Book Review – The Girl Who Saw Lions

The Girl Who Saw Lions by Berlie Doherty (Anderson Press) ISBN: 9781783446469

The Girl Who Saw Lions is one of Berlie Doherty’s more than 35 books for children. It is inspired by the author’s visit to Africa. The book explores some cultural rituals, like female genital mutilation, which is still practised in some parts of Africa, and issues like child trafficking.

Doherty tells of a tale of two girls brought together by fate. Abela is born to Tanzanian parents who both die of AIDS. She is left in the care of her grandmother together with her young sister who later also dies. Her uncle from Britain comes in the name of rescuing her and sends her to her newly wedded wife. Things turn out badly for her and ends up in foster care.

Meanwhile Rosa finds out that her mother, a British citizen, wants to adopt, not just a child but a Tanzanian child because Rosa’s father is also Tanzanian.

This is a moving and wonderful read suitable for children 12 years and above.

Sinobukhosi Mpofu