Tag Archives: children’s book review blog

Holes

Title: Holes

Author: Louis Sachar

Publisher:  Bloomsbury Publishing

Number of pages: 233 

Type of Book: Middle Grade, Fairytale, Folktale, Adventure, Mystery. 

Age: 10+

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Holes-Louis-Sachar/dp/0440414806/ref=pd_sbs_1?pd_rd_w=T5aro&pf_rd_p=965b754e-4670-4322-863d-d4929773ec49&pf_rd_r=KGQV70T7HK8VM5JYXH37&pd_rd_r=17b1b8b7-2dcc-45ab-8e21-fe1cfd2bfdb0&pd_rd_wg=HdnfV&pd_rd_i=0440414806&psc=1 and @thebookwormcafeng on Instagram.

Price: $ 8.49 or N3000

MY SUMMARY

Stanley Yelnats and all his family members have bad luck, it is so bad that Stanley ends up in a juvenile detention centre in the middle of the desert for a crime he didn’t commit. At Camp Green, he must dig holes every day under the hot sun: back-breaking and totally boring stuff until he finds a tube of lipstick in one of his holes and then he goes after a runaway. Then, the adventure begins. The author goes back and forth between three stories: Stanley’s story, a fairytale and a folktale, spinning a thrilling, humorous and powerful story about friendship, crime and punishment.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I enjoyed this book as a reader and a writer! The reader in me LOVED the parallel stories; one contemporary, one fairy tale and one folk tale, each with its own fair share of excitement, adventure and suspense. The deadly yellow-spotted lizard, “Kissing Kate” the outlaw, the search for the treasure, and the warden (this woman slapped someone with a snake’s venom) were some of the highlights of the book. This book is a must read for children and adults alike!!

For Ugo, the writer, the highlight was the parallel structure and how all three stories tied up neatly in the end. Just wondering how they were connected and trying to figure it out added to the mystery of the book. Sachar is a wonderful writer with the power to thrill with words. The blend of fairy tale, fantasy, adventure, mystery, humour, folktale and realism in on package is mind-blowing. It is a great mentor text for parallel narratives.   

DOWN: Nada …

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: https://www.npr.org/books/titles/204896601/holes 

CHALLENGE: Holes

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 1,000-word story with 2 parallel stories.

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.

Answers must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, February 7th 2021.

Next Book of the Week:

MEANWHILE BACK AT THE RANCH by Trinka Hakes Noble

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Dada Ade and the Good Hair Fairy

Title: Dada Ade and the Good Hair Fairy

Author: Venessa Scholtz

Publisher:  Farafina Tuuti

Number of pages: 24

Type of Book: Picture Book, African, African Folktales.

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: https://farafinabooks.com/book?b=2074; @thebookwormcafeng on Instagram.

Price: N1,000

MY SUMMARY

In this book by the 2016 Golden Baobab picture book award-winner Venessa Scholtz, the reader embarks on a journey with young Dada Ade who doesn’t like her kinky, curly, crimped, wild and unruly hair. Wanting to exchange her hair for something better, Dada Ade sets out to find the Good Hair Fairy. On her way, she meets several animals who offer her their ‘hair’: the furry cat, the feathered duck, the scaly chameleon. But the best part of the story comes when Dada Ade finally meets the Good Hair Fairy. Read the story to find out the grand surprise at the end.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Told in a manner reminiscent of the folktales I heard as a child, this made me smile. My boys and I loved it. The text is lyrical and makes for a great read-aloud. The story is fun and educational; readers learn about different types of animal body coverings/hair. Alaba Onajin again provides vibrant illustrations which make an already good book even better. The icing on the cake is the surprise at the end of the book plus the lesson.  

DOWN: None

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Learn about hair, fur, feathers and scales here: https://mothernatured.com/animal-exploration/fur-feather-and-scales-a-cover-up/

CHALLENGE: Dada Ade and the Good Hair Fairy

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Draw and colour 4 creatures, 1 of which must have hair, feather, fur or scales.

4 – 6 year olds

  • Make a list of 15 animals, 5 of which must have fur, scales or feathers.

7 – 8 year olds

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 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 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 31st 2021.

