Abdul sells oranges in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where it costs money to go to school. Trying to save enough for the fee is...

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"BE PATIENT, ABDUL"

Abdul sells oranges in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where it costs money to go to school. Trying to save enough for the fee is slow work, since this seven-year-old never earns more than a few coins a day, and sometimes not even that. His family tells him to be patient, but Abdul isn't. When his taxi-driving father contributes a busy day's earnings (the day Sierra Leone celebrates the anniversary of its independence), Abdul rejoices at meeting his goal. In her first book, Sandoval paints a warm and colorful picture of West African culture in loosely rendered acrylic illustrations, showing open-air markets, Abdul and his father praying on their prayer rugs, a parade, and Abdul's mother carrying her baby in a sling on her back. The text includes interesting details as well but is often too earnest and explanatory; the pacing is thrown off by the inclusion of less-relevant incidents (as when Abdul is separated from his mother and must make his way home independently). Nevertheless, this offers a useful perspective on a culture where an education is something children don't take for granted. An author's note provides a brief history of Sierra Leone.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1996