Sarah's Stars

Berlie Doherty. Abela: The Girl Who Saw Lions
Andersen Press  $11.95  ISBN 978-1-84270-725-8  236 pg.
Reviewed by Taya, Age 11

Please, please, holy God who comes with the priest to our church, don’t let them kill me. Please. You’ve already taken my Mother and Father. Please let me live. These were the words that were beating in my head like drums, so fast that they weren’t words at all, so loud that they drowned my heartbeats and the tremble of my breath.

This story takes place in Tanzania, Africa and Sheffield, England. Abela lives in Tanzania and has lost everything, and Rosa lives in England with her mother who wants to adopt a Tanzanian girl because Rosa’s father came from Tanzania. He left because he couldn’t get used to life in the city. However, Rosa is against it, the very thought that someone could steal her mother away from her. Once Rosa starts thinking about it she decides she really does want to adopt. Abela comes to England as an illegal immigrant and is coped up in a small house forced to be a slave to her Auntie.  Social services put Abela up for adoption and she may just be perfect for Rosa and her mother.

Abela –The Girl Who Saw Lions would probably be most suitable for grades 4-6.  Some parts about Abela reminded me of Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery because she is an orphan that no one wants.  Abela has been published in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands as well as the U.S.A.  I liked the character Rosa a lot because she was easy to relate to.  I also liked Abela because she was more interesting than Rosa and she had more adventures.  They are both very different and also very alike.        

I really enjoyed this book.  It was hard to put down and right from the beginning you got into the story.  The story was a little predictable but there were exciting twists to keep it interesting.  I really liked how the story was written from more than one perspective.  This story was easy to read and it was easy to visualize the places and people.  I liked the ending too because it didn’t leave you hanging.  

I would give Abela –The Girl Who Saw Lions 4 and one half gold stars!!  It is a great book and I really enjoyed it!

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