Sosu's Call

Overview

Genuine and moving with an endearing exciting story children will love Sosu s Call offers a glimpse into the lagoon-side world of a little boy named Sosu. His legs don t work quite as well as the other children s and Sosu s life is defined by his disability - or is it? - Nashville Parent

When a great storm threatens, Sosu, an African boy who is unable to walk, joins his dog Fusa in helping save their village.

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Overview

Genuine and moving with an endearing exciting story children will love Sosu s Call offers a glimpse into the lagoon-side world of a little boy named Sosu. His legs don t work quite as well as the other children s and Sosu s life is defined by his disability - or is it? - Nashville Parent

When a great storm threatens, Sosu, an African boy who is unable to walk, joins his dog Fusa in helping save their village.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ghanian author Asare (Cat in Search of a Friend) touches on weighty themes of prejudice and courage as he introduces Sosu, a disabled African boy whose bravery eclipses his physical limitations. Incapable of walking, Sosu is shunned: "It is bad luck to have the likes of him in our village.... You must keep him in your house," two fishermen tell Sosu's father. While children will empathize with the unfairness of Sosu's situation, the story moves sluggishly. Lengthy blocks of text unhurriedly relate both the poignant and exciting moments. It is mainly through slow, third-person-omniscient narration that readers learn of Sosu's feelings, as in Sosu's jealousy of his active dog or his interest in watching the chickens, "perhaps because there was nothing to envy about them!" When storm waters rage one day, Sosu drags himself to the drum shed, where he beats out a rhythm to call the men back from their work, to help save the others. Drab hues dominate the watercolors in the climactic scenes and elsewhere, possibly echoing Sosu's feelings of deficiency and loneliness but issuing little welcome to readers. And while rainbow colors grace the final spread when Sosu receives a wheelchair for his heroic deed the ending is a bit of an abrupt turnaround. Children may celebrate the message of Sosu's triumph, if not the way in which it is delivered. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Sosu lives in a small village that is both blessed and burdened by lying between the sea and the lagoon. The soil is fertile and the fishing is good, but the relentless forces of nature erode more and more of the land. Sosu is unable to walk and yearns to enjoy the sights and exhilaration of being outside. The villagers think that Sosu would bring bad luck and they don't want to see him. One day, when most of the men and women have left for the day and the older children are at school, a storm hits the village and the wind and rain threaten to trap those left behindĀ¾the young, the old and the ill. Sosu puzzles over how to save them and comes up with a smart idea. His success convinces people that he is not bad luck and his life changes. The story won the 1999 UNESCO Prize for Children's and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance and is a 2001 IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities Award. 2002 (orig. 1997), Kane/Miller, $15.95. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford AGES: 5 6 7 8
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Sosu lives in a small village "Somewhere on a narrow strip of land between the sea and the lagoon." Unable to walk and considered "bad luck" by the villagers, he is forced to stay at home with only a dog for company while his brother and sister attend school and his parents go to work. But when a storm causes the sea to overflow, threatening the lives of the young and the old, Sosu conquers his fear and, led by his dog, crawls through the "howling wind" and "churning water" to the drum in the chief's house. His drumming brings help, and in gratitude for the lives saved, the villagers provide Sosu with a wheelchair. African designs grace the endpapers, and Asare's pastel-hued, impressionistic watercolors aptly depict life in an African fishing village: the blue sea, swaying palms, thatched huts, and villagers going about their daily chores. When Sosu is thought to be a spirit, accusing neighbors loom over him in black gray shadows in a particularly eerie spread. The lengthy text contains some lyrical descriptions and evidence of the author's love of the land. While there is never any doubt that Sosu will save the day, and some of the dog's actions stretch credibility, this story of overcoming a serious physical challenge and achieving acceptance may offer hope and inspiration to young readers.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Originally published in 1997 in Ghana, this well-meaning but predictable story concerns a disabled boy who saves his village during a great storm by crawling to find a talking drum that will call the villagers back from the fields. Sosu's life is circumscribed by his lack of a wheelchair, which a grateful town finally secures for him as a reward for his brave actions. It is also limited because of traditional attitudes toward the disabled. Some people feel that he will bring bad luck to the local fishing industry or are terrified of his appearance. The sketchy, somber watercolors relying on a brown and tan palette brighten at the end as Sosu's life changes with his newly found mobility and acceptance by his neighbors. Set in a nameless West African village, this purposeful picture book may encourage discussion about living conditions for disabled children in countries around the world, but it has little appeal for the young recreational reader. Nonetheless, due to its universally important theme, the book is the winner of the 1999 UNESCO Prize for Children's and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance and a 2001 IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities Award. (Picture book. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789988550097
  • Publisher: Sub-Saharan Publishers & Traders
  • Publication date: 4/1/1997
  • Sales rank: 566,856

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