Next Book of the Week:

HOLES by Louis Sachar

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Tristan Strong Punches a Hole In The Sky

Title: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in The Sky

Author: Kwame Mbalia

Publisher:  Rick Riordan Presents

Number of pages: 528

Type of Book: Middle Grade, African, African Folktales, African American, Mythology.

Age: 8 – 12

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Tristan-Strong-Punches-Hole-Novel/dp/1368042414/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Price: $ 8.99

MY SUMMARY

Seventh grader Tristan Strong is down in the dumps. He has just lost his best friend as well as his very first boxing match. His parents send him off to Alabama to spend a month with his grandparents to cool off. There, he literally punches a hole in the sky and falls through earth into another dimension and the adventure of a lifetime!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: The world building, the setting and the characters particularly, the folktale heroes, Anansi!!!!, the 10” tall doll baby Gum Baby, the iron monsters, the haunted bone ships and the burning sea! I loved them! It’s an adventure story with some of my favourite Ms: magic and mythology. The specificity Mbalia uses to describe the setting is out of this world! The worldbuilding was extraordinary and I feel like this book is a good mentor text for writers on the subject of setting.

DOWN: A lot of description slowed the action down. Because life is what it is, the actual highlight of the novel was also its undoing. Oh my!!! The description was just too much. I feel like I was buried under a mountain of details. I have been trying to read this book for 8 weeks but I still haven’t made it halfway. It is unbelievably putdownable, in fact, 1 of 2 things happens each time I pick it up: I come up with something more interesting to do or I fall asleep. In summary, I still haven’t finished reading it but at this point, I honestly cannot. go. on. This will be the first time I am consciously abandoning a book halfway, I am sad and I really struggled to avoid this but …

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt (Chapter 1) here: https://www.readriordan.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Tristan-Strong-Hole-in-Sky_pp1-33.pdf

CHALLENGE: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in The Sky

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 300-word essay on any African God.

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 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 15th 2021.

Next Book of the Week:

DADA ADE AND THE GOOD HAIR FAIRY by Vennessa Scholtz

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*open to US residents only

The Greatest Animal in the Jungle

Title: The Greatest Animal in the Jungle

Author: Sope Martins

Publisher:  Farafina Tuuti

Number of pages: 28

Type of Book: Fiction, African, Folktale

Genre: Picture Book

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: https://farafinabooks.com/book?b=2029

Price: N1,000.

MY SUMMARY

Afuwe nearly gets eaten by an owl on his birthday!!! Naturally, he’s terrified and decides he doesn’t like being small. So when Tortoise gives him a magical birthday present which grants 5 wishes, his ultimate wish is to be the greatest animal in the jungle so he can be all powerful.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It’s funny and action packed, 2 of my favourite ingredients in any book. Afuwe is such a lovable character and he is so relatable. Sope Martins is great with words and imagery. Afuwe’s fear when the owl chases him is so palpable. With a few words, Martins draws readers in, sucking us into Afuwe’s world so that we sweat with Afuwe in the beginning, and laugh with him at the end and she does this with less than 1000 words!

My kids love it!! B3 tries to read it every night. We laughed and laughed at Afuwe antics and I am sad because I really cannot share the joy this book gave us without putting up lots and lots of spoilers. Take it from us, this is a GREAT BOOK to give as a Christmas present!!

DOWN:  None

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

CHALLENGE: The Greatest Animal in the Jungle

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. The greatest animal in the jungle is the …
  2. Give 5 reasons for your answer.  

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 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 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 6th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

IDIA OF THE BENIN KINGDOM by Ekiuwa Aire

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Beasts Made of Night

Title: Beasts Made of Night

Author: Tochi Onyebuchi

Publisher:  Razorbill

Number of pages: 295

Type of Book: Fiction, adventure, fantasy

Genre: Young Adult

Age: 13+

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Beasts-Made-Night-Tochi-Onyebuchi/dp/0448493918/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Price: $9.99

