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African Countries – Fiction

November 16, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Middle school and teen fiction that takes place in specific African countries (see note):
Algeria ; Angola ; Benin ; Botswana ; Burkina Faso ; Burundi ; Cameroon ; Cape Verde ; Central African Republic ; Chad ; Comoros ; Democratic Republic of the Congo ; Republic of the Congo ; Cote D’Ivoire ; Djibouti ; Egypt ; Equatorial Guinea ; Eritrea ; Ethiopia ; Gabon ; The Gambia ; Ghana ; Guinea ; Guinea-Bissau ; Kenya ; Lesotho ; Liberia ; Libya ; Madagascar ; Malawi ; Mali ; Mauritania ; Mauritius ; Mayotte ; Morocco ; Mozambique ; Namibia ; Niger ; Nigeria ; Rwanda ; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha ; Sao Tome and Principe ; Senegal ; Seychelles ; Sierra Leone ; Somalia ; South Africa ; Sudan ; Swaziland ; Tanzania ; Togo ; Tunisia ; Uganda ; Western Sahara ; Zambia ; Zimbabwe

AFRICA FICTION (download .doc) or  AFRICA FICTION (download .pdf)


Nzingha, Warrior Queen of Matamba by Patricia McKissack (Scholastic 2000) 153*
Presents the diary of thirteen-year-old Nzingha, a sixteenth-century West African princess who loves to hunt and hopes to lead her kingdom one day against the invasion of the Portuguese slave traders.


Precious and the Mystery of Meerkat Hill by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor Books, 2013)
Precious Ramotswe has two new friends at school and they have the funniest and most resourceful pet you can imagine. But they are upset that their family’s most valuable possession, their cow, has gone missing. Precious has a plan to find the missing animal but she needs the help of another in her search. Will she succeed and what obstacles will she face on her path?


In the Time of Trouble by Charlotte Weaver-Gelzer (Dutton 1993) TEEN 7*
Fourteen-year-old Jessie, daughter of missionaries, finds her life and her relationship with her siblings changed by the worsening political strife in Cameroon during the late 1950s.


Bone Dry by Kathleen Karr (Hyperion 2002) 37*
In the 1840s, Dr. Asa B. Cornwall, a phrenologist, and his fourteen-year-old assistant, Matthew Morrissey, travel from Paris to Northern Africa to seek the missing skull of Alexander the Great.

The Secret of the Crocodiles by Karen Wallace (Simon & Schuster 2007) 17
Thirteen-year-old Lady Violet Winters travels to Egypt with her parents and their American ward, Garth, for Christmas and finds herself trying to stop a gang of greedy tomb robbers.

Ancient Egypt

The Long-Lost Map by Pierdomenico Baccalario (Scholastic 2006) 75
Eleven-year-old twins Jason and Julia, along with their friend Rick, find themselves in ancient Egypt in search of an important map after going through a magical door in their old English mansion.

Tomorrow’s Sphinx by Clare Bell (McElderry 1986) 11*
Two unusual black cheetahs share a mental link, one cat coming from the past to reveal scenes from his life with the young pharaoh Tutankhamen, and one struggling to survive in a future world ravaged by ecological disaster.

Sphinx’s Princess by Esther Friesner (Random House 2009) TEEN 38*
Although she is a dutiful daughter, Nefertiti’s dancing abilities, remarkable beauty, and intelligence garner attention near and far, so much so that her family is summoned to the Egyptian royal court, where Nefertiti becomes a pawn in the power play of her scheming aunt, Queen Tiye. And sequel: “Sphinx’s Queen

Cleopatra VII, Daughter of the Nile by Kristiana Gregory (Scholastic 1999) 188*
While her father is in hiding after attempts on his life, twelve-year-old Cleopatra records in her diary how she fears for her own safety and hopes to survive to become Queen of Egypt some day.

Reawakened by Colleen Hock (Delacorte, 2015)
A visit to an Egyptian exhibit brings teen Lilliana Young face to face with a recently awakened mummy-turned-handsome-sun-god as she gets caught up in an adventure with more twists and turns than the Nile itself

Pharaoh’s Daughter: A Novel Of Ancient Egypt by Julius Lester (Harcourt 2000) TEEN 111*
A fictionalized account of the Biblical tale in which a Hebrew infant, rescued by the daughter of the Pharaoh, passes through a turbulent adolescence to eventually become a prophet of his people while his sister finds her true self as a priestess to the Egyptian gods.

