BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Warrior Boy
Author: Virginia Clay
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: September 2018
Most Suitable For: Years 5-6
Imagine, as a London schoolboy, having the opportunity to take a trip to Kenya to meet your Maasai family for the first time. This is the premise of Virginia Clay’s Warrior Boy, as 12-year-old Ben embarks upon not just a physical voyage to a different continent but also a journey of self-discovery and acceptance.
At school, Ben knows he doesn’t fit in with the tougher boys; he is hard-working, sensitive and faints at the sight of blood. One day an opportunity arises for Ben to join his filmmaker mum on a trip to Kenya, where his father (who Ben never knew) came from and his family still live a traditional Maasai lifestyle. Excited about experiencing a new culture, Ben’s biggest concern is that he might not fit in well with his family there. After all, he’s not exactly warrior material….is he?
Upon arriving in Kenya, Ben meets his family and begins to familiarise himself with the African setting, which is described so evocatively by the author. Ben quickly forms a close bond with his cousin Kip and hopes to gain acceptance from his Grandfather, who speaks no English but is the respected head of the family.
Danger lurks too in the Maasai Mara. Elephant poaching is a key theme of the story, as Ben’s mum is working on a documentary to reveal the truth about the ivory trade. There are some very moving scenes that explore the frightening consequences of the poaching situation for the beautiful elephants. The story climaxes quite dramatically as the danger represented by the poachers spills out to threaten the lives of the characters and gives Ben the opportunity to prove himself to his Maasai family.
This is an interesting and enjoyable read that carries an important conservation message as well as celebrating the joy of embracing cultural roots.
We have a copy of Warrior Boy to give away to one of our followers!
------------------ You may also like Virginia's guest blog post about Nature Deficit Disorder and Warrior Boy.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this book.