, it relates the story of Vusi, a growing Zulu boy who is something of a rebel, and who lives in poverty on a small Kraal in Eastern south Africa. Against his mother's express wishes, Vusi rescues a dog pup which has barely survived a leopard attack, and nurses it back to health, training it as his own hunting dog despite the fact that it's missing one leg.On an expedition one day to prove his bravery by trespassing on the farm property of a nearby well-to-do white family, Vusi encounters a white girl, Shirley, who is something of a rebel herself. The two bond and start meeting regularly, out in the bush away from disapproving parental eyes, and learning of each other's life and hopes.The more time they spend together, the more fond they grow of each other, but this isn't a romance at all. No, this is a novel, on a macro-level, about poverty and racism. When Shirley goes missing one day, all hell breaks loose, and it takes young Vusi and his trained dog to discover what has happened to her. The ending is happy, but it's a sorry thing that it had to go through all this just to get people to understand that we're all human, black, white or anything in between, and in the end it's the person you're dealing with, not the color of their skin, which is what counts above all else.I recommend this novel as a great read.

  • Caren
    2019-03-12 09:06

    I happened upon this little book by chance, and was rewarded with an engrossing and educational read. The story line alternates between the lives of two children living in post-apartheid South Africa. (There is a helpful map, showing the places where the story's action occurs, on the page facing the title page.)The little Zulu dog, Gillette (named for his razor-sharp teeth), is the focus of the story and helps tie together its varied threads. Vusi, an eleven-year-old Zulu boy, lives in a kraal (a sort of small village), and is nearly old enough to hunt with the men. He needs a hunting dog, however, and by rescuing Gillette as a wounded puppy, gains not only a hunting partner but also a friend. Living nearby, but in a completely separate world, is twelve-year-old Shirley, daughter of a white farmer. Her family's farm is surrounded by electrified fencing and her father displays his distaste for and ignorance of his Zulu neighbors with every utterance. He is so derisive, he has decided to send Shirley away to boarding school so she won't have to attend school with black children, a prospect which Shirley finds dismaying. When Shirley and Vusi meet, by chance, they form a clandestine friendship, helped along by their mutual affection for Gillette. The book is absolutely fascinating in the way it describes the very different lives of the children and the ways in which they share information with each other about not only their lifestyles, but their very different outlooks on life. So, from a cultural perspective, this book is a wonderful learning tool. The characters are well-drawn and the story is quite believable. The author, who now lives in Maryland, grew up in Zambia and South Africa, so I imagine the information in this book is accurate. There is a note at the end of the book informing readers that there is an organization, the Africanis Society of Southern Africa, which seeks to protect native indigenous dogs like Gillette.

  • James Govednik
    2019-03-01 11:06

    This wonderful story traces an improbable friendship and the role of an overlooked pup in helping bridge the divide between blacks and whites in South Africa during the dismantling of the apartheid system. Vusi and his Zulu family retain many of the traditions of their ancestors. Although Vusi's father, Walter, drives a taxi in the city, the balance of their lives are spent in the bush, seemingly in a world far away from the white farmers who live nearby. Gillette, the title character, leads Vusi to begin to try to prove himself as a warrior, and eventually into secretive contact with Shirley, a child from the nearby farm. While a bit more formulaic than some of my other multicultural reads this week, the depth and complexity of the story make this a rewarding book--and as a dog lover, I was ready to embrace the feel-good ending. Many themes present themselves for intermediate to middle-school readers. 10-12 year-olds will no doubt identify with Vusi's need for freedom and to establish his own identity, as well as sharing the discomfort at deceiving one's parents. At the same time, the author brings social ills to the fore, with racial tension and economic stresses bringing several points of conflict into the story. Seemingly trapped between several converging conflicts, Vusi and Gillette find their friendship with Shirley becomes the saving grace for all involved.The author was born in Zambia and grew up there and in South Africa, and he has done a wonderful job taking us into lives rich with Zulu tradition, yet in a way that makes Vusi's family seem more comfortable and appealing than the white farmers (a nice twist for a white guy like me!). A few white South Africans are perhaps drawn a bit stereotypically, but nothing that detracts from the quality of this book.

  • Erin
    2019-02-19 09:01

    This book appealed to my love of history and learning about other cultures. Set in South Africa in the 1990s after the apartheid system was over, this was all about trying to understand your enemy. We've been talking in the YA lit class about being able to empathize with the characters, and I think the main character and his friend are especially well-portayed. There are racial issues, class issues and cultural issues as Vusi, an impoverished black Zulu, and Shirley, a white South African, learn about each other. I've mentioned this before, but I love watching characters learn to understand and respect each other, and as these two become friends their families and worlds are also coming together.Any kid who loves animals should get into this book. Vusi has to overcome his mother's aversion to dogs even as he rescues and trains a three-legged stray. I feel that it would especially appeal to boys through the main character, Vusi, the wild and dangerous setting, and the path that Vusi takes to become a man. It's also a good friendship story, and the themes of compromise and acceptance should broaden the appeal to include girls.Violence and gangs. Prejudice.

  • Julia
    2019-03-05 09:09

    This is a very noble and knolegable book. It is about a boy in africa who finds a crippled and stray dog but his mother does not want him to have the dog. He does not obey his mother and every day he secretly trains and looks after the dog untill it is fully grown and learns to hunt. In the end, the dog saves a the boys best friend from a mountain lion. And everyone learns to love the dog. I love this book!!

  • Catherine
    2019-03-11 08:52

    Ferreira attempts to tackle post-apartheid issues in South Africa through the friendship of a white girl and zulu boy. The beginning is interesting and educating; however, the ending oversimplifies the complexities of deeply ingrained racism. I would consider teaching this book in middle school but would definitely have to spend a considerable amount of time discussing the ending.

  • Michelle
    2019-03-08 10:47

    Zulu Dog is a bit of a bore. The action is limited and the characters are quite uni-dimensional. The dog is, at least, quite noble and saves the day. Still looking for a good book incorporating current South African themes for middle school students.

  • Katie Lynn
    2019-03-02 15:53

    younger target audience. it wrapped up far too conveniently for my liking.

  • Nennypenny
    2019-02-23 14:07

    Amazing story! I did not think it would b bcuz the cover looked strange and the first page was rough, but stick through it- you WILL NOT regret it. :)

  • Pascale
    2019-02-28 10:43

    Nice choice for historical fiction on South Africa, especially for dog-lovers.

  • Christine
    2019-03-04 11:07

    Some violence but nothing gratuitous or extensive. Great book for 6th and up.