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Abela: the girl who saw lions by Berlie Doherty

Anderson Press

Charlene W, Clyde Valley High School


What’s the story?
The book is a story of a young girl who loses everything in her home in Tanzania, Africa. Her Uncle Thomas devises a plan to get himself and Abela into Britain but they are detected as illegal immigrants and Abela is put into a foster home. She runs away but is found in hospital. Meanwhile a girl called Rosa is told her Mum wants to adopt, but she’s not sure if she wants a brother or sister.

Both these girls’ lives are going to change forever.

Themes and Issues
Finding where you belong. How some countries do not have enough money for medical basics. HIV and the stigma attached to the illness and how children are treated in poorer countries.

Is it for me?
Usually I wouldn’t pick up a book like this, but this book has earned a special place in my heart. I felt like I was in the book, following Abela’s and Rosa’s adventures. It shows how a girl would survive in a country she has never seen before. The story is unique and makes me want to find out more about Tanzania and the trouble it faces. This is a book I couldn’t put down!

Back to Catalyst 2008


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