Hannah lives in Zimbabwe during the reign of Robert Mugabe. It's a country of petrol queues and power cuts, food shortages and government corruption. Yet Hannah is lucky. She can afford to go to school, has never had to skip a meal, and lives in a big house with her mum and their Shona housekeeper. Hannah is wealthy, she is healthy and she is white. But money can't always keep you safe.
As the political situation becomes increasingly unstable and tensions within Hannah's family escalate, her sheltered life is threatened. She is forced to question all that she's taken for granted, including where she belongs.
This is young Australian author Elizabeth Kuiper’s first novel, in which she gives us a personal and in-depth understanding of the rapidly changing world in Zimbabwe, under the rule of Robert Mugabe.
Hannah is in upper primary school when her grandparent’s farm is taken by ex-military native Zimbabweans, in the name of reclaiming their rightful land.
It is a frightful time where change is taking place very quickly and un-democratically, and Hannah’s once entitled life is turned upside down.
With her separated parents warring with each other, her mother wanting to take Hannah and move to Australia, and her country in turmoil, Hannah begins to understand the vastly different lives that people lead.
With themes of racism, violence, and family break-up, but above all family love, friendship, immigration and a hope for a better future, Little Stones is a terrific novel that is suitable for all secondary students.
Reviewed by Rob