Africa Access Review
New Children & Young Adult Titles
Requested for Review
Abouet, Marguerite ; Mathieu Sapin (illus.) Akissi :
Feline Invasion. London: Flying Eye Books , June
Note: "Poor Akissi! The neighborhood cats are pursuing
her to steal her fish, her little monkey Boubou almost
ends up in a frying pan, and she's nothing but a pest to
her older brother Fofana, but Akissi is a true
adventurer, full of silliness and fun, and nothing will
scare her for long!“ Publisher
Abouet, Marguerite and Clément Oubrerie ; Aya:
Love in Yop City (Book 4). : Drawn and Quarterly,
2013. $24.95 (pap).
Note: ”In Ivory Coast during the 1970s Aya and her
friends begin to think about their futures, Aya is
thinking about becoming a doctor, but when a
professor tries to take advantage of her she seeks
Mollel, Tolowa M; Darrel McCalla (illus.) From the Lands of Night. : Red
Deer Press, 2013.
"In this story, the young girl Ra-Eli watches as her family agonizes over
the illness of her baby brother Samson. When they approach a
healer, the answer comes: "Hold a ceremony to honor your ancestors
and ask them to help, a joyful ceremony filled with guests." Publisher
Democratic Republic of Congo
Harrington, Janice; Brian Pinkney (illus.) Busy - busy
Little Chick . : Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013.
Note: Mama Nsoso knows her chicks need a warm new
house, but each day when they set out to collect sticks and
mud she is distracted by good things to eat, while Little Chick
stays busy gathering the building materials himself." "Based
on the fable 'The Hen's House,' told by the Nkundo people of
Central Africa". Publisher
Stevenson, Steve; The Curse of the Pharaoh. :
Grosset & Dunlop, 2013. $5.99.
“Agatha Mistery, a twelve-year-old detective with a
photographic memory, travels to Egypt, where rumors of
a mysterious tablet unearthed in the Valley of the Kings
may be just the clue that she needs to unlock the secret
curse of an ancient pharaoh.” Publisher
Lipinski, Maureen; Cleopatra Ascending (A Shadow's
Edge Novel, Book 2). : Flux, January 1, 2013.
Note: “… Rhea Spencer feels like a normal teenager-
even if she is the reincarnation of Cleopatra. But all
that changes on Rhea's sixteenth birthday, when her
visions of the Egyptian queen start unraveling a very
different version of history, and Declan, a hot
representative of the secret Order of Antony, shows up
on the doorstep to keep her from being kidnapped.
Together, Rhea and Declan travel to Egypt to stop the
Octavians, a dark cabal trying to tap into Rhea's
growing powers. The cabal seeks to access the magic
deep below the desert sands, a potentially devastating
force that only Rhea can protect." Publisher
Kirmani, Mubina Hassanali; Tony Siema
(illus.) Bundle of Secrets : Savita Returns
Home. : CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Platform, 2013. $8.99 (pap).
Note: ”This book is about a little
girl, Savita, who travels back home to
Kenya, East Africa after visiting relatives in her
ancestral land of India. It provides a different
perspective about culture and life in Africa
through the eyes of Savita, her family and her
African friend, Njeri. Based on the author's
personal experiences, this story will keep young
readers engaged as they follow Savita's
journey in the dhow with a "bundle of secrets"
from India that finally get revealed in her home
in Kenya.” Publisher
Gazemba, Stanley ; Grandmother's Winning Smile. :
Imbada Publishers and Worldreader / Amazon Digital
Services, 2013. $8.99.
Note: "Gazemba takes us to the rural [Kenyan] settings
where Kinuthia's hopes for completing his primary
school education, and the bright future it would
bring, are on the verge of crashing down after his
father sells the milking cow as the only source of family
income and deserts him to his aging grandmother. The
elderly woman is a personality of strong spirit, amazing
cunning and stubborn pride though. Determined to
prevent Kinuthia from joining the work-gangs in the
village, his grandmother embarks on a powerful
struggle through indigenous means to keep her only
grandchild in school and promise him a future.“
Eulate, Ana; Nivola Uya (illus.) Life is Beautiful. Madrid:
Cuento De Luz SL, 2013.
Note: "Violet is a little Kenyan girl who is visited by a
winged giraffe during one particularly hunger-filled
night. Wanting to cheer up a hungry and dejected
Violet, the giraffe takes the little girl on a flight around
her country of Kenya, as well as around the entire
African continent. During their journey, Violet is able to
see the beauty of her land from a new perspective, but
still worries for herself and for her people. She is soon
reassured by the giraffe, however, who tells her that
help will come if she and her people appeal to the
compassion of others from around the world, as well as
if they are able to spread laughter among each other.“
Walters, Eric; Eugenie Fernandes (illus.) My Name
is Blessing. : Tundra Books , 2013. $10.79.
