Review Blog

Aug 05 2008

Angel Boy by Bernard Ashley

cover image Frances Lincoln Children's Books, London, 2008.
(Ages 9-13)
Angel Boy is set in Ghana and touches on some of the problems of contemporary Africa. The eponymous hero is so-called because of his sweet and innocent appearance. This works against him when he decides to spend a day visiting Elmina, an old departure point for slaves in Ghana. Unfortunately Leonard the Angel Boy is kidnapped by street kids and forced to beg from the many tourists in the area. While many of the tourists simply see him as a beggar and therefore a nuisance, he is eventually saved by two more sympathetic ones. The writer clearly establishes the threat posed by the street kids, and their desperate need for food, and the frantic fear of Leonard when he attempts to escape. This could be a useful class text for lower Middle School students.
Jenny Hamilton
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