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THEMBA by Margaret Sacks


by Margaret Sacks & illustrated by Wil Clay

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-525-67414-4
Publisher: Dutton

 The author of Beyond Safe Boundaries (1990), an evocative YA novel about growing up Jewish in South Africa, returns to her native land with a story for younger children. Here, Themba- -concerned because his father has not returned, as promised, from three years in the gold mines--gets to Queenstown by hiding in a truck, carrying a hen he hopes to use as payment for a ticket to Johannesburg. Fortunately, ``Utata'' arrives on the train, which had been too crowded the week before. The simple, nondidactic narrative integrates a number of cultural details: the communal cooking in Themba's Xhosa village, the contrasting home of his white friend Koos, his first encounter with a modern town. Effectively depicting the dramatic moments, Clay's softly rendered b&w illustrations will help young Americans visualize the African scene. Not outstanding, but nice. (Fiction. 7-10)