Posts Tagged 'Africa'

The Devil’s Breath by David Gilman

Genre:  Adventure/Mystery

# of Pages:  389

RAC:  Yes

Max Gordon is attacked by an assassin one day at his private school and barely escapes with his life.  Then, he finds out his father has gone missing where he is working in Africa.  Max feels his father may have discovered something in his work that has put both of them in danger so he sets out to rescue him.  Along the way, he meets with further danger, both man made and nature made.  He is greeted in Africa by a young pilot who helped get him the last known message from his father.  She introduces him to a young bushman who wants to help him see his journey through.  Can Max survive such difficult terrain and exterior threats to learn the truth about his father’s disappearance?

This story is fast paced, energetic, and unpredictable.  Max’s journey has so many obstacles and dangers that it almost seems impossible that he could ever survive.  The plot is very intricate and takes some unusual turns that readers will not have seen before.  The introduction of the bushmen culture was done very well and will help inform young readers about this group of people.  This is one that sat on my “to read” list for awhile and I wish I had gotten to it sooner because many readers will enjoy this, but especially boys.  Readers who enjoy espionage books or adventure stories like Klass’s Firestorm will devour this book and want more.




Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 228 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Jared Finch and his family have agreed to take in a refugee family from Africa that their church is sponsoring. Jared is less than thrilled with the idea of sharing his room, his house, and his school with total strangers. The arrangement was made at the last minute when the planned apartment fell through. When the family arrives they seem distracted and afraid of everything as if something is chasing them. Jared also starts to notice that they do not act as a family. They hardly speak to each other and no one seems that concerned that the young daughter, Alake, has yet to speak or show any emotion about anything. Despite all of his misgivings, Jared begins to feel compassion and love for this family as his family helps them adjust to life in America. His concerns are not unfounded, however, and a dark secret is about to expose them all to terrible danger.

This book discusses what life is like in Africa including child armies, cruel treatment, and blood diamonds. The Finches, like many American families, are oblivious to the fact that people have to live in conditions like this. They are surprised that this African family has never seen a grocery store before and therefore cannot even fathom losing family members to preventable diseases and being forced to do things they would never do otherwise simply because a gun is pointed at their heads. This story discusses real issues that are going on in the world and would be a great read for any person. In addition to being informative, it is compelling and interesting all the way through. Highly recommended.