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Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday

Natalie C. Anderson

‘[A] potent, brutal read… You won’t be able to forget this story of a young boy robbed of his own childhood.’ Marie Claire, best YA 2019

I tell myself I’ve chosen to live, but the water knows the truth. Waves brush my arms, soft as shroud linen.

The water knows I have to die.

Three years after his older brother is recruited by the Somali militia group Al Shaabab, Abdi and his family are kidnapped by Americans. In exchange for their freedom, he reluctantly agrees to go undercover to rescue his brother and help foil deadly attacks. 

After months in their ranks, Abdi finally escapes. Haunted and alone on the streets of Kenya, he steals what he can to get by. But an arrest for petty theft sets in motion a chain of events that force him to confront the past he’s been so desperately trying to forget.

  • Publication date: June 3, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781786079121
  • RRP: £7.99
  • Pages: 464
  • Publication date: June 3, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781786079138
  • RRP: £3.99
  • Pages: 464


'Greed, guilt, and redemption are layered in a sober yet tender narrative showing the lengths one will go to for loved ones.'

Kirkus Reviews

'An intriguing examination of ways familial loyalty and guilt can lead anyone to make desperate choices. Anderson uses the exploration of manipulation and coercion to craft a thought-provoking narrative.'

School Library Journal

'Anderson...breathe[s] ferocious life into a story that needs to be told. This is one of those tough but invaluable books with the power to increase a reader's awareness of and empathy for teens who have lost the right to be young.'

Booklist, starred review

'[Anderson] makes it clear how difficult it is for even children to survive this faith-based and historically rooted conflict unscathed.'

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

'Narrator Kevin R. Free breathes dramatic urgency into Anderson's intense story…Listeners hear and feel Abdi's horror and numb, helpless despair at the atrocities he witnesses — and perpetrates — and we rejoice at his redemption.' 

AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner

‘[A] potent, brutal read... You won't be able to forget this story of a young boy robbed of his own childhood.’

Marie Claire, best YA 2019

Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday is a gritty, challenging, but worthwhile read offering a message of redemption.’

Armadillo Magazine

Natalie C. Anderson

Natalie C. Anderson is an American writer and international development professional living in Geneva. She has spent the last decade working with NGOs and the UN on refugee relief and development, mainly in Africa. She was selected as the 2014-2015 Associates of the Boston Public Library Children’s Writer in Residence, where she wrote her debut novel, City of Saints and Thieves.

Author page

More books by Natalie C. Anderson

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