It may be cold and wet outside, but it’s a great day to celebrate the publication of a book that begins in a much sunnier country, Tanzania. The Girl Who Saw Lions is about an orphaned African child who is smuggled to London by her uncle. She has no relatives, no passport, and the only person she knows is her uncle’s girlfriend, who treats her as a house slave. Abela longs to join the children she sees through her window, and one day she runs away and follows them to school. She is an illegal immigrant, and now she is homeless.
If this sounds familiar to you then you will realise that it has been previously published as Abela, which has been translated into many languages. This year the publishers, Andersen Press, chose to relaunch it with the new title and a stunning new cover. The items on the front cover represent all the things Abela has left behind in Africa. The back cover represents the things that feature in the life of the other child in the story, Rosa, who lives in Sheffield with her mother. The book traces the journeys of the two girls to a new and unexpected happiness. Read much more about The Girl Who Saw Lions here.
Andersen Press have compiled an extremely useful guide for using The Girl Who Saw Lions in the classroom, with many interesting questions for discussion and great ideas for follow-up work. You can find it here (PDF format) or in text form at the bottom of my The Girl Who Saw Lions page.
The Girl Who saw Lions is a Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month (January 2018)