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THE GIRL WHO SAW LIONS by Berlie Doherty Kirkus Star

THE GIRL WHO SAW LIONS

By Berlie Doherty

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59643-377-9
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Doherty artfully plaits parallel stories of two girls from different worlds whose lives ultimately intersect. An only child living in Sheffield, England, 13-year-old Rosa loves ice-skating with her single parent Mum “more than anything else in the world.” But when her mother wants to adopt a little girl, Rosa feels hurt and betrayed. Worlds away, nine-year-old Abela lives in a Tanzanian village where she and her mother spend hours each day pounding corn into flour. But Abela’s mother has AIDS and nothing Abela does can save her. When her uncle illegally sends her to England, Abela follows her mother’s advice to remain strong even though she’s alone, alienated from her culture and forced to live in seclusion. Eventually rescued and placed in foster care, Abela remains desperately homesick while waiting for a permanent family. Meanwhile, Rosa changes her mind about having an adopted sister when she realizes why her mother wants another child. Despite Abela’s sometimes distressing and disturbing treatment, this is an inspiring and compelling narrative of how two special girls with a shared heritage become a family. (Fiction. 11-14)