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SOSU’S CALL by Meshack Asare


by Meshack Asare & illustrated by Meshack Asare

Pub Date: March 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-929132-21-2
Publisher: Kane Miller

Originally published in 1997 in Ghana, this well-meaning but predictable story concerns a disabled boy who saves his village during a great storm by crawling to find a talking drum that will call the villagers back from the fields. Sosu’s life is circumscribed by his lack of a wheelchair, which a grateful town finally secures for him as a reward for his brave actions. It is also limited because of traditional attitudes toward the disabled. Some people feel that he will bring bad luck to the local fishing industry or are terrified of his appearance. The sketchy, somber watercolors relying on a brown and tan palette brighten at the end as Sosu’s life changes with his newly found mobility and acceptance by his neighbors. Set in a nameless West African village, this purposeful picture book may encourage discussion about living conditions for disabled children in countries around the world, but it has little appeal for the young recreational reader. Nonetheless, due to its universally important theme, the book is the winner of the 1999 UNESCO Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature in the Service of Tolerance and a 2001 IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities Award. (Picture book. 6-9)