Tag Archives: 10+

An African Night’s Entertainment


Title: An African Night’s Entertainment

Author: Cyprian Ekwensi

Publisher: African University Press

Number of pages: 152

Type of Book: Folktale, Fiction; African

Age: 10+

Available here: Borrow from ZODML Library, Ikoyi Lagos (http://zodml.org/eachbook.php?id=5061 ) or buy here: http://www.amazon.com/An-African-nights-entertainment-vengeance/dp/B0006CV54M

Price: $50.00


It tells the story of two men on a quest; one to have a child at all costs and the other to get revenge on the man who wronged him. Mallam Shehu, determined to have a child after 35 years of marriage fails to heed the warning of the gods and using love potions, takes a new wife, Zainobe who finally bore a son for him. Abu, Zainobe’s fiancé from childhood, betrayed and angry decides to seek vengeance. He leaves home and travels for years in a bid to find someone to take revenge on Mallam Shehu for him. The book chronicles Abu’s travails in foreign lands and the suffering of Mallam Shehu and his family afterwards. Read it to find out how Mallam Shehu and Abu succeeded in their individual quests and the price they paid for their actions. Aptly described by the narrator as a tale of vengeance, adventure and love, it will keep you glued to the pages till the very end.

UP: It is reminiscent of the popular-in-the-90s NTA (Nigerian Television Authority) TV series, Tales by Moonlight. However in the book, an old man, who made a bet with his audience that they would fall asleep before the end of the story and he would keep their money, replaces ‘Aunty’!
It is well written and very easy to read. The book also featured sections on moral lessons, vocabulary building and comprehension exercises in every chapter as well as a 20-page glossary.

DOWN: None

4.5 Stars

1. How did Mallam Shehu win Zainobe from Abu? He gave her a scent prepared by Mallam Sambo which made her fall in love with him.
2. Why did Abu embark on a perilous journey into the Kurmin Rukiki, forest of death? To get sap from a special tree with a gourd given to him by Tausayi, the man who helped him get his revenge.
3. How many parts of his body did Abu lose on his way to the forest of death? Two: his eye and his ear
4. Did both Mallam Shehu and Abu succeed in their quests? Yes. Mallam Shehu had a son, Kyauta, ‘meaning Allah be Thanked’ and Abu found someone to take revenge on Mallam Shehu.
5. What warning did the Gods give to Mallam Shehu? They warned that if he persisted in his quest for a child, he would have one but the boy would bring untold sorrow to him.
6. What warning did Tausayi give to Abu? He warned that there will be grievous consequences for their actions and that Abu would bear all the consequences.

Next Book of the Week:

Zahrah the Windseeker


Title: Zahrah the Windseeker

Author: Nnedi Okoroafor-Mbachu

Publisher: Farafina Books/ HMH Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 320/308

Type of Book: Fantasy, Fiction; African

Age: 10+

Available here: http://www.konga.com/farafina-zahrah-the-wind-seeker-1080068; http://www.amazon.com/Zahrah-Windseeker-Nnedi-Okorafor-Mbachu/dp/0547020287

Price: N500; $7.51


Zahrah is a 13-year-old girl born with dadalocks in a kingdom where people with dadalocks are looked upon as strange. She is quiet, shy, constantly bullied and afraid of heights. All these change when one night, Zahrah finds herself floating off her bed. Her quest for knowledge eventually leads her and her best friend Dari, into the Forbidden Greeny Jungle where Dari is bitten by a war snake whose venom sends him into a coma. Only the serum from an unfertilized elgort egg can save Dari’s life. Zahrah has four weeks to enter the depths of the Forbidden Greeny Jungle to find and steal an unfertilized egg from an elgort, the fastest, most vicious animal in the Jungle.


UP: Everything!! Again, Nnedi kept me up till 4am. I read this book some seven years ago and it made a huge impression on me!! It was a pleasure to read again! And I will definitely read it some more in the future! Nnedi Okoroafor’s imagination is out of this world. Her use of language is fantastic! Her story world is described in such detail that the reader is easily sucked into it! Zahrah the Windseeker is African Magical realism at its best!!! The plot, the characters were so well fleshed out but the highlight of the book for me: The Setting!!

The book is set in the Ooni Kingdom, a kingdom that is dominated by plants. The houses are made of plants, the towers and sky scrapers as well, the computers are plants, the currency of the day: flowers, even the medical equipment (heart monitors) are plants. Other highlights were the Dark Market (with the drawing baboons, live vultures, fortune-tellers, personal pepper seeds, dog-sized toads, etc.) and the Forbidden Greeny Jungle (with the flesh-eating plants, the Speculating Speckled Frog: a shiny pink frog with gold speckles and the ability to answer all questions, a human-sized scorpion with a poisoned whip for a tail, talking panthers, a two-headed green tortoise the size of a large car, thieving bush cows, etc.)

