Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke is a series of short chapter books (actually related short stories) about a young girl’s lifestyle in Africa and her family.  I really enjoyed Anna’s playful and delightful personality. She is a character to enjoy. Her large family living in an African city is quite different from those of children in

Read Post

Two years ago, I wrote about how much I enjoyed the first of the Precious Ramotswe Mysteries, a new series by Alexander McCall-Smith sharing the childhood mysteries featuring Precious Ramotswe, the future Ladies’ Detective. I enjoyed the second and third in the series as well. Simple mysteries give the young children reading a chance to feel

Read Post

Heart of Darkness (1902) by Joseph Conrad is considered by many to be one of the best novels written in the English language, a fact made all the more remarkable to me by the fact that Joseph Conrad wrote in not his first or second language but his third language, a language he learned after

Read Post

Sleepwalking Land by Mia Couto1 blends two stories of seeking for one’s identity in the midst of war-torn Mozambique. In the first, an old man and a young orphaned boy have fled a refugee camp and seek shelter in a burned-out bus on the side of the road. Near a corpse, they find a set

Read Post

Dear Baobab by Cheryl Foggo and illustrated by Qin Leng (Second Story Press, 2011) tells the story of young Maiko, who has recently moved to a city from his home in Africa. He missed his 2,000-year-old tree but finds comfort in a small spruce tree in front of his home. Maiko must deal with being

Read Post

At nearly 800 pages, The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith is overwhelming in scope. Subtitled A History of Fifty Years of Independence, the book attempts to capture the histories of all the countries on the African continent. Yet, such an ambitious subject cannot adequately be captured in less than 800 pages: each country has

Read Post

While searching my computer files for something last week, I found reviews of some Caldecott winners that I wrote at various points in the past two years. Although these books are not, for the most part, books I’ve read aloud to my son, I still found them interesting. A few I had strong negative opinions

Read Post