In a richly illustrated story set in the Asante Kingdom of 1807, Kwame, Kwaku, and Baako strive to become leaders in the Akan culture. They farm, learn spear throwing, take part in ceremonies and dances, and listen to stories while gaining an understanding of the rainforest and its animals. In the capital city to see the king and the Golden Stool and take part in an important festival, the boys encounter the wider kingdom: fine crafts, livestock, foreign people and books, and witness the sale of prisoners as slaves. Kwaku cares for a leopard cub that the king wants returned to the forest. Traveling to the coast, Kwame and Baako are kidnapped and threatened with sale as slaves. The Asante Kingdom faces rebellion and the decline of its role in the Atlantic slave trade. Change will come. Kwame, Kwaku, and Baako balance the life they know with new possibilities for their future.
Dorothy Brown Soper worked with Akan students and teachers in Ghana for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching French in a rural boarding high school. Returning to the U.S., she earned an MA in African history with plans to introduce Americans to Africa. She has developed and taught many units on African history and culture for elementary classes. We Are Akan is her first novel. Visit her at www.dorothybrownsoper.com.
James worked in Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer creating audio-visual materials to train land recipients in cash crop farming. He specializes in illustrations, caricatures, and cartoons.