Note: "...Baraka and eight cousins live with their
grandmother. She gives them boundless love, but
there is never enough money or food, and life is
hard --love doesn't feed hungry stomachs or clothe
growing bodies, or school keen minds. Baraka is too
young, and, with his disability, needs too much, and
she is too old. A difficult choice must be made, and
grandmother and grandchild set off on a journey to
see if there is a place at the orphanage for Baraka.
The story begins by looking at Baraka's physical
disability as a misfortune, but ends by looking
beyond the disability, to his great heart and
spirit, and the blessings he brings." Publisher
Onyefulu, Ifeoma; Home (Look at this
Series). London: Frances Lincoln, 2013. $17.99.
Note: “Shows objects around the home in
Mali, West Africa.” Publisher
Onyefulu, Ifeoma; Play (Look at This ! ). London: Frances
Lincoln, 2013. $17.99.
Note: Shows children playing in Mali, West Africa.
Davies, Stephen; The Goggle-Eyed Goats. :
Anderson Press, 2013.
Note: "Old Al Haji Amadu lived in a town called
Timbuktu in a very hot country called Mali in the
middle of Africa. He had three wives, seven children
and five extremely naughty goggle-eyed goats.
They munched and they gobbled and they chewed
whatever they could find. One day, enough was
enough, they had to go! But getting rid of these
troublesome goats proved to be harder than Al
Haji, his three wives and his seven children ever
York, M. J.; How many spots does a leopard
have? : an African folktale . : Child's World, 2013.
Note: ”Leopard offers a special prize to the one who
can count all of his beautiful spots, and is
disappointed to find that many animals cannot
Cunnane, Kelly; Hoda Hadadi (illus.) Deep in the
Sahara. : Random / Schwartz & Wade, 2013. $17.99.
Note: "Lalla lives in the Muslim country of
Mauritania, and more than anything, she wants to wear
a malafa, the colorful cloth Mauritanian women, like her
mama and big sister, wear to cover their heads and
clothes in public. But it is not until Lalla realizes that a
malafa is not just worn to show a woman's beauty and
mystery or to honor tradition--a malafa for faith--that
Lalla's mother agrees to slip a long cloth as blue as the
ink in the Koran over Lalla's head, under her arm, and
round and round her body. Then together, they pray. An
author's note and glossary are included in the back of
the book." Publisher
Padian, Maria; Out of Nowhere. : Knopf, February
Note: ”Performing community service for pulling a
stupid prank against a rival high school, soccer star
Tom tutors a Somali refugee with soccer dreams of
his own.” Publisher
Tutu, Desmond; A. G. Ford (illus.) Desmond and
the Very Mean Word - A Story of
Forgiveness . Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2013.
Note: "When Desmond takes his new bicycle out for
a ride through his neighborhood, his pride and joy
turn to hurt and anger when a group of boys shout a
very mean word at him. He first responds by
shouting an insult, but soon discovers that fighting
back with mean words doesn't make him feel any
better. With the help of kindly Father
Trevor, Desmond comes to understand his
conflicted feelings and see that all people deserve
compassion, whether or not they say they are
Nelson, Kadir; Nelson Mandela. New York, NY:
Katherine Tegen Books, 2013. $17.99.
Note: “Text and illustrations presents a biography of
the former South African president best known for
his political activism and fight to end apartheid.”
Edinger, Monica; Africa Is My Home -- A Child of the Amistad . :
Candlewick Press, 2013.
Note: "When a drought hits her homeland in Sierra Leone, nine-
year-old Magulu is sold as a pawn by her father in exchange for rice.
But before she can work off her debt, an unthinkable chain of events
unfolds: a capture by slave traders; weeks in a dark and airless hold;
a landing in Cuba, where she and three other children are sold and
taken aboard the Amistad; a mutiny aboard ship; a trial in New
Haven that eventually goes all the way to the Supreme Court and is
argued in the Africans' favor by John Quincy Adams." Publisher
Quirk, Katie; A Girl Called Problem. : Eerdmans
Books for Young Readers, 2013. $8.00 (pap).
Note: "In 1967 Tanzania, when President Nyerere
urges his people to work together as one extended
family, the people of Litongo move to a new village
which, to some, seems cursed, but where thirteen-
year-old Shida, a healer, and her female cousins
are allowed to attend school. Includes glossary and
author's note." Publisher
Series about a young boy in Tanzania
Burgess, Lisa Maria ; Abdul M Gugu (illus.). Taos, New Mexico: Barranca Press , 2013. $9.99
Juma on Safari Note: "Juma and his family drive across Tanzania to visit his grandmother.
