Best Selling Books in Fiction - Africa

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release date: Oct 04, 2011
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A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

release date: Nov 03, 2015
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The Red Pencil

The powerful story of one girl's triumphant journey, inspired by true tales of life in Sudan -- now in paperback.
Life in Amira's peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when Janjaweed attackers arrive, unleashing unspeakable horrors. After losing nearly everything, Amira needs to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. She begins to lose hope, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind -- and all kinds of possibilities.
release date: Sep 13, 2016
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Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books)
Newbery Honor Book
Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book

Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.

Imagine being looked up and down and being valued as less than chair. Less than an ox. Less than a dress. Maybe about the same as…a lantern.

You, an object. An object to sell.

In his gentle yet deeply powerful way, Ashley Bryan goes to the heart of how a slave is given a monetary value by the slave owner, tempering this with the one thing that CAN’T be bought or sold—dreams. Inspired by the actual will of a plantation owner that lists the worth of each and every one of his “workers”, Bryan has created collages around that document, and others like it. Through fierce paintings and expansive poetry he imagines and interprets each person’s life on the plantation, as well as the life their owner knew nothing about—their dreams and pride in knowing that they were worth far more than an Overseer or Madam ever would guess. Visually epic, and never before done, this stunning picture book is unlike anything you’ve seen.
release date: Oct 10, 2006
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Listening for Lions

A critically acclaimed historical novel “that roars” (Kliatt), from the author of the National Book Award-winning novel Homeless Bird.

Africa is the only home Rachel Sheridan has ever known. But when her missionary parents are struck with influenza, she is left vulnerable to her family’s malicious neighbors. Surrounded by greed and lies, Rachel is entangled in a criminal scheme and sent to England, where she's forced into a life of deception.

Like the lion, she must be patient and strong, awaiting the moment when she can take control of her own fate—and find her way home again at last.

Named one of New York Public Library's One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing, this tale of a strong young heroine “in the tradition of Frances Hodgson Burnett” (School Library Journal), by award-winning master of historical fiction Gloria Whelan, is a perfect read for schools and classrooms, as well as for fans of A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.

release date: Sep 01, 2017
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Auma's Long Run
Auma loves to run. In her small Kenyan village, she's a track star with big dreams. A track scholarship could allow her to attend high school and maybe even become a doctor. But a strange new sickness called AIDS is ravaging the village, and when her father becomes ill, Auma's family needs her help at home. Soon more people are getting sick even dying and no one knows why. Now Auma faces a difficult choice. Should she stay to support her struggling family or leave to pursue her own future? Auma knows her family is depending on her, but leaving might be the only way to find the answers to questions about this new disease.
release date: May 08, 2002
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The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient Egypt

Search for the secrets of a hidden tomb

It is 1924, two years after the discovery of King Tut's tomb. Readers are invited to join a young boy, Will Hunt, as he and his family become part of an archaeological team led by world-famous Egyptologist Dr. George Reisner. Based on actual records of Reisner's history-making dig, Giza 7000X, this strikingly original picture book uses journal entries, funny postcards, and quirky cartoons to pull readers into an ancient unsolved mystery. Luminous paintings of the pyramids, informative sidebars and inventive collages, including authentic documents and archival photographs, help provide information and clues. When a secret tomb is uncovered, readers, along with Will, put together clues to discover: Whose tomb is this? Why was it hidden? And how can a mummy be missing from a sealed tomb?

This illuminating book invites readers to participate in the process of archaeology as it provides a rare glimpse into the true stories that exist behind the objects in museums.

The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle is a 2003 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

release date: Jan 22, 1999
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Sundiata: Lion King of Mali
In the thirteenth century, Sundiata overcame physical handicaps, social disgrace, and strong opposition to rule the West African trading empire of Mali.
release date: Dec 24, 2002
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Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story

If only Mma was here, Naledi wished over and over. . .

Mma lives and works in Johannesburg, far from the village thirteen-year-old Naledi and her younger brother, Tiro, call home. When their baby sister suddenly becomes very sick, Naledi and Tiro know, deep down, that only one person can save her. Bravely, alone, they set off on a journey to find Mma and bring her back. It isn't until they reach the city that they come to understand the dangers of their country, and the painful struggle for freedom and dignity that is taking place all around them.

release date: Nov 18, 2002
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Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales (Aesop Accolades (Awards))

"A treasure for everyone in the family." ―Bill Cosby

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales is a cause for celebration, landmark work that gathers in one volume many of Africa's most cherished folktales. Mandela, a Nobel Laureate for Peace, has selected these thirty-two tales with the specific hope that Africa's oldest stories, as well as a few new ones, be perpetuated by future generations and be appreciated by children throughout the world. In these "beloved stories, morsels rich with the gritty essence of Africa," we meet, among many others, a Kenyan lion named Simba, a snake with seven heads and a trickster from Zulu folklore; we hear the voices of the scheming hyena and learn from a Khoi fable how animals acquired their tails and horns. Several creation myths tell us how the land, its animals, and its people all came into existence under a punishing sun or against the backdrop of a spectacularly beautiful mountain landscape. Whether warning children about the dangers of disobedience or demonstrating that the underdog can and often does; win, these stories, through their depiction of wise animals as well as evil monsters, are "universal in their portrayal of humanity, beasts, and the mystical." What is particularly exciting about this book is that many of the stories, in their oral form, are almost as old as Africa itself. Most of them were, in fact, first told in various African tongues around evening fires in centuries past; tales from, for example, the San and the Khoi, the original hunter-gatherers and livestock herders of Southern Africa. Translated into English and other European languages chiefly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from their original languages; be they Karanga, Nguni, Xhosa, or one of many others; these folktales are a testament to the craft of storytelling and the power of myth. Accompanied by dozens of enchanting, specially commissioned color paintings, Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales; culled from African countries as far-flung as Morocco, Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya; presents a fountain of precious knowledge that will be treasured by children, as well as adults, for years to come. color illustrations
release date: Sep 01, 2000
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Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595
Presents the diary of thirteen-year-old Nzingha, a sixteenth-century West African princess who loves to hunt and hopes to lead her kingdom one day against the invasion of the Portuguese slave traders.
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