The Ugly Goddess by Elsa Marston (Cricket 2002) 17
Fourteen-year-old Princess Meret is unhappy with her future as consort of the Egyptian god Amun, especially after meeting Hector, a handsome Greek soldier, but when she is kidnapped, it is up to Hector and a young servant boy to help rescue her with the aid of the goddess Taweret.

Casting the Gods Adrift: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine McCaughrean (Cricket Books 2002, c1989) 36
Tutmose, an apprentice sculptor, and his nearly-blind brother, Ibrim, an apprentice musician, are content at the court of Pharoah Akhenaten, but their father rages against Pharoah’s rejection of traditional Egyptian gods and plots a deadly revenge.

Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer (Simon & Schuster 2011) TEEN 0
Princess Cleopatra, the third (and favorite) daughter of King Ptolemy XII, comes of age in ancient Egypt, accumulating power and discovering love.

The Pharaoh’s Secret by Marissa Moss (Amulet 2009) 28
When fourteen-year-old Talibah and her ten-year-old brother, Adom, visit modern-day Egypt with their historian-father, they become involved in a mystery surrounding Hatshepsut, a woman pharoah, and Senenmut, architect of her mortuary tomb, as well as their own deceased mother.

A Place in the Sun by Jill Rubalcaba (Clarion 1997) 24*
In ancient Egypt, the gifted young son of a sculptor is taken into slavery when he attempts to save his father’s life, and is himself almost killed before his exceptional talent leads Pharoah to name him Royal Sculptor.

The Wadjet Eye by Jill Rubalcaba (Clarion 2000) 24*
After his mother dies, Damon, a young medical student living in Alexandria, Egypt, in 45 B.C., makes a perilous journey to Spain to locate his father who is serving in the Roman army led by Julius Caesar.

His Majesty, Queen Hatshepsut by Dorothy Sharp Carter (Lippincott 1987) 46
A fictionalized account of the life of Hatshepsut, a queen in ancient Egypt who declared herself king and ruled as such for more than twenty years.

Maia of Thebes: 1463 B.C. by Ann Turner (Scholastic 2005) 24
A young Egyptian girl, whose brother secretly taught her to read and write, accuses her uncle of stealing grain from the temple and must run away from Thebes to survive.

The Hour of the Cobra by Maiya Williams (Amulet 2006) 27*
When Rowan, Nina, Xanthe, and Xavier are reunited in a time travel mission to ancient Egypt in the time of Cleopatra, a jealous Xanthe makes decisions which put them all in jeopardy.


Saba: Under the Hyena’s Foot by Jane Kurtz (Pleasant Company 2003) TEEN 75*
After being kidnapped and brought to the emperor’s palace in Gondar, Ethiopia, twelve-year-old Saba discovers that she and her brother are part of the emperor’s desperate attempt to consolidate political power in the mid-1840’s.

The Storyteller’s Beads by Jane Kurtz (Harcourt 1998) 60*
During the political strife and famine of the 1980’s, two Ethiopian girls, one Christian and the other Jewish and blind, struggle to overcome many difficulties, including their prejudices about each other, as they make the dangerous journey out of Ethiopia.

The Garbage King by Elizabeth Laird (Barron’s 2003) TEEN 17*
This novel of unusual power for older boys and girls tells the gripping and dramatic story of homeless street children forced to do whatever they have to do in order to stay alive in the brutal slums of an Ethiopian city.

The Return by Sonia Levitin (Atheneum 1987) TEEN 85*
Desta and the other members of her Falasha family, Jews suffering from discrimination in Ethiopia, finally flee the country and attempt the dangerous journey to Israel.

Daughters of the Ark by Anna Morgan (Second Story 2005) 2
In this historical novel, fourteen-year-old Debritu, an Ethiopian Jew, travels with her family across the mountains of Ethiopia and the desert of the Sudan in order to reach Khartoum, where they are airlifted to safety in Israel.

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein (Hyperion, 2015)
Having moved to Ethiopia to avoid the prejudices of 1930s America, Emilia Menotti, her black adoptive brother Teo, and their mother Rhoda, a stunt pilot, are devoted to their new country even after war with Italy looms, drawing the teens into the conflict.

Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah (Bloomsbury 2002) TEEN 22*
Fourteen-year-old Alem Kelo adjusts to life as a foster child seeking asylum in London, while his Eritrean mother and Ethiopian father work for peace between their homelands in Africa.


