Sarah's Stars

Megan K. Williams. Maddy’s Amazing African Birthday 
Second Story $12.95 ISBN 978-1-897187-47-0 28 pg.
Reviewed by Esme, Age 10

I rushed to the map. Everyone crowded around me with goofy grins on their faces. My uncle told me to put my finger on Africa and read out the countries, starting at the top. I slid my finger down as I read. “Egypt... Sudan... Uganda... Tanzania...”

“Stop!”  Said my uncle.

I looked closer at Tanzania. It was a big country on the east coast of the continent. There was the huge Lake Victoria at the top and the Indian Ocean to the right.
“How would you like to travel there to celebrate your birthday?” my uncle asked.

Maddy and her dad are making their homemade pasta when the phone rings. It’s Maddy’s uncle Alessandro, wishing her happy birthday, and giving her a birthday surprise. Next month, she’s off to Africa to discover the animals, scenery and cultures of Tanzania.

This was a good non-fiction book. It has lots of cool facts about Africa, and I learned a lot; like that women of some villages make flour by crushing grain with rocks, or that African elephant babies can be 200 pounds at birth. Based on a true story, this book had many amazing pictures (taken by Maddy and her uncle) of animals, scenery, and people doing many different things. Maddy discovered many amazing things on her adventure to Tanzania. All and all, Maddy’s Amazing African Birthday was a very good book!

Megan K. Williams’ most recent book is a short story collection, Saving Rome. As well as being a writer, she also produces documentaries about Africa, Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East. She has one a number of awards; her most recent being her documentary, which was a finalist in the 2008 Broadcasting awards in New York. This is her first children’s book.

Maddy’s Amazing African Birthday was a good book. I give it three stars and recommend it for ages 8-10. 


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