Beatrice's Dream: Life in an African Slum

Overview

Beatrice is a thirteen-year-old orphan in Kibera, Nairobi - a Kenyan shantytown built on refuse and rubbish and one of the biggest slums in Africa. In this book she describes her life: her walk to school, the dust that blows between her teeth and the mud she wades through, her teacher's down-to-earth encouragement, her fear of being alone, how safe she feels at school... This sensitive account in words and photographs reveals the realities of life for some of the world's most deprived people - and offers hope as ...

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Overview

Beatrice is a thirteen-year-old orphan in Kibera, Nairobi - a Kenyan shantytown built on refuse and rubbish and one of the biggest slums in Africa. In this book she describes her life: her walk to school, the dust that blows between her teeth and the mud she wades through, her teacher's down-to-earth encouragement, her fear of being alone, how safe she feels at school... This sensitive account in words and photographs reveals the realities of life for some of the world's most deprived people - and offers hope as Beatrice follows her dream—to be a nurse.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Gives young readers an honest picture of the realities of life in one of the world's most difficult places. But Beatrice's appreciation of what she is offered at school and her ambitions for the future prevent it being downbeat." — School Librarian
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Beatrice, a 13-year-old orphan who lives with her brother and his wife in a Kenyan slum, describes her current life and her hopes for the future. She touches on her 30-minute walks to school, her classes, and helping her brother in his shop. Vivid color photographs give readers a firsthand glimpse into a world about which they are likely to know nothing. Important and potentially sensitive issues such as HIV/AIDS and gender equality are brought up in a general way, but not explicitly discussed. An afterword provides background information about Kenya and discusses in greater detail the AIDS crisis and how it is being addressed. Although the book deals with difficult subject matter, it does so in an upbeat and positive way. It also underscores the importance of education; because of her hard work and diligence, Beatrice's dreams of becoming a nurse might come true. A unique and important addition.—Rita Meade, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Life for a girl in the slums of Nairobi. Beatrice, 13, tells readers about her life in Kibera, a shantytown of discarded metal, wood and other refuse. The youngest of five children, she lives with her eldest brother, Francis, and his wife. Her father perished in in a car accident, and her mother died of tuberculosis when she was 9 years old. Every weekday morning, rain or shine, she walks half an hour to school, a building built of tin. Her favorite subjects are English and Kiswahili, the official language of Kenya. Beatrice is the school timekeeper during lunch. They eat githeri, a special Kenyan dish made from beans and maize. She stays after school for extra lessons but must be home before six o'clock, when it gets dark. Often, her dog Soldier is waiting for her. Beatrice's nightly chores include making dinner and ironing. If there's enough paraffin in the small lamp, she'll also study. On weekends, she works in her brother's shop, washes clothes and helps with the marketing. All of this is told in Beatrice's matter-of-fact first-person voice. The book ends with a two-page description of the Kibera slum and a sad picture of it. Stone's beautiful color photographs—40 in all—work in tandem with Williams' simple, direct prose to capture the poverty of Kibera as well as Beatrice's resilience and many unique aspects of her life, likely unfamiliar to most American children. Informative and affecting. (Picture book. 5-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847804181
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/23/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Icelandic born artist KRISTJANA S WILLIAMS studied graphic design and illustration at Central St Martins and quickly gained critical acclaim as Creative Director of Beyond the Valley for 8 years. Williams' work has become well known throughout the industry, 2013 saw the studio Highly Commended for 'Best Use of Color' at the Dulux Color Awards. Kristjana has won a D&AD award, a New York Festivals Grand Prix & First Prize and been shortlisted for the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Wendy Stone was raised in New York City, where she trained in photography and graphic design and worked for 13 years as a graphic designer. Her career as a photographer began when she was assigned by UNICEF to photograph their projects around the south-west Pacific. Since then she has travelled to many African countries on assignment for UN agencies, magazines and newspapers. She settled in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1988 with her husband and daughter.

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