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Download We Are All the Same: A Story of a Boy’s Courage and a Mother’s Love Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample We Are All the Same: A Story of a Boy’s Courage and a Mother’s Love Audiobook, by Jim Wooten Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (568 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jim Wooten, Alan Sklar Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2004 ISBN: 9781400171446
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The extraordinary story of the little South African boy whose bravery and fierce determination to make a difference despite being born with AIDS has made him the human symbol of the world’s fight against the disease, told by the veteran American journalist whose life he changed.

Five million more people contracted HIV last year alone. We’ve all seen the statistics, and they numb us; on some level our minds shut down to a catastrophe of this scope. As with other such immense human tragedies in the past, it can take the story of one special child’s life to make us open our minds and our hearts.

While the majority of all AIDS cases occur in Africa, a South African boy named Nkosi Johnson did not become “an icon of the struggle for life,” in Nelson Mandela’s words, because he was representative but because he was so very remarkable. Everyone who met Nkosi Johnson was struck by his blinding life force, his powerful intelligence and drive, his determination to make something of his short life. By the time of his death, the work he had done in his eleven years on earth was such that the New York Times ran his obituary on the front page, as did many other papers, and tributes appeared on the evening news broadcasts of every major network.

Nkosi Johnson did not live to tell his own story, but one writer whose life he changed has taken up the work of telling it for him. Luckily for the world that writer is Jim Wooten. In his hands, We Are All the Same is a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit, even as it bears witness to the scope of the tragedy that is unfolding in Africa and around the world, cutting down millions of boys and girls like Nkosi Johnson before they can reach their promise. Written with the brevity and power of a parable, We Are All the Same is a book that is meant to be read by all of us, of all ages and walks of life. Its beginning and ending are terribly sad, but in the middle is the extraordinarily inspiring story of a very unlucky little boy who said “never mind, I’m going to make my life matter.” And he did.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Swinton | 2/13/2014

    " Best book I have ever read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosa Maio | 2/12/2014

    " This book was amazing. One of the best books i have read in a long time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandon Fryman | 2/8/2014

    " Absolutly loved this book for many reasons. Specally since it is based on true story. The writing was beautiful. I have been to Uganda and seen first han what AIDS is doing to people first handedly. People like Nkosi, Gail, and Daphne are all heroes to me. Facing such odds and doing the best that they can do with what is given to them. I look up to the courage that Nkosi has shown. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 2/7/2014

    " This is one of those where I'd give a 4 for the actual events/people and a 3 for interest/writing style. I enjoyed what I learned. I was moved and inspired by this story of a South African boy born with AIDS, who became a spokesman for the AIDS epidemic in Africa. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 2/3/2014

    " This book is told by a journalist...very informational about a yougn boys life strugle and accomplishments living with HIV. It's a touching story infused with information/statistics regarding HIV/AIDS in Africa at the time...and a mother's love for her son. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chieko | 2/2/2014

    " The story of this boy (who was born HIV positive and died of AIDS at age of 12) was amazing. I learned a lot about African, especially South African, society and their history. It was educational. But somehow the style of writing (or whatever that was) didn't pull me into the book until near the end. Overall, it was a very good story - touching, yet educational/information enough to help me increase understanding of the disease and the society. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lulu | 1/27/2014

    " A little too much detail, but a very touching story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 1/17/2014

    " touching story told by a young boy with AIDS "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 1/15/2014

    " A quick read, informative, and has a sad ending. I almost cried at the end, poor Nkosi... The book puts a face on the AIDS epidemic in southern Africa, a subject that everyone should at least familiarize themselves with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hema | 1/3/2014

    " One of my favorite reads. It's about a little boy who has HIV in South Africa and how a American social worker raises him. Talks a lot about HIV/AIDS in Africa. It's based on a true story.I am sure I've told almost all of my friends about this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katy | 8/25/2013

    " I think everyone should read this book. It was the theme of my service trip to Lesotho Africa this year "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 8/5/2013

    " This book both broke my heart and was uplifting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah | 7/31/2013

    " If you have read Cry the Beloved Country and liked it, then you will enjoy this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Nidam | 7/4/2013

    " This book is worth reading. The review says "an extraordinary story about a boy" but it's really a good story about an extraordinary boy and an extraordinary journalist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 6/12/2013

    " Why it's important to not forget AIDS and how people suffer from it ravages and it's stigma. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin | 6/6/2013

    " A book club selection that played on all of my emotions - especially as a mother who's son is gay. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darlene | 2/19/2013

