Birch Bay book club review: “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah


Trevor Noah is a comedian, writer, producer and actor who grew up in South Africa during apartheid, which is detailed in his autobiography “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.” Born to a Black mother and a white father, Noah experienced a life of not fitting into either group. Being a mixed-race South African, he found no comfort among his peers either, dealing with bullying, oppression, poverty and violence.

With his parents’ relationship being illegal, Noah lived with his mother. His mixed-race caused his parents and family to often deny his existence in public. Told with a matter-of-fact tone, Noah uses self-reflection and a dash of humor to tell his story.

“Born a Crime” takes us through South African history, apartheid and how the teaching of history played a part in Noah’s life in the 1990s. We learn about his mischievousness, thievery and accomplishments that came from his environment. Throughout, we see the way Noah navigates the world around him, the complex relationships with which he grew up and his reliance on humor to make his way through life.

Friends of Birch Bay Library Book Club will discuss the book 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 19 at the Bookmobile stop, 7948 Birch Bay Drive, and is open to all. This book is available at or the audiobook is available on WCLS’ account on the Libby app.

Dianne Marrs-Smith is the Lynden Public Library manager and Friends of Birch Bay president. She reads and listens to a variety of books, enjoys a variety of movies, and loves board games. Her favorite genre is horror.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here