MY SUMMARY

Taj is the most talented aki in Kos, the best sin-eater in a town where sins are murderous beasts – inisisa – that make sinners sick until they’re drawn out from their bodies by mages and eaten by akis, where sin beasts leave tattoos on the bodies of the aki and drive them to madness before they get to adulthood, where the aki are treated as outcasts in spite of the fact that people depend on them to live, where even the royals depend on the aki they despise to maintain the premium placed on purity. When Taj eats the King’s sin, he becomes involved in a sinister plot that changes his life and threatens to destroy all he holds dear.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book is a masterpiece. It packs a mean punch with adventure, magic, humour, tragedy, light romance, great pacing, world building and imagery, the use of sensory language, the use of Igbo 😀 , a pseudo Nigerian setting, all in one story. It is YA fantasy at its best. Compared to most books in the same genre, it is short and sweet. I got it because it came highly recommended as mentor text for a novel I’m working on. I love it because it didn’t disappoint at all. In fact, it surpassed expectations.

Tochi is gifted with writing amazing scenes. This gift is pronounced in the action scenes in the book. He uses sensory language and amazing pacing to create scenes which suck you in and make you feel like they’re unfolding right before your eyes. I cannot rave fully about this book without giving spoilers. Spoiler alert: The arashi’s appearance was nothing short of MAGNIFICENT! I had goosebumps! I put the book down, shouted, picked it up and continued reading. 😀

Then the ending, oh my God, the ending!!! It ended with a cliff hanger. He got me!

Finally, the absolute best part of all of this: There’s more to come! Crown of Thunder, the sequel is available online.  

Here’s a paragraph where we’re introduced to our very first sin-beast:

I don’t even hear the doors close behind me, because the sin-beast rears up and roars in my face. I stare up at a massive lion, one of the biggest I’ve seen. The inisisa is formed of shadows so dark that it seems to suck all the light out of the room, even taking the glow from the daga in my hand. Its claws, inky tendrils of black, click against the floor tiles as it settles back on its enormous haunches. Sin made into living, breathing flesh by dark magic.

DOWN: It had a bit of the sagging middle syndrome. There was a brief lull in the story somewhere in the middle (or should I say the beginning of the middle😀 where I found myself struggling to avoid skipping whole paragraphs. I eventually understood why that section was necessary but it was much slower than the other sections of the book.

RATING

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/545186/beasts-made-of-night-by-tochi-onyebuchi/9780448493916/excerpt

CHALLENGE: Beasts Made of Night 

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Read the excerpt using the link above, then read the excerpt of Children of Blood and Bone in this post and compare the literary devices used by both writers.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 13+ 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 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 22nd 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

THE ADVENTURES OF OBI AND TITI: QUEEN IDIA’S MASK by O. T Begho

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Flashback Four: The Pompeii Disaster

Title: Flashback Four: The Pompeii Disaster 

Author: Dan Gutman

Publisher: Harper Collins

Number of pages: 235

Type of Book: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Historical, Adventure

Genre: Middle Grade (MG)

Age: 8 – 12

Buy it here: Twitter/Instagram: @Bookwormcafeng; https://www.amazon.com/Flashback-Four-3-Pompeii-Disaster/dp/0062374451/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=flashback+four+pompeii&qid=1604955382&sr=8-1

Price: N1500; $7.50

MY SUMMARY

In part three of the Flashback Four series, the four tweens travel back in time to AD 79 to take pictures of one of the world’s most devastating natural disasters: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius aka, the day a huge volcano erupted and buried the Roman city of Pompeii in volcanic ash. What seems like a simple mission – dash into Pompeii, find a good spot, take a picture of the volcano, and dash back into the time machine to modern day New York – goes awry when the flashback 4 are kidnapped. The girls become slaves in a laundromat and the boys become gladiators in one of the first amphitheaters ever built, fighting hardened criminals and wild animals. They have one hour to escape captivity and make it out of Pompeii or become part of ancient history. Read the book to find out how it all plays out.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book was a first for me because it is a book of fiction with elements of nonfiction and I loved the blend of fiction and non-fiction. I loved the narrator’s voice, it was fun and cheeky and he spoke directly to the reader making it even more interesting. Finally, I love that I learnt a thousand and one things. I learnt about Pliny the Younger, the city of Pompeii and volcanoes. The book features a whole section on making a DIY volcano at home! Perfect science experiment for these homeschooling days!

