Beverly Naidoo, born May 20th, said, "I was born and brought up a 'Jo'burg girl' in what has been one of the world's most openly racist countries: South Africa. I was sent to a whites-only school. It was like being brought up to be a horse with blinkers. Luckily when I left school, I met people who challenged me and I was able to take off the blinkers. I began to feel very angry about the terrible things that I could see I was part of."
Journey to Jo'Burg was banned in South Africa. The apartheid government in South Africa refused to let children read it until 1991.
Beverley Naidoo researched No Turning Back in South Africa. The story is about a twelve-year-old boy who runs away to Jo'burg and joins streetchildren. Even though life on the street is dangerous, surviving there is better than living at home with a violent stepfather. Naidoo wanted to write about the courage of young black people who are determined to get rid of racism and apartheid.
"Now I am writing about children in other parts of the world too. The Other Side of Truth follows the flight to London of two children whose father is an outspoken journalist in Nigeria at the time of the dictator General Abacha. I was delighted and honoured to be awarded the Carnegie Medal for this book."
"I have always loved stories. Books are windows to other worlds. There are so many stories to be told about young people who do amazing things to survive. I hope to continue exploring and writing about them."
Naidoo does a lot of research before creating her fictional characters. She believes that fiction is a good way to explore reality from different viewpoints. She starts with taking notes. She talks to people, visits places, and takes photographs. Next she works on the plot, even though it may change as she writes. When the story is finished, she begins the editing process. She also asks a few people who have helped her with the research, to read and comment on her story.