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   Girl Named Disaster, A, by Nancy Farmer  
 
  Novel, first publication in March 1996 , latest edition in March 1998
 
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      Nhamo's mother is dead, and her father is gone. She is a virtual slave in her small African village. Before her twelfth birthday, Nhamo learns that she must marry a cruel man with three other wives--and decides desperately to run away. Alone on the river, in a stolen boat, she is swept into the uncharted heart of a great lake. There, she battles drowning, starvation, and wild animals, and comes to know Africa's mystical, luminous spirits.

     
     
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