Thursday, May 26, 2016

Figgy and the President : Growing up can be full of surprises by Tamsin Janu

I really enjoyed Figgy in the world and was hoping it would be selected for our CBCA awards.

Today I read the sequel Figgy and the President and I so happy to say it is just as good as the first installment.

Figgy lives in Ghana.  Her life is not easy.  As a tiny child her mother abandoned her on the doorstep of her grandmother then she lost an eye in a fire and she lives in a remote and very poor village.  Despite this Figgy has so many good things in her life. The deep love of Grandma Ama, the loyalty of her best friend Nana and her own desire to help others.

In this second installment her mother has returned.  Figgy has such mixed feelings about meeting her mother and forging a relationship with this woman she has never met.

"Why did you leave me with Grandma Ama when I was a baby?'  Mama's hand stilled.  For a few seconds I thought she was angry with me for asking.  But she soon resumed stroking my forehead and answered me, her voice calm.  'Because I couldn't look after you as well as your Grandma Ama."

Nana, her best friend, is determined to become the President of Ghana.  He too has experienced some extremely harsh circumstances in his short life including appalling abuse by his father.  Nana has now reached the safety of his new home with Grandma Ama when one day his father returns to claim him. It takes every ounce of ingenuity and bravery for Figgy to follow the trail and save her friend.

These books do go together.  I would recommend reading Figgy in the World first so you meet the amazing people who help Figgy in a variety of ways.  One of the most important is Kofi who again is able to help Figgy in such a wise and loving way.

The Figgy books are perfect for Middle Primary readers.  It can be a wonderful experience to walk a mile or two in the shoes of a different child, living in a different place and hopefully reading these books you will gain an understanding of a life so different from your own.

No comments: