It’s 1976 in South Africa
In the black township of Soweto, Zanele, who also works as a nightclub singer, is plotting against the apartheid government. The police can't know. Her mother and sister can't know. No one can know. On the affluent white side of town, Jack Craven plans to spend the last days of his break before university burning miles on his beat-up Mustang, and crashing other people's parties.
Their chance meeting changes everything. Already a chain of events is in motion; a failed plot, a murdered teacher, a powerful police agent with a vendetta, and a secret network of students across the township. The students will rise. And there will be violence when morning comes.
Introducing readers to a remarkable young literary talent, When Morning Comes offers an impeccably researched and vivid snapshot of South African society on the eve of the uprising that changed it forever.
About the author
is a young South Asian writer from South Africa. This is her first published book. She lives in Vancouver
- Commended, Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year
- Winner, Africana Book Award Best Book for Older Readers
- Short-listed, Crossword Book Award for Young People
"Arushi Raina employs plot, characterization, and narrative style to advance (her) themes with sophistication. In the process of crossing boundaries, (her characters) evolve into strong friends, compassionate human beings, and responsible citizens."
Africana Book Award Committee
★ "Raina's story powerfully demonstrates the high stakes of the teenagers' choices while maintaining a bracing pace that builds steady tension. Each character's distinct voice contributes to a sense of imminent change...A riveting and accomplished debut."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"It's a strong novel—it's political, it's historical, it's gripping, it's well written: clear, well paced, and with high stakes…Raina is definitely an author to watch."
School Library Journal blog
★ "The presentation of characters with different racial identities beautifully highlights how those identities shape the characters' understandings and experiences...Readers who love the fast pace and high stakes of dystopian teen literature should snag this book. This timely reminder of the power and passion of young people contextualizes current student protests by honoring those of the past."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"When Morning Comes is a multi-faceted novel that covers many important themes… Arushi Raina employs plot, characterization, and narrative style to advance the themes with sophistication."
Africana Book Award Jury
"A simply riveting read from cover to cover, When Morning Comes is especially recommended for both school and community library YA Fiction collections."
Midwest Book Review
"Explosively powerful and agonizingly raw, the novel highlights the harsh realities of life in apartheid South Africa and is a timely reminder of the sacrifices involved in deconstructing an unjust social order…The stakes are high, the four voices powerful and committed, and the power of youth to effect political change is exposed in this tense, and often violent novel…The representations of different cultural groups are nuanced and complex, without resorting to stereotypes…An important story."
Geoffrey Bilson Award Jury
"Readers...will recognize parallel themes from youth involvement in the American civil rights movement (and) historical fiction fans will find common ground here with teens who favor dramatic thrillers."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The story is easily relatable for today's teens. The narrative is spare and engaging, but it also unloads a wealth of information about the time and a vivid sense of the setting...An eye-opening view of a rarely covered time and place in YA literature, this title offers rich opportunities for discussion and classroom sharing."
School Library Journal