Aluta by Adwoa Badoe (House of Anansi Press, 2016) TEEN
For eighteen-year-old Charlotte, university life is better than she’d ever dreamed, a sophisticated and generous roommate, the camaraderie of dorm living, parties, clubs and boyfriends. Most of all, Charlotte is exposed to new ideas, and in 1981 Ghana, this may be the most exciting and most dangerous adventure of all.

The Door of No Return by Sarah Mussi (McElderry 2008) TEEN 47*
Sixteen-year-old Zac never believed his grandfather’s tales about their enslaved ancestors being descended from an African king, but when his grandfather is murdered and the villains come after Zac, he sets out for Ghana to find King Baktu’s long-lost treasure before the murderers do.


Our Secret, Siri Aang by Cristina Kessler (Philomel 2004) TEEN 32*
Namelok, a Masai girl, tries to persuade her traditionalist father to delay her initiation and marriage because they will restrict her freedom and keep her from the black rhino mother and baby she is protecting from poachers.

Countdown by Ben Mikaelsen (Hyperion 1996) 56*
In two parallel stories, a fourteen-year-old boy who is NASA’s first Junior Astronaut and a fourteen-year-old Masai herder in Kenya both mature while questioning their family traditions.

Burn My Heart by Beverley Naidoo (Amistad 2009) TEEN 59
While the Mau Mau rebellion threatens the British settlers living in Kenya during the 1950s, Mathew and Mugo maintain their friendship, despite their different races, but during these tense times, a single act of betrayal could alter everything.

The Baboon King by Anton Quintana (Walker 1999) TEEN 48*
Son of a Kikuyu mother and a Masai herdsman father, Morengáru the hunter lives on the edges of tribal society until an actual banishment forces him to make a life for himself among a troop of baboons.

Adventure at Simba Hill by Susan Runholt (Viking 2011) 0
When fourteen-year-old best friends Kari and Lucas travel to an archaeological dig in Kenya with Kari’s uncle Geoff, they help expose a smuggling ring.

Thunder Cave by Roland Smith (Hyperion 1995) 36
Determined, after his mother’s accidental death, to foil his stepfather’s plans for his future, fourteen-year-old Jacob travels alone to Africa in search of his father, a biologist studying elephants in a remote area of Kenya.

Safari Journal: The Adventures in Africa of Carey Monroe by Hudson Talbott (Silver Whistle 2003) 55
Twelve-year-old Casey is unhappy about being sent on a trip to Kenya with his wacky Aunt Elaine, until he encounters fascinating customs, endangered animals, and wild adventures.


Mamba Point by Kurtis Scaletta (Knopf 2010) 14
After moving with his family to Liberia, twelve-year-old Linus discovers that he has a mystical connection with the black mamba, one of the deadliest snakes in Africa, which he is told will give him some of the snake’s characteristics. Includes facts about the author’s experiences as a thirteen-year-old American living in Liberia in 1982.

Beyond the Mango Tree by Amy Bronwen Zemser (Greenwillow 1998) TEEN 53*
While living in Liberia with her possessive, diabetic mother and often-absent father, twelve-year-old Sarina longs for a friend with whom to experience the world beyond her yard.


Hacking Timbuktu by Stephen Davies (Clarion 2010) TEEN 22*
London sixteen-year-old Danny Temple and friend Omar use their computer and parkour skills to elude pursuers as they follow clues in an Arabic manuscript to the mysterious cliffs of Bandiagara in sub-Saharan Africa seeking an ancient treasure.

Trouble in Timbuktu by Cristina Kessler (Philomel 2009) TEEN 15
Ignoring her parents’ wishes, as well as the customary place of women in Timbuktu society, twelve-year-old Ayisha joins her twin brother in trying to stop a pair of tourists from stealing an ancient manuscript.

Never Forgotten by Patricia McKissack (Schwartz & Wade 2011) 0
In eighteenth-century West Africa, a boy raised by his blacksmith father and the Mother Elements–Wind, Fire, Water, and Earth–is captured and taken to America as a slave.


City Boy by Jan Michael (Clarion 2009) 17*
In the southern African country of Malawi, after the AIDS-related deaths of both of his parents, a boy leaves his affluent life in the city to live in a rural village, sharing a one-roomed hut with his aunt, his cousins, and other orphans.


Do You Know Me? by Nancy Farmer (Orchard 1993) 23
Although he is continually getting into trouble, Tapiwa’s uncle becomes her best friend when he comes from Mozambique to live with her family in Harare, Zimbabwe.