I guess the ultimate highlight is that to celebrate my birthday and my love for history (it bothers on obsession really) my sister and I visited the Getty Villa in Malibu, California last year. The villa is a recreation of the Villa dei Papiri, one of the ancient Roman country homes destroyed during the Pompeii disaster. It was like walking through a time machine. It was really easy to imagine some of the scenes in this book because of the villa.

DOWN: Gosh, the book was about 50 pages too long and incredible slow-paced. These made it book very putdownable! When I read reviews of the series I was shocked to see words like ‘action-packed’, ‘fast-paced’. Ah! I was really confused. I mean, there was some action and a few cliff hangers but fast-paced? No! Long story short, it took 10 whole days to read the book and even at that, it was a struggle. (I read 500-page books in 2 days!) If I didn’t have to read it as mentor text and for the blog as well, I may never have finished reading the book. But hey, thumbs up for the nonfiction elements, they were out of this world. Check the trivia section out for some of the mind rocking ones.

RATING

* * * *

TRIVIA

  1. Romans used urine to wash their clothes. Yup, they soaked the clothes in tubs filled with old urine and had slaves step in them.
  2. The average male during the Roman Empire stood about five feet tall, i.e. the height of an average 13-year-old boy.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Make a Volcano using the instructions on pages 50 – 54.

CHALLENGE: Flashback Four: The Pompeii Disaster 

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Read Pliny the Younger’s letters on the Pompeii Disaster and write a short story about the disaster.

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 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 15th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

BEASTS MADE OF NIGHT by Tochi Onyebuchi

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Too Small Tola

Title: Too Small Tola


Author: Atinuke

Publisher: Walker Books

Number of pages: 96

Type of Book: Fiction; African; Contemporary

Age: 7+

Available here: @thebookwormcafebookstore on Instagram; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Too-Small-Tola-Atinuke/dp/1406388912/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=too+small+tola&qid=1602613660&sr=8-1

Price: N2000; GBP 5.29

MY SUMMARY
This is a book of 3 stories which feature tiny Tola who lives in the slums of Lagos with her grandmother and siblings. In all 3 stories, where she battles with power outage, lack of water, helping Abdul the tailor and going shopping at the famous Mile 12 Market, Tola shows her family and friends that even though she’s small, she’s mighty.


THUMBS UP AND DOWN
UP: I absolutely absolutely loved the illustrations by Onyinye Iwu. They were the major highlight. Vibrant and apt, they complemented the story perfectly and brought the characters to life. They would have been even more wonderful if they were coloured.

The stories were delightful. I loved the fact they give readers a sneak peak into life in Lagos, especially, the hustle and bustle of daily life. I loved the reference to kerosene lanterns, battling with electricity, fetching water with jerry cans and of course, the famous Mile12 Market. I particularly liked the bit about Tola’s Grandma’s earrings which were left to her by her own grandmother (Tola’s great great grandmother). It made me smile.

One line that made me laugh was the description of one of Tola’s neighbours: ‘ … as tough as stockfish.’ 😀

DOWN: The stories were a bit flat, in the sense that they lacked ‘engaging’ conflict. Basically, the book is quite ‘putdownable’ and may not win the fight against TVs and tablets.

In a few places, the book reads like it was written by a non-Nigerian. Phrases like ‘Okada taxi’ irked me.

RATING
🌟 🌟 🌟

CHALLENGE: TOO SMALL TOLA
CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Describe your street using all your five senses. (7 – 9 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 7 – 9 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 Sunday, October 18th 2020.


Next Book of the Week:

THE GOOD EGG by Jory John

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Sulwe

Title: Sulwe 

Author: Lupita Nyong’o Illustrator: Vashti Harrison

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 48

Type of Book: Fiction; African, Magical Realism, Folktale 

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it herehttps://rhbooks.com.ng/product/sulwe-by-lupita-nyongo-and-vashti-harrison/https://www.amazon.com/Sulwe-Lupita-Nyongo/dp/1534425365

Price: N4000; $11.78

MY SUMMARY

Little Sulwe’s skin is as dark as midnight. She is the darkest member of her family and the darkest child in school. This makes her very sad. Slew desperately wants to be bright and beautiful like her sister Mich, whose skin is the colour of high noon. She wants to be light-skinned so she’ll be loved and accepted and make new friends.

