LISTENING FOR LIONS by Gloria Whelan

LISTENING FOR LIONS

Age Range: 12 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Raised in British East Africa, Rachel knows well that when parents die, their young are vulnerable to attack. Little does she suspect that the loss of her own British missionary parents to influenza will leave her to the wicked clutches of the neighboring Pritchards. In this satisfying story set in the early 20th century, the money-grubbing Pritchards swap the unassuming 13-year-old Rachel for their spoiled daughter Valerie when Valerie dies, manipulating her into traveling to England to pose as the rich, elderly Mr. Pritchard’s granddaughter. The up-until-now somber novel blooms as the orphaned Rachel shares her newfound grandfather’s passion for bird watching and bonds with him despite her reluctant impersonation. Though it bogs down with the rehashing of Rachel’s internal dilemmas and in African animal metaphors, the story remains irresistible in a The Prince and the Pauper or The Secret Garden sort of way. Readers will cheer as the truth sets Rachel free, and as she, against all odds, becomes a doctor and returns to Africa to rebuild the hospital where her father healed patients before her. (glossary, author’s note, bibliography) (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-058174-3
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2005




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