A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer (Orchard 1996) 266*
While fleeing from Mozambique to Zimbabwe to escape an unwanted marriage, Nhamo, an eleven-year-old Shona girl, struggles to escape drowning and starvation and in so doing comes close to the luminous world of the African spirits.


Song of Be by Lesley Beake (Holt 1993) TEEN 34*
Be, a young Bushman woman searching in the desert for the peace she remembers from her childhood, realizes that she and her people must reconcile new personal and political realities with ancient traditions.

The Elephant’s Tale by Lauren St. John (Dial 2010) 27
A fourth prophecy, this time involving elephants, comes true for eleven-year-old Martine, an orphaned South African girl with mystical healing powers over animals, when she and her grandmother are faced with losing the Sawubona Game Reserve forever.


The Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo (HarperCollins 2001) 152*
Smuggled out of Nigeria after their mother’s murder, Sade and her younger brother are abandoned in London when their uncle fails to meet them at the airport and they are fearful of their new surroundings and of what may have happened to their journalist father back in Nigeria.

The African Mask by Janet E. Rupert (Clarion 1994) 11*
Twelve-year-old Layo, a Yoruba girl living in the area of eleventh-century Africa which is now Nigeria, attempts to reject the man who has been chosen to be her husband.


Broken Memory: A Novel of Rwanda by Elisabeth Combres (Groundwood 2009) TEEN 17*
Five year-old Emma witnesses the brutal murder of her mother during the 1994 genocide massacres in Rwanda and seeks shelter with an aging Hutu woman; but years later when war ends, Emma’s fears continue to haunt her as she finds the courage to begin her healing.

Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You by Hanna Jansen (Carolrhoda 2006) TEEN 100*
Jeanne, the only member of her family not murdered in the Rwandan genocide, struggles to start a new life without her family while coping with the violent memories that haunt her.


No Condition is Permanent by Cristina Kessler (Philomel 2003) TEEN 23*
When shy fourteen-year-old Jodie accompanies her anthropologist mother to live in Sierra Leone, she befriends a local girl but encounters a cultural divide that cannot be crossed.


92 Queens Roadby Dianne Case (1995) TEEN *
Living a sheltered life with her loving family in Cape Town in the 1960s, Kathy comes to realize that she is considered a lesser person by many because of the color of her skin.

Many Stones by Carolyn Coman (Front Street 2000) TEEN *
After her sister Laura is murdered in South Africa, Berry and her estranged father travel there to participate in the dedication of a memorial in her name.

Zulu Dog by Anton Ferreira (Farrar 2002) *
In post-apartheid South Africa, a Zulu boy keeps secrets from his family as he cares for an injured dog and befriends the daughter of a white farmer.

Kaleidoscope Song by Fox Benwell (Simon & Schuster 2017) TEEN
In Khayelitsha, South Africa, Neo’s passion for music leads her to her first love–Tale, the female lead singer of a local band–and an internship at the local radio station, and both experiences teach Neo about the risks and rewards of using her own voice to empower others.

Stones for My Father by Trilby Kent (Tundra Books, 2011) TEEN
Corlie Roux’s life in South Africa is not easy. But when the British invade and drive out the Boer families, some of them are driven to internment camps. This happens to Corlie. Will the love of her country survive the British invasion?

No Turning Back: A Novel of South Africa by Beverley Naidoo (HarperCollins 1997) *
When the abuse at home becomes too much for twelve-year-old Sipho, he runs away to the streets of Johannesburg and learns to survive in the post-apartheid world.

Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope by Beverley Naidoo (HarperCollins 2003) *
Seven stories, spanning the time period from 1948 to 2000, chronicle the experiences of young people from different races and ethnic groups as they try to cope with the restrictions placed on their lives by South Africa’s apartheid laws.

This Thing Called the Future by J. L. Powers (Cinco Puntos 2011) TEEN
Fourteen-year-old Khosi’s mother wants her to get an education to break out of their South African shantytown, although she herself is wasting away from an untreated illness, while Khosi’s grandmother, Gogo, seeks help from a traditional Zulu healer.

No Tigers in Africa by Norman Silver (Penguin 1992) TEEN
Newly arrived in England from South Africa, a fifteen-year-old’s family deteriorates, as the effects of living under apartheid take a toll on every aspect of the family members’ lives.

