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Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna Paperback – October 11, 2005
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Gr. 5-12. This simple memoir is the extraordinary story of a poor nomadic boy in Kenya who literally travels across the world but never abandons home. Lekuton grew up in Kenya's poorest tribe, herding cows and playing in trees and hyena holes before he entered a missionary boarding school and went to college in the U.S. Now he teaches in Virginia, but he has never lost his Maasai roots, and he returns home to help his people several months a year. Looking back without romanticism or self-pity, he remembers how it was: the joy and excitement, the constant hunger and moving, and the traditions, including the circumcision ceremony that made him a man. The Cinderella theme begins in Kenya where he's the shabby kid accepted at a fancy Nairobi high school. Later he travels to his college interview in a cattle truck with the cows. What gives this short, readable book its power is Lekuton's authoritative, intimate view of now and then. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Every home should have this book."
--"The Baltimore Afro-American"
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Top Customer Reviews
I read it to my kids (11,9,7,4) while we were in Kenya. (Though they could have read it by themselves- I did not want to miss it!!!)
Joseph is a boy that grew up in a Massai tribe and explains his world so well that you start to understand their way of thinking.
The book has short chapters. It would be an easy read for a reluctant reader.
If you study about Africa, Kenya or Massai, it is a must!
Your students will love it and beg for just ONE more chapter!!!
I love the message that education is important. How hard some students have to fight to reach their goal. What a different world it is to be brought up in a tribe that does not acknowledge education.
Note: I did skip one chapter (of the last chapters) which talks about Josephs experience about circumcision (because of my 7 and 4 year old) while the older ones read it by themselves.