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Beverley Naidoo

Author, Independent
Dr. Beverley Naidoo

Educators' Conference
Area of Specialty:Author


Beverley Naidoo grew up in South Africa, joining student resistance to apartheid, leading to detention without trial and exile in Britain, where she became a teacher, education adviser and award-winning writer of novels, short stories, plays and poetry. Her first children’s book, Journey to Jo’burg, originally banned in her birth country, remains an eye-opener for readers worldwide after 27 years. She won the Carnegie Medal for The Other Side of Truth. No Turning Back, Out of Bounds and Burn My Heart all won Children’s Africana Book Awards.

Books for younger readers include Baba’s Gift; The Great Tug of War; S is for South Africa, a poetry alphabet with photographer Prodeepta Das (Children’s Africana Honor Book, USA 2011); and Aesop’s Fables with illustrator Piet Grobler (Parent’s Choice Silver Award, USA 2011, USBBY 2012 Outstanding International Booklist).

Adult non-fiction includes a biography Death of an Idealist: In search of Neil Aggett, (October 2012, Jonathan Ball, SA), and Through Whose Eyes? based on her PhD research into reading responses and racism. Beverley is also an honorary doctorate (Open University, Southampton University, Exeter University) and was the South African nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2008. See also

Full Day Institute
Title Exploring perspectives: A creative storytelling and writing workshop
Programme Educators' Conference
Days Offered Monday October 22, 2012 (10:00-17:00) and repeated Tuesday October 23, 2012 (10:00-17:00)

"Without trying to enter other ways of looking, perceiving, describing, we won’t understand anything of the world." - Ryszard Kapuscinski (1932-2007)

In this active institute we shall experience and explore creative processes in retelling traditional stories that made an impact in childhood. We shall also use a scaffolding process to draw on memory, images, observation and imagination in creating short poems with different 'voices'. We shall reflect on questions about authenticity and perspective and I shall share with you some of my ways of finding the inner voices of child and adult characters who are not 'me'.

  • Energize participants through creativity and reflection.
  • Offer practical ideas that can be adapted in classrooms, across the age range, in any lesson where you want young people to explore their own and other perspectives.
Target Audience Administrators and Educators
Conference Material None.
3-Hour Workshop
Title A Longer View on Today
Programme Educators' Conference
Days Offered Wednesday October 24, 2012 (10:00-13:00)

The present cannot be understood without understanding the past. With 24-hour instant 'news' drowning informed comment, how do we equip students to engage critically with the longer, deeper vision that our problems require?

In her 2010 Neil Aggett Memorial Lecture, Dr Liz Floyd (detained alongside the medical doctor and unpaid trade unionist) was direct in addressing Grade 12s at Kingswood College where Neil had been an outstanding student:

‘Your presence at this school means you are part of the top five percent of youth in the country in terms of income, education and future employment...You need to learn and understand the country we live in: the effects of the past on people, how the different cultural backgrounds affect the way people live their lives today and the daily realities of unemployment and poverty, with the loss of hope that goes with it.’

What are the differences in approaching history, past and contemporary, through fiction and non-fiction? Writing 'Death of an Idealist: In search of Neil Aggett' has been a quite different challenge from writing my novel 'Burn My Heart', set in the colonial world into which Neil was born in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion. I shall share some of my methods in approaching the past in both fiction and non-fiction.

  • To provide a forum for sharing how we encourage students to gain a longer view on today's challenges, and to stimulate our discussion through some key readings and photographic images.
Target Audience Administrators and Educators
Conference Material None.

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