The Mzungu Boy

The Mzungu Boy

Written by: Mwangi, Meja
ages 10 to 12 / grades 5 to 7

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Winner, Children's Africana Book Award - Best Book for Older Readers

For young Kariuki, life in a small village in central Kenya is one great adventure. And when he meets Nigel life becomes even more interesting. Nigel is from England and he has come to visit his great grandfather, the fearsome Bwana Ruin who owns the farm where all the villagers work. The villagers call Nigel the mzungu boy, and they view him with suspicion and fear.

Nevertheless, Kariuki becomes friends with Nigel and the two spend happy days exploring the forest together. Then one day the two boys decide to hunt down Old Moses, the biggest, ugliest, oldest and meanest warthog in the forest. The hunt takes them deeper into the jungle than Kariuki has ever gone, and his beloved forest becomes a frightening place, filled with dangerous creatures, including the Mau-mau, the mysterious men who have guns and are plotting against Bwana Ruin and the white soldiers. And when Nigel suddenly disappears, Kariuki realizes that it is up to him to save his friend.

Winner, Children's Africana Book Award - Best Book for Older Readers

For young Kariuki, life in a small village in central Kenya is one great adventure. And when he meets Nigel life becomes even more interesting. Nigel is from England and he has come to visit his great grandfather, the fearsome Bwana Ruin who owns the farm where all the villagers work. The villagers call Nigel the mzungu boy, and they view him with suspicion and fear.

Nevertheless, Kariuki becomes friends with Nigel and the two spend happy days exploring the forest together. Then one day the two boys decide to hunt down Old Moses, the biggest, ugliest, oldest and meanest warthog in the forest. The hunt takes them deeper into the jungle than Kariuki has ever gone, and his beloved forest becomes a frightening place, filled with dangerous creatures, including the Mau-mau, the mysterious men who have guns and are plotting against Bwana Ruin and the white soldiers. And when Nigel suddenly disappears, Kariuki realizes that it is up to him to save his friend.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Apr 1, 2005
Specifications 160 pages | 4.9 in x 7.5 in
Supporting Resources
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Excerpt
Written By Meja Mwangi was born in Nanyuki, Kenya. He is the author of several novels and children's books. Meja currently lives in Columbus, Ohio. Visit Meja Mwangi's website: http://www.mejamwangi.com/
Written By
Meja Mwangi was born in Nanyuki, Kenya. He is the author of several novels and children's books. Meja currently lives in Columbus, Ohio. Visit Meja Mwangi's website: http://www.mejamwangi.com/
Audience ages 10 to 12 / grades 5 to 7
Reading Levels Lexile 690L

Winner, Children's Africana Book Award - Best Book for Older Readers, 2006

Commended, ALA Notable Books List, 2005

Commended, SSLI Notable Books in the Language Arts (Honor Book), 2005

“...many readers will easily connect with the friendship, the exhilarating freedom of exploring nature, and the boys' bewilderment at the adult world.” —Booklist

“Mwangi's characterization is accurate and insightful...” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Mzungu Boy, with its play of light and dark, innocence and experience, goodness and evil, is a superb achievement on the part of its author, Meja Mwangi.” —Globe and Mail