So, Sulwe tries to lighten her skin. She eats bright foods, tries to rub her skin off, and even applies her mum’s makeup but nothing works. Poor Sulwe stays sad until one night, she goes on a magical journey that shows her that she’s beautiful, just the way she is. 

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP:The art. I am a lover of Vashti Harrison’s art and as usual, she outdid herself. She brought Sulwe to life with vibrant illustrations. 

I love the story-within-a-story structure. The folktale within the story adds a magical element to the story and makes it even more entertaining.

I like that there are so many teaching opportunities in this story. My kids and I had a whole discussion about the way God answers prayers; because they wanted to know why God didn’t answer Sulwe’s prayer.  

I love the premise of the story. In Lupita’s words, “Sulwe holds up a mirror for dark-skinned children.” I love that Sulwe’s story deals with the universal human need to be loved and accepted while staying true to one’s self in a very child-friendly manner. 

It’s a heartwarming story, it builds confidence and it’s quite entertaining. I loved every bit of it, my boys loved it too. We’ve read it countless times and we highly recommend it. 

DOWN: None.

RATING

* * * * *

TRIVIA

  1. Sulwe is Academy Award-Winning Actress, Lupita Nyongo’s, debut children’s book. 
  2. Like Sulwe, Lupita was teased and taunted in school because of her dark skin. 

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: https://www.amazon.com/Sulwe-Lupita-Nyongo/dp/1534425365  (Click on the look inside feature on the amazon website)
  2. Download some fun exercises here: https://d28hgpri8am2if.cloudfront.net/tagged_assets/5367491/9781534425361_cg_sulwe%20curriculum%20guide.pdf

CHALLENGE: Sulwe

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

Read the excerpt and answer the questions below:

  1. List 4 things Sulwe did to become light-skinned (4 – 6 year olds)
  2. Write a 100-word essay. Topic: What does real beauty mean to you? (7 – 8 year olds)

OR

3. Sulwe wants to be light-skinned, so that she can make friends like her light-skinned sister. If Sulwe were your sister, what advice would you give her? (7 – 8 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 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 Sunday, October 4th2020.

Next Book of the Week:

TOO SMALL TOLA by Atinuke

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Children of Blood and Bone

Title: Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Publisher: Ouida Books (2018) / Henry Holt and Co (BYR) (2018)

Number of pages: 531; 544

Type of Book: Adventure, African, African Mythology, Medieval, Fantasy,Fiction, Suspense/Thriller

Genre: YA (Young Adult)

Age: 13+

Available here: https://thebookmarketng.com/product/children-of-blood-and-bone/https://www.amazon.com/Children-Blood-Bone-Legacy-Orisha/dp/1250170974

Price: N4500; $12.73

MY SUMMARY

It starts with a quest, because all books with elements of magic, mystery and mythology must have quests. 

Zelie, her brother and their enemy-turned-friend, princess Amari go on a quest to bring magic back to Orïsha. Amari’s father, the tyrannical King of Orïsha, believes that magic is the source of all evil so he banishes magic. He destroys all the relics and temples of the gods and kills all the magi leaving the diviners. The diviners are children of magi who haven’t become magi and therefore have no magical powers. Years later, a scroll appears which awakens the magic in diviners. 

The quest: Zelie and her crew must find and take three sacred items – the scroll, a dagger and a sunstone – to a sacred (disappearing) island that appears only during the summer solstice. There, they must recite the incantations on the scroll in the temple of the gods during the solstice or lose the chance to bring back magic to Orïsha forever. 

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Everything! I loved absolutely everything about this book: the writing style, the imagery, the characters, the actual story, the world building, everything. I loved reading it, I know I’ll read it again, and I can’t wait to read Book 2 (it’s a trilogy by the way)! 

It’s a masterpiece. What I loved about it?

