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The Heaven Shop
Transcript of The Heaven Shop
This book The Heaven Shop takes place in Blantyre, Malawi in Africa. Blantyre is the largest city in Malawi. The characters end up moving around to different cities in Malawi. The story takes place during the middle of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
I learned that Africa has a lot of trouble with HIV/AIDS and that many family's are torn apart from it. There are many orphans because their parents die of AIDS when they are children. It is also hard to get rid of the disease because the disease gets passed on from parents to children and so on.
Binti is a thirteen year old girl living in Blantyre, Malawi. She is an actor on a radio show that is broadcast all over the country. She takes a lot of pride in the things that she does. She wears dresses most places because girls wearing pants isn't accepted in her culture. She wears her school uniform for school because she goes to an expensive private school. She is very good in language arts and reading. She cares about her father a lot. Binti is a very independent and smart young girl.
Junie is Binti's oldest sybiling. She likes being in control and can be thought of as bossy. She is very smart, and she was about to graduate school when her father died. She also is good at finding old clothes and making a new creation out of them.
Kwasi is Binti's and Junie's brother. He likes to draw and paint. He is very creative. Kwasi is very good at drawing and painting birds.
Bambo is Binti's, Junie's, and Kwasi's father. He is the owner of Heaven Shop Coffins. He believes in giving customers good quality coffins to keep them coming back. Bambo ended up getting very sick and dying of AIDS.
When Bambo dies Uncle Wysom takes Junie and Binti to his house. He puts the girls to work and his family treats the girls very badly.
Gogo is Binti's, Junie's, and Kwasi's grandmother. She runs an orphanage in the town of Mulanje, Malawi. She is very kind and loving.
Memory is the oldest child at the orphanage, and she is Binti's, Kwasi's, and Junie's cousin. She helps Gogo run the place. She helps do most of the chores, and she helps cook. She has AIDS and she has a baby girl named Beauty. She is very independent.
The book starts off with Binti acting on her radio show. After that she walks home and she stops by the library, and sees Junie and her fiance studying together. Then she goes home to find her dad working in the coffin shop that he owns. A few days later Bambo gets sick again. Days go by and his health keeps getting worse. Binti had a banquet/award ceremony for her radio show, and she ends up having to leave early because Mr.Wajiru (Binti's director) noticed how sick Bambo looked. People were telling Binti that Bambo had AIDS, but she refused to accept that thought. One day Binti had to take Bambo to the hospital, and a few days later he ended up dying.
After Bambo dies his brothers and sisters come to collect some of his belongings, and to sell the house. The only thing Bambo's siblings cared about was money. When it came time for one of the Aunts or Uncles to take the kids, Binti, Junie, and Kwasi were split up. Binti and Junie went with Uncle Wysom. Before they left to move to their new home, Binti recorded the last few episodes of her radio show before she would have to quit. She was paid, and she ended up having to give it to her uncle because she could have gotten in trouble for hiding money. When Binti and Junie arrived at their new house, they were treated like slaves. Junie had to work in their store/bar, and Binti had to do a lot of housework. Junie had been working in the bar, and to get tips from the men she would be nice to them. Junie had been saving up the money and she was tired of the way they were being treated so she ran away. When Binti realized her sister ran away in the middle of the night, she grabbed money and ran away to Gogo's house.
When Binti gets to Gogo's house, Binti realizes that she is going to be staying at an orphanage. Gogo's house is an orphanage for the local children. She has to do a lot of chores like collecting water, making food, taking care of the younger kids, and cleaning up. It takes Binti a little while for Binti to get into the schedule of her new life. She starts to go to school with the orphanage two days a week. She eventually finds out that Kwasi is in jail because he was accused of stealing money from his uncle. Binti goes to the jail, and try to get him out. A little while later their uncle dropped the charges, so Kwasi got to go live with Gogo. One day Jeremiah (Binti's Friend) showed up and said that he had found Junie. He also told her that she became a prostitute to make extra money. When she became a prostitute she contracted HIV. Binti went with Jeremiah to go get Junie. They arrived at her house and she had already had her bags packed. They went back to Gogo's and went on with their daily life.
One day the children went to wake up Gogo, but she wouldn't wake up. Gogo had died in her sleep. the kids had been making coffins because it helped the orphanage make money or get supplies. The children made Gogo a coffin and threw her a funeral. A lot of people went to her funeral. After Gogo died Binti, Memory, Kwasi, and Junie ran the orphanage.
What I Learned About Africa
Did the book enhance your understanding of Africa? How?
Yes, this book did because it showed me how disease affects parts of Africa, and how it affects families.
Do you relate to one or more characters in the book? Why or why not?
I don't relate to any of the characters because I have never had one of my parents die, and nobody in my family has AIDS or HIV.
Was the storyline believable? Why or why not?
The storyline was very believable because you never know when a family member will die. Things like this happen everyday, and this book sounded like something you would see on t.v.
Did the book keep your attention?
Why or why not?
I never was tired of reading this book. The story had so many twists and turns that sometimes I couldn't stop reading. It also kept my attention because I wasn't confused about the plot. It was very clear about what was going on.
What didn't you like about the book?
I didn't like how the book had to talk about sexual topics like prostitution and things like that.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Yes I defiantly recommend this book to my friends because it helped me understand the daily life that some Africans have to live with. It is also easy to understand.