Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Aluta

Badoe, Adwoa (Author)
Groundwood Books 2016. 216 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9781554988167 (hardcover)
9781554988181 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, conflict, dialogue, figurative language, point of view, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

A chilling reminder of how everyday people get swept up by political events, Aluta also pays homage to the important role that young activists play in the face of government oppression.

Charlotte is a freshman at the University of Science and Technology, living away from her parents in Accra for the first time. She studies hard, then spends her free time dancing, flirting with potential boyfriends and experimenting with fashion, hair and makeup with her new friends. “Life was at last about to bud and blossom.”

On the surface, Charlotte appears to be a carefree, fun-loving student, but with growing political unrest, Charlotte’s reality changes, which coincides with her interest in student politics. “I learned about the power of university students … smart enough to know what we wanted, and passionate enough to demand it.” But when a military coup overthrows Ghana’s federal government, Charlotte must make a decision. Will she sit by or commit wholeheartedly to positive change? But Charlotte and her friends are up against a dictatorship—and protest comes at a price.

The story is told from Charlotte’s perspective; her voice is authentic, honest and straightforward. In a discussion with a local magistrate, Charlotte holds her own. “What you call grassroots politics is just clever people stirring up the working class only to hijack their power and manipulate them. Just bullies wielding cheap influence for filthy wealth. They don’t fool me.”

Set in a country undergoing social and political change, while still dealing with military oppression, scenes include interrogation and sexual assault.

  •  

    The prologue portrays Charlotte as she is being questioned during an interrogation. Explore different possible ways in which this scene could be followed up.

  •  In small literature circle groups, discuss the way the novel addresses both the personal and the political aspects of Charlotte’s experience.
  •  

    Following discussion, use a response process to respond to the novel. Share your responses with peers in order to deepen the discussions.

  •  

    Youthful idealism vs. the harsh realities of power: which will win? In groups of four, debate this topic, with arguments and real-life examples on both sides.

  •  Write a brief summary of each chapter as you read.
  •  

    Charlotte explains how exciting and different it is to attend university in a city far away from home and her parents’ supervision. Using a graphic organizer of your choice, write the positive and negative things that happened to her while she was no longer under her parents’ care.

  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Social Sciences