Encourage your kids to read in 2024 with these inspirational Kenyan stories written for young readers.When Stars Are ScatteredOmar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day.The Wooden CamelEtabo dreams of being a camel racer. One day he might even beat his older brother when they race. But with the price of water rising, Etabo's father must sell the camels, and his siblings must find work. What will Etabo do now? From acclaimed Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu and Italian illustrator Manuela Adreani, this story of love and hope centers on the inspiring Turkana people of northwest Kenya. Told with gentleness and humor, it is a universal story about keeping one's dreams alive.Handa's henEvery morning, Handa, a young girl from the Luo tribe, feeds breakfast to Mondi, her grandma's black hen. This morning, however, Mondi is nowhere to be seen. So Handa and her friend Akeyo set off on a hunt, coming upon two fluttery butterflies, three stripy mice, four little lizards, five beautiful sunbirds, and many more intriguing creatures. But where could Mondi be? Is that a faint cheeping they hear under the bush? Might Mondi have a surprise in store (or maybe even ten of them)? Luminous colors depict a lush natural setting in this gentle, repetitive story perfect for reading aloud.Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of KenyaThrough child-friendly prose and beautiful illustrations, Donna Jo Napoli and Kadir Nelson tell the true story of Wangari Muta Maathai, known as "Mama Miti," who in 1977 founded the Green Belt Movement, an African grassroots organization that