One of my best lines from the book: ‘Fear landed on my shoulder like a heavy bloodsucking masquerade’ Such imagery!

DOWN: None


5 Stars


  1. Who were the Windseekers? They were dada-born people born with the ability to fly.  
  2. How did Zahrah escape the giant scorpion and its poisoned whip? The enormous car-sized, two-headed tortoise with eyes as big as dinner plates appeared out of nowhere, smashed the scorpion to death and feasted on its body!
  3. What are elgorts? Elgorts are described as the ultimate killing machines. With enormous trunks lined with sharp teeth and the ability to fell whole trees while in motion and eat their prey (even humans) in three crunches, they are the fastest and deadliest animals in the Forbidden Greeny Jungle.
  4. Why did people grow their own personal peppers? To become socially spicy: more attractive and more popular.
  5. The first man Zahrah met when she went to the Dark Market? A one-eyed man with cornrows, selling live vultures.
  6. “ … From the information you typed into me, you are a thirteen-year-old girl who seeks to find an unfertilized elgort egg for your friend? … Then you are truly mad” Who/What said this? Zahrah’s talking compass.

Read an excerpt here http://www.africanwriter.com/zahrah-the-windseeker-an-excerpt-from-the-nnedi-okorafor-novel/

CHALLENGE: Zahrah the Windseeker


  1. What is Nsibidi? Write a short 400-word essay


  1. Draw a picture of the Dark Market using the details in Chapter 4 of the Book.


  1. Write a poem on ‘Bullying’.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 10-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book and a copy of ‘Akata Witch’ by the same author.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Tuesday, November 17th 2015

Next Book of the Week:


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

Title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

Author: Jeff Kinney

Publisher: Puffin Books

Number of pages: 217

Type of Book: Fiction; Contemporary; Graphic Novel

Age: 10+ (Because younger readers are more impressionable and Greg is not a good role model)

Available here: http://www.konga.com/diary-of-a-wimpy-kid-rodrick-rules-1091364; http://www.wordsmithbook.com/book/childrens-books/DIARY-OF-A-WIMPY-KID-COLLECTION/https://www.jumia.com.ng/jumia-books-rodrick-rules-7005.htmlhttp://www.amazon.com/Rodrick-Rules-Diary-Wimpy-Book/dp/0810994739

Price: N2500; $8.37


In ‘Rodrick Rules’, Rodrick does indeed rule. Rodrick made GH miserable in this book in so many laughable ways. He camped out in the bathroom after dinner every night so that GH had to do the dishes all by himself, he sold a paper he failed to GH, he locked GH in the basement while he had a party with his friends and made him clean the after-party mess up, he made GH ride in the back of his van with his band equipment so that GH crashed into them whenever he (Rodrick) hit the brakes and when GH complained, he went over every speed bump he could find, he threatened to spill GH’s secret from last summer every chance he got and he eventually did spill the secret! Read this book to find out the ‘secret’ Rodrick the bully held over GH for so long and what happened to dear GH after the secret was spilled.


UP: Humor! If I could say one thing for the Wimpy Kid series, it’s that they have humor going for them. With ‘Rodrick Rules’, I laughed until I cried! I loved the illustrations, they were quite quirky.

DOWN: I cannot overemphasize this point. GH is not a role model for the average tween.


4.5 Stars


  1. Why were GH’s brothers the bane of his existence? His big brother Rodrick was quite lazy and a bully and his little brother Manny was a big tattletale, a miniature snitch.
  2. How did Rodrick get GH to keep mum about his party even after locking him up in the basement all night and making him clean up the mess from the party the next day? By threatening to spill his (GH’s) ‘secret’
  3. One of the lessons GH learnt in this book? Never to buy an assignment. He bought Rodrick’s old assignment from him because he was too lazy to do his, only to find out at the last minute that Rodrick made an ‘F’ on the assignment!
  4. Why did GH get stuck with Scott, the blubbering 6-year-old in the annual winter Talent Show? Because he hid a dumbbell under a pillow knowing that Rowley would kick it and Rowley did and broke his toe! So he had to take Rowley’s place as Scott’s magician’s assistant.
  5. When asked where he thought he would be in 15 years, what was GH’s mental response? ‘In my pool, at my mansion, counting my money’
  6. But what kind of job did the career day questionnaire predict that he would have? His response to that ‘There must be something wrong with the way they set these forms up or something because I don’t know any clerks who are billionaires ’

Read an excerpt here: http://www.wimpykid.com/books/book2/

Visit GH here: www.wimpykid.com

CHALLENGE: Diary of the Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules


  1. Where do you see yourself in 15 years? Write a short 200-word story


  1. Watch the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie and draw a picture to show how the movie affected you.


  1. Write a poem on the importance of having pen pals.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Tuesday, November 3rd.

Next Book of the Week:

ZAHRAH THE WINDSEEKER by Nnedi Okoroafor-Mbachu