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Little Family
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Little Family

A Novel

By Ishmael Beah
Narrated by Dion Graham / 7 hours 54 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

Little Family

“The legacy of colonialism is ugly, and Ishmael Beah’s Little Family offers a glimpse into some aspects of that legacy. The novel is the story of a group of teens and younger children living homeless, banded together into a family through lack of any other, trying to find their way in an unnamed post-colonial African nation. We catch glimpses into the past lives of the two oldest members of this family, Elimane and Khoudiemata, but the others’ pasts remain more mysterious. In sharp contrast to this little family are the “beautiful people” – the wealthy and powerful. Khoudi, entering into womanhood, is noticed by one of these wealthy people and is taken into their circle, able to seem like one of them thanks to the money earned through Elimani’s recent “hiring” by the shady character William Handkerchief. Both these connections outside the family set in motion a series of events that will alter everything. Power, corruption, inequality, passion, longing, and love affect every aspect of this moving story.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of A Long Way Gone.

A powerful novel about young people living at the margins of society, struggling to replace the homes they have lost with the one they have created together.


Hidden away from a harsh outside world, five young people have improvised a home in an abandoned airplane, a relic of their country’s tumultuous past. Elimane, the bookworm, is as street-smart as he is wise. Clever Khoudiemata maneuvers to keep the younger kids—athletic, pragmatic Ndevui, thoughtful Kpindi, and especially their newest member, Namsa—safe and fed. When Elimane makes himself of service to the shadowy William Handkerchief, it seems as if the little family may be able to keep the world at bay and their household intact. But when Khoudi comes under the spell of the “beautiful people”—the fortunate sons and daughters of the elite—the desire to resume an interrupted coming of age and follow her own destiny proves impossible to resist.

A profound and tender portrayal of the connections we forge to survive the fate we’re dealt, Little Family marks the further blossoming of a unique global voice.

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