Juma and Little Sungura Note: "Juma doesn't want to be an only child and finally gets his wished for baby sister.
Juma Cooks Chapati. Note: "Juma and his sister, Sareeya, eat chapati and then sneak into the garden to make these
breads by themselves, succeeding despite a marauding crow.
Juma's Dhow Race. Note: "Juma hides in his uncle's dhow (after arguing with his cousin) and inadvertently joins the annual
Dhow sailing race around the islands of Zanzibar, while his sister chases after the Changuu Island tortoises.
Sullivan, Tara; Golden Boy. : Putnam, 2012.
Note: A Tanzanian albino boy finds himself the
ultimate outsider, hunted because of the color of his
Fullerton, Alma; Karen Patkau (illus.) A Good
Trade. Toronto: Pajama Press (Orca dist.), 2013.
Note: " In a small Ugandan village, Kato wakes
early to start the long barefoot trek beyond his
village and along fields dotted with cattle and
guarded by soldiers. As it is every day, his
destination is the village well, where he will pump a
day's supply of water into two jerry cans before
trudging home again. But this is no ordinary day.
The aid worker's truck arrives at the village
square, and in the back is a gift so special, the little
boy rushes home to look for something to repay the
aid worker." Publisher's Note
McKay, Sharon E; Daniel Lafrance (illus.) War Brothers :
the Graphic Novel. : Annick Press, 2013.
Note: “…A graphic novel adaptation of the author's novel
about a group of boys in Uganda who are kidnapped and
forced to join the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, and
their desperate escape, only to return home to discover
that their friends and family are afraid of them.“ Publisher
Williams - Garcia, Rita; P.S. Be Eleven. :
Amistad, 2013. $16.99.
Note: ”P.S. Be Eleven is the sequel to Williams-
Garcia's New York Times bestseller One Crazy
Summer, a Newbery Honor Book and winner of the
Coretta Scott King Award. Includes a exchange
teacher from Zambia.” Publisher
Lewis, J. Patrick; Monique Felix (illus.) The good
ship crocodile . : Creative Editions, 2013.
Note: "When the skies of Africa darken with rain and
the river swells, a good-natured crocodile named
Snout lends his broad back to many stranded
animal neighbors. After he ferries soggy fireflies,
dripping hedgehogs, and other creatures over
dangerous waters, his good deeds are repaid in full
when a shift to hot, dry weather leaves him
vulnerable instead." Publisher
Atinuke; Splash. : Walker Books, June 2013.
Note: "Anna Hibiscus is at the beach and all she wants to do is
SPLASH! In the second Anna Hibiscus picture book from
Atinuke and Lauren Tobia, Anna has left her mango tree...and
she's at the beach! Phew, it is hot. But what better way to cool
off than by playing in the jumpy, splashy waves? "Come and
splash in the waves with me!" shouts Anna Hibiscus. But
everyone, including Grandmother and
Grandfather, Chocolate, Benz, Wonderful, Joy, Clarity and
Common Sense, is much too busy to wave-jump! So, it's just
Anna Hibiscus and the white waves. "Oh! Oh! Oh!" Anna shouts
happily and, soon, her happy cheers bring everyone to the
Crowder, Melanie; Parched. : Houghton / Harcourt, 2013.
Note: Told from three perspectives, Sarel, who just
witnessed the brutal murder of her parents, Nandi, the
leader of a pack of dogs who looks out for her pups and
Sarel, and Musa, an escaped prisoner with the water song
inside him, struggle to survive in a land without water.
Lloyd, Jennifer; Joseph Lee (illus.) Murilla Gorilla :
Jungle Detective. : Simply Read Books, 2013. $9.95.
Notes: “Murilla Gorilla is a lovable jungle detective who
solves mysteries for her friends. In this case, Ms.
Chimpanzee's muffins are stolen and Murilla must crack
the case.” Publisher
Hofmeyr, Dianne; Piet Grobler (illus.) The Magic Bojabi
Tree. London: Frances Lincoln, 2013. $17.99.
Note: Python has wrapped himself around the
melon/mango/pomegranate tree with its delicious fruit, and
he won't share the fruit unless the animals can tell him the
correct name of the tree. Elephant, Monkey and Zebra
each in turn visit Lion, who alone knows the name of the
tree. But every time, the animals forget the name on the
journey back to the tree. Then Tortoise, the
slowest, smallest animal goes to Lion - and sings a special
song to remind him of the name. It is the Bojabi Tree!
Python unwraps himself from the trunk, and all the animals
share a feast. Publisher