Chinua Achebe for Young Readers

Today is Chinua Achebe’s birthday, and in honor of Africa’s beloved and best known literary Elder, we embarked on a web search for his children’s books.  A few generations of  secondary school students in sub-Saharan Africa have read Chinua Achebe’s classic Things Fall Apart, but not many people are aware that he has written for young readers as well.

Fortunately,  we discovered two that are still in print:  Chike and the River, andHow the Leopard got his Claws.

How the Leopard got his Claws, a children's book by Chinua Achebe

Chike and the River, by Chinua Achebe

Two other books, The Drum and The Flute, are not quite as easy to find these days.  However, we did stumble across a blog which had very good summaries of all four books.  Quite apart from its excellent title, We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie is a blog which concerns itself with children’s books by authors who are better known for their “adult” literature.

We’ll definitely be taking a closer look at that blog, but in the meantime do visit Mr. Achebe’s books there.  We promise it will be worth your while.

The Flute, a children's book by Chinua Achebe

The Drum, a children's book by Chinua Achebe

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  1. […] Langston Hughes wrote a lot for children too, and the very best place we’ve found for learning about these is the same blog which we shared in the post Chinua Achebe for Young Readers. […]