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Book Review: Thirteen cents by K. Sello Duiker

Azure is a 12-year-old orphan forced to fend for himself in the streets of Cape Town following the death of his parents. He is led into a life of prostitution under feared gangster pimp Allen. A black boy with distinct blue eyes Azure is ironically the envy of his elders who abuse him endlessly. 

The story sees Azure being taken advantage of by adults around him who make him believe that it is only to make him stronger. The money he makes from prostituting himself to gay men needs to be scrutinized first by his pimp, Allen, before he can use it.

He suffers a setback when a trusted ‘Auntie’ Joyce, who’sbeen helping him with depositing his money into a bank account meant for savings, subsequently disappears with it. 

Azure’s story is sad and eye-opening chronicling the harsh realities street kids have to endure on a daily basis. From drugs, violence and pedophilia this young boy’s life takes a drastic change with the death of the ones he trusted and felt safe with.

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