The Elephant’s Tale by Lauren St. John (Dial 2010)
A fourth prophecy, this time involving elephants, comes true for eleven-year-old Martine, an orphaned South African girl with mystical healing powers over animals, when she and her grandmother are faced with losing the Sawubona Game Reserve forever.

The World Beneath by Janice Warman (Candlewick 2016) TEEN
In 1970s South Africa eleven-year-old Joshua, living with his mother in their employer’s house, rescues a freedom fighter on the run and, becoming aware of the political situation around him, makes difficult choices that will change his life forever.

The Night of the Burning: My Name is Devorah by Linda Press Wulf (Farrar 2006) TEEN
Still sad and frightened after living in Poland through World War I and the Russian Revolution, twelve-year-old Devorah Lehrman, her younger sister, and other Jewish orphans travel with Isaac Ochberg to South Africa and make a new start.


A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk by Jan L. Coates (Red Deer Press, 2011) 8
Inspired by the real life experiences of a Sudanese boy, follows Jacob Akech Deng’s journey as he flees his home under the threat of war, and, guided by the memory of his mother, tries to survive in a refugee camp.

Dream Freedom by Sonia Levitin (Silver Whistle, 2000)
Marcus and his classmates learn about the terrible problem of slavery in present-day Sudan and raise money to help buy the freedom of some of the slaves. Alternate chapters tell the stories of the slaves.

Year of No Rain by Alice Mead (Farrar 2003) 47*
In 1999, when rebel soldiers come to their village in southern Sudan, Stephen and his friends escape but hope to be able to return again.

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (Clarion 2010) 57*
When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.


Papa Tembo by Eric Campbell (Harcourt 1998) TEEN 7
Left with an injured leg when hit by an elephant calf running from gunfire during a massacre, the poacher vows revenge and initiates a tragedy which only one young girl can prevent.

The Place of Lions by Eric Campbell (Harcourt 1991) TEEN 40*
When the plane flying Chris and his father crashes on the Serengeti Plain, Chris sets out to find help and finds that his journey is paralleled by that of an aging lion.

The Year of the Leopard Song by Eric Campbell (Harcourt 1992) TEEN 9
Two boys, one British and one African, are caught up in a tribal ceremony on Mount Kilimanjaro that is destined to alter their lives forever.

The Girl Who Saw Lions by Berlie Doherty (Roaring Brook 2008) TEEN 32
In alternating voices, thirteen-year-old Rosa and her mother are trying to adopt a Tanzanian child in England, while in Tanzania, nine-year-old Abela watches her family die and her uncle illegally sends her to England, in the hopes of selling her.


Child of Dandelions by Shenaaz Nanji (Front Street 2008) TEEN 26
In Uganda in 1972, fifteen-year-old Sabine and her family, wealthy citizens of Indian descent, try to preserve their normal life during the ninety days allowed by President Idi Amin for all foreign Indians to leave the country, while soldiers and others terrorize them and people disappear.


Do You Know Me? by Nancy Farmer (Orchard 1993) 23
Although he is continually getting into trouble, Tapiwa’s uncle becomes her best friend when he comes from Mozambique to live with her family in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer (Orchard 1994) 321*
In 2194 in Zimbabwe, General Matsika’s three children are kidnapped and put to work in a plastic mine while three mutant detectives use their special powers to search for them.

A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer (Orchard 1996) 266*
While fleeing from Mozambique to Zimbabwe to escape an unwanted marriage, Nhamo, an eleven-year-old Shona girl, struggles to escape drowning and starvation and in so doing comes close to the luminous world of the African spirits.

Sahwira: An African Friendship by Carolyn Marsden (Candlewick 2009) 11
The strong friendship between two boys, one black and one white, who live on a mission in Rhodesia, begins to unravel as protests against white colonial rule intensify in 1964.

The Last Leopard by Lauren St. John (Dial 2009) 44
A third prophecy, this time involving a leopard, comes true for eleven-year-old Martine, an orphaned South African girl who has mystical healing powers over animals, when she travels with her grandmother and best friend Ben to Zimbabwe.

Now is the Time for Running by Michael Williams (Little, Brown 2011) 0
When soldiers attack a small village in Zimbabwe, Deo goes on the run with Innocent, his older, mentally disabled brother, carrying little but a leather soccer ball filled with money, and after facing prejudice, poverty, and tragedy, it is in soccer that Deo finds renewed hope.

NOTE: Red numbers denote how many holdings are noted in reQuest. An asterisk means that the book is available at the State Library Service Centers.

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