"Be strong, my Abela." These are the last words of Abela's mother in their HIV/Aids stricken African village, where it seems that to live or to die, to be sick or to be healthy, is just a matter of chance.
It takes all Abela's strength to survive her Uncle Thomas' scheming to get to Europe, but what will be her fate as an illegal immigrant? "I don't want a sister or brother," thinks Rosa in England, when her mother tells her that she wants to adopt a child.
Could these two girls ever become sisters? Is there room in Rosa's family for an African orphan haunted by lions?
Is there room in their hearts? Abela is a powerful and moving story based on true life from Carnegie award winning author Berlie Doherty writing at her very best.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 240 pages
- Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
- Publication Date: 05/07/2007
- Category: Adventure
- ISBN: 9781842706893
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Review by ElenaEstrada
How much reality is too much reality? In “The Girl who Saw Lion” Berlie Doherty attempts to write a novel about Abela, an African child who is left orphaned and unprotected. In the novel she must quickly cope with the fact that her father has died, her mother is dying from aides and her baby sister is dying as well. The society she lives in, and the culture that surrounds her, is unable to provide any support to her. In fact her own family takes advantage of her desperate situation and she is truly alone in a hostile world. Eventually she becomes property of the state where she is adopted and united to a single parent run household. Here Adela finds the love and support needed to recapture a childhood lost, and she once again transitions into a member of the family with a “new” sister Rose and a “new” mother. I would recommend this book to families who are in the process of adopting international children, or to adults who want to bring social awareness to young children about the realities of foster children. Certainly, young minds can read the book but it would be ideal if they were given the social context of the main idea of the story. Some children become refugees and lose their families, and some world organizations work through adoptions to find suitable homes where these children may find new families who can love and support them. Ages 5th grade and Up