capetown

Cape Town

  Cape Town is the setting for this Afrikaner coming-of-age novel. Renee Pretorius has grown up on a farm in the dry expanses of the Karoo. Deeply immersed in the mores of Afrikanerdom, she accepts without question her family’s ideas about race, ethnicity and social class.  All English are suspect, Coloured people are racially inferior…

blessing

My Name is Blessing

This book is based on a true story about a boy named Muthini. Muthini lives with his grandmother and eight cousins in one of the rural villages in eastern Kenya. Muthini has a physical disability, which makes both adults and children treat him differently (e.g. insults and teasing). As a result of poverty and old…

cartwheeling

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, is an engaging  story of a white farm girl raised in Zimbabwe who , as an early adolescent, is sent to boarding school in England where her life is turned upside down. Katherine Rundell, the author, grew up in Zimbabwe, Brussels and London and is currently a fellow at All Souls College,…

bluegold

Blue Gold

Blue Gold is an important young adult novel. Its author, Canadian-born novelist Elizabeth Stewart, puts faces—the faces of three courageous teenage girls—on an invisible and impalpable resource, Congo’s conflict coltan, that has become coterminous with the digital age. This mineral ore, which absence could grind the digital economy to a halt and send us back…

golden_boy

Golden Boy

In her well-written debut novel, Golden Boy, Tara Sullivan introduces young adult readers to contemporary urban and rural Tanzania through the eyes of Habo, a thirteen-year-old boy living with albinism. Unlike the dark skin of his brothers and sisters, Habo (short for the Swahili word Dhahabu or Gold) has blue eyes, yellow hair, and white…

goodtrade

A Good Trade

This story presents a day in the life of little Kato who lives somewhere in Uganda. He rises at dawn in his “hut” then walks alone to collect a daily ration of water from the village pump. He passes a pasture of cattle guarded by soldiers, meets other children at the borehole, washes his dusty…