‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.’ – George R.R. Martin
When hopping onto a plane or finding a time machine isn’t an option, we rely on our bookshelves to transport us away to different lands and times. At ONE, we love that books give us the opportunity to view historical events, cultures, day-to-day living, and development issues from a personal perspective.
We’ve searched high and low to find the most compelling and well-written books about Africa. Keep reading below to see some of our favourite finds:
My name is Blessing – Eric Walters
This true story penned by Canadian author Eric Walters may be geared towards children, but the themes and topics covered in this book about a young boy in Kenya will appeal to adults as well.
Running the Rift – Naomi Benaron
Told from the perspective of a Tutsi, this story will take you through the build up of ethnic tension in Rwanda to its violent conclusion: the 1994 genocide.
Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War – Leymah Gbowee with Carol Mithers
Leymah Gbowee’s personal account brings you through life before, during, and after Liberia’s Civil War and demonstrates how women are an essential part of the peace-building process.
The Girl Who Married a Lion: And Other Tales From Africa – Alexander McCall Smith
The bestselling author of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency has collected these ancient folktales from Botswana and Zimbabwe that will take you through lessons of morality tinged with local customs and traditions.
King Leopold’s Ghost – Adam Hochschild
Hochschild narrates the conquest of the Congo by Belgium’s King Leopold II in the 1880s. This book provides an extraordinary glimpse into the fight against colonization and the complex history of the Congo.
Tiny Sunbirds Far Away – Christie Watson
12-year old Blessing’s life has changed in a big way. Watson’s story follows Blessing as she navigates her new home in rural Nigeria and becomes increasingly aware of adult realities.