MADOULINA by Joël Eboueme Bognomo


A Girl Who Wanted to Go to School
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Madoulina, an eight-year-old girl from Cameroon, would much rather go to school than sell fritters in the market place. But her family needs money, and that’s more important than her education. Or so they think, until the day Madoulina meets Mr. Garba, a teacher. He concocts a plan so that Madoulina can go to class and sell the fritters to the school for lunch. Despite having to make up several weeks of homework, Madoulina is overjoyed to return to her friends and her lessons, and Mr. Garba ends up becoming “like a father” to her. The cultural differences between the US and Cameroon, which this book highlights, isn’t wealth or class, but the attitudes toward education. It will be an eye-opener for most American children: in countries where child labor is necessary to sustain a family, education is a luxury. The bright, folksy illustrations—unusually naive—portray West African family life; fritters are cooked outdoors around a fire, and the kitchen ceiling is nothing but blue sky and the leaves of banana trees. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-56397-769-9
Page count: 24pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1999