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  • Citywide Reads 2010


    Little Bee cover


     "I ask you right here to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." -- Little Bee

    Chris Cleave’s Little Bee is the story of two women—Little Bee, a 16-year-old Nigerian refugee, and Sarah O’Rourke, a thirtysomething journalist living in London—and the shocking way in which their lives intersect. Their fateful meeting, two years prior to the novel’s start, impacts both of their lives in profound ways and sets off a gripping story of redemption and human connection. Deftly weaving personal themes of survival and sacrifice with broader and more combustible topics of immigration and asylum, Little Bee is both riveting and accessibly humane.

    Click here for our Little Bee resource guide (PDF).

    If you liked Little Bee, you might like:

    The Other Side of Truth: A Novel
    by Beverley Naidoo

    Say You're One of Them
    by Uwem Akpan

    A Long Way Gone: Memoirs
    of a Boy Soldier
    by Ishmael Beah

    Incendiary: A Novel
    by Chris Cleave


    Chris Cleave is the author of Incendiary and Little BeeIncendiary, his debut novel, won the 2006 Somerset Maugham Award and was adapted into a film starring Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams. Little Bee, which was first published in the UK as The Other Hand, was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Award for Best Novel. Chris lives in London with his wife and three children.

    Visit him at

     Chris Cleave





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