A. West African Mythology. I loved reading Britannica as a child because it showed me the myths and legends of different parts of the world, Roman and Greek ones, etc. This book was my first foray into West African Mythology especially the Orïsha, so it hit all the right buttons! I loved learning about the gods of Yoruba mythology: Ori, Oya, Sango, Yemoja, Ogun! I loved it so much that I now want to do a course on West African Mythology because I want to learn and write about Igbo gods too. I loved the fact that it was set in Nigeria and i loved the use of a lot of Yoruba (which I can’t understand by the way).

B. The highlight of the book for me: The Setting!! The World building: the ten Maji clans and their different powers and deities; the animals (the leoponaries and panthernaires); Ibeji, the desert city, where the slaves fight to the death for the pleasure of nobles in an arena the size of the Roman Colosseum filled with (wait for it) water! Note that water typically goes for one gold piece per cup, a small fortune for the inhabitants of the city. Imagining Chândomblé, the lost temple of the sacred sentaros, the protectors of magic, almost brought tears to my eyes. Did I mention that I am a lover of medieval movies? I am. So it was so easy to imagine every little scene in this book. 

C. The characters are relatable. The most fulfilling emotional arc was Amari’s. She went from a timid, scared-of-her-own-shadow little princess to an amazon at the end. 

One thing is sure, Adeyemi is a wonderful storyteller and she had me enthralled from the first page until I finished the book, five days later. (This kids-at-home business won’t let me shine)

Here’s when we first get a taste of the power of magic in the hands of diviners. 

Though Binta resists, Kaea pushes the scroll into her grip.

Light explodes from Binta’s hand.

It coats the throne room in its magnificence—brilliant golds, shining purples, sparkling blues. The light arcs and shimmers as it cascades, a never-ending stream erupting from Binta’s palm.

“Skies,” I gasp, terror at war with the awe bubbling inside my chest.

Magic.

Such imagery!!!

If I had to distil the highlights into three words, they would be Mythology, Magic, Medieval. 

I strongly strongly recommend this book to everyone particularly lovers of history, mythology, and Nnedi Okoroafor’s books.

Note that this is a multiple award winning book and a New York Times Bestseller.

The story is phenomenal. It is an epic. Definitely my best book of this year.

DOWN: The only down (which wasn’t that serious really) was the fact that it was a bit hard to differentiate between the voices of the two female characters (i.e. Zelie and Amari). Many times, they basically sounded the same.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

Read an excerpt here: https://read.macmillan.com/mcpg/childrenofbloodandbone-excerpt3/

CHALLENGE: Children of Blood and Bone 

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

1.    What is Orisha? Write a short 1000-word essay 

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 13-16 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 Sunday, September 28th 2020. 

Next Book of the Week: 

SULWE by Lupita Nyong’o

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We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Title: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Author: Ryan T Higgins 

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Number of pages: 48

Type of Book: Fiction

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it herehttps://www.amazon.com/We-Dont-Eat-Our-Classmates/dp/1368003559/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=We+Do+Not+Eat+Our+Classmates&qid=1600365413&sr=8-1

Price: $14.50 (Hardcover)

MY SUMMARY

In this absolutely hilarious story, a T-rex, Penelope, discovers on her first day of school that her classmates (all children) are really tasty. Mrs. Noodleman and Daddy tell Penelope over and over again not to eat her classmates but they are delicious and she just cannot resist. Well, one day, Penelope learns the hard way that being a snack is not fun … *read the book* 

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Humour. This book made me laugh and laugh. It also emphasizes the golden rule in the funniest way possible and it’s a funny reminder that experience really is the best teacher.  

DOWN: None.

RATING

5 Stars

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

CHALLENGE: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates 

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

1.     Find the names of three characters in the book in the crossword puzzle below (6 – 8 year olds)

ZDPYHNMKDGWBX
VNWESWILLIAMO
KBAANDBELGEAN
HBGRLEWLDLUEN
IWBUSTLKRREIT
ODSJABEONRIUS
OCNKWETRPIDBA
LXSSAELPREPLF
2. Write a different ending for the story. 50 words only.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 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 12:00 am on Friday, September 23rd2020.

#Nigerian residents only

Next Book of the Week:

CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi

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photo credit: amazon.com