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M is for Movement.

Nagara, Innosanto

M is for Movement

Seven Stories Press, 2019, pp96, [pounds sterling]14.99 978 1 60980 935 5

M is for Movement is by the author of A is for Activist, and it comes with an enthusiastic recommendation from Noam Chomsky, 'This imaginative and appealing children's story... Its lucid and powerful message is that ordinary people can... change the world...'

It is a semi-fictional story, based on the recent history of Indonesia, which describes how a corrupt and despotic military regime can be overcome by peaceful, brave, and thoughtful young people. I do not know any book which so convincingly describes just how corruption works in a dictatorial society, how nepotism can make sure that members of powerful families take over all the lucrative jobs, and how ruthless military force can make opposition seem helpless. The narrator is an idealistic schoolboy, and later reporter, who cleverly identifies the weaknesses in the ruling system. The book does not disguise the fact that opposition is dangerous, but it shows that an imaginative sense of humour can be powerful in its own way. There is an amusing episode where a golf course displacing a group of peasant farmers is defeated by a series of clever slogans dug through the turf of some of the greens.

The tone can be a little uncertain at times, but the book is attractively produced and well-illustrated and the story is gripping. Recommended for tough-minded readers in the lower secondary school who are not put off by a rather obvious intention to instruct.

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Author:Axford, Wendy
Publication:School Librarian
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 22, 2019
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