    " Heartwrenching - the courage of a South African boy with AIDS. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Stumpf | 12/31/2012

    " Powerful and frightening story about the epidemic of AIDS in Africa! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy Hollister | 12/30/2012

    " Difficult decisions to make as a parent/caregiver. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bookchick | 4/15/2012

    " Inspiring but somewhat sentimentalized account of a Zulu boy with AIDS and his white foster mother. Their struggle against a deadly disease is heartbreaking but well worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 11/30/2011

    " Ok book. not bad not amazing. another sad history of aids in south africa. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anna | 10/19/2011

    " stories like these completely obscure the complicated, nuanced story of AIDS in africa and do a huge disservice creating "innocent victim" narratives. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eliza | 10/9/2011

    " I absolutely LOVED this book! I read it cover to cover in a matter of days and was struck by the way it touched my soul. Honestly I don't think a book has ever hit me as hard as this one did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/5/2011

    " I've read this book at least 5 times and every time it makes me cry. I try to make everyone I know read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Kakar | 10/5/2011

    " I read this story a few years ago but it is one of my favorites. It's sincere, true, well written and reminds me of a universal truth that we are more alike than we are different. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelle | 6/14/2011

    " Fascinating. Interesting people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki | 3/22/2011

    " I liked this book - even though it was a little sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bookchick | 11/23/2010

    " Inspiring but somewhat sentimentalized account of a Zulu boy with AIDS and his white foster mother. Their struggle against a deadly disease is heartbreaking but well worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hema | 9/13/2010

    " One of my favorite reads. It's about a little boy who has HIV in South Africa and how a American social worker raises him. Talks a lot about HIV/AIDS in Africa. It's based on a true story.I am sure I've told almost all of my friends about this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerry | 6/29/2010

    " Quincy needed this book for school, then I read it. It's very simply written - an interesting snapshot of AIDS in South Africa through the eyes of one boy and his foster mother. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sera | 4/15/2010

    " Inspiring. But I don't like inspiring books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki | 3/23/2010

    " I liked this book - even though it was a little sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/18/2010

    " Interesting story of a HIV positive boy in S. Africa who inspired the white community to change perspective on HIV. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 12/30/2009

    " I would only give this 3.5 if that was an option. It was a well written and very informative book, but for some reason it just didn't grip me like I thought it would. It's definitely an important read though and sheds light on the AIDS crisis in South Africa. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 9/5/2009

    " This is a heartbreaking and heartwarming book about a young boy with AIDS and the scourge of AIDS in Africa. Reading it I felt connected to the world and its problems...and as with 'Three Cups of Tea', it's the kind of book that encourages a person to try to make a difference. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darlene | 9/4/2009

    " Heartwrenching - the courage of a South African boy with AIDS. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 8/17/2009

    " Difficult decisions to make as a parent/caregiver. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 8/3/2009

    " Why it's important to not forget AIDS and how people suffer from it ravages and it's stigma. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 7/7/2009

    " Powerful and frightening story about the epidemic of AIDS in Africa! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 4/7/2009

    " This book was a very interesting read. I liked the first person style of writing - it was a good way to make the story personal.

    Challenge category: Mother or motherhood theme or title "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 3/23/2009

    " I picked this up at Goodwill (love getting books for a buck or two). It is the story of a little boy born with AIDS in south Africa who eventually unoficially adopted by a white lady who created homes where those dying of AIDS could have a safe haven. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 12/9/2008

    " This was not only informative, but inspirational as well. Fell in love with these people.... "

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About the Author

Jim Wooten is ABC News’ Senior Correspondent and contributes to World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Nightline, Good Morning America, and other ABC News broadcasts. In 1994, his reports from Rwanda and Zaire for World News Tonight and Nightline won the Overseas Press Club Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, and the Joe Alex Morris Award from Harvard University for distinguished foreign reporting. Before joining ABC News, Wooten had been on the staff of Esquire magazine; written a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer; and served as a bureau chief, national correspondent, and White House correspondent for the New York Times.

About the Narrator

Alan Sklar, a graduate of Dartmouth, has excelled in his career as a freelance voice actor. He began narrating audiobooks in 1996, winning seven AudioFile Earphones Awards and earning several “Best Voice” awards. He has also worked as a stage actor and as a promo announcer at WPIX-TV in New York City. His dream is to be an opera singer, a role for which he hones his bass-baritone operatic skills in the upstairs shower of his home.