On February 20, 1984 Trevor Noah committed his first crime. He was born. It would not be his last.
My Trevor Noah experience is from watching Facebook videos (him from his show or some of his stand-up). And it is hit or miss. But having read his young adult adapted version of his story, It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood I can see where some of the stories come from and how a mischievous, intelligent, super-fast runner, and yes, deliberate as well as accidently a criminal, could become the most famous comedian from South Africa. Finally, a few names he mentioned in a stand-up sketch took on a face (even though there are no illustrations or photographs in this version).
A few of the stories he told (not always chronologically) have a few inconsistencies that might be because of being abridged. Such as, he mentions later in the book, he did not see his father a lot, in fact never calling him dad/daddy, but earlier he mentions an incident where his father tried to walk with Noah and his mother in the park and Noah tries to chase him calling out “daddy.” However, overall, the book runs smoothly and has its moments. Some, not so tasteful (a young Noah and an incident with some newspaper, having to go you know and it was raining and did not want to head out the to the outhouse …).
Noah covers from why his mother choose a white man to have a child with (even though it was illegal to even have a relationship, let alone a child), to literally having to hide inside their illegal apartment so people would not turn him and his mother in, to living with his Grandmother, to never knowing his white family, to his pranks, to his ingenious “lunch buying” scheme, to his selling bootlegged CDs, to his friends and him “finding items” and reselling them, to being assaulted by a rival tribal member, to his being a DJ, to his mother’s extremely Christian religious nature as well as her keeping with some superstitions and traditions of her African heritage, much about apartheid (how it was actually easy to install and why), to several arrests and almost arrests, and an interesting reason why you might meet a South African man named Hitler.
Strong ages 10 and up could read, but due to some of the more mature themes, more likely 12 to 15. The information is lightly “toned down” but still gives the basics of the issues Noah experienced (even how being “not-colored-colored” helped him). I would be interested how the adult version varies. The picture of a boy who was mischievous, criminal, intelligent and finally the man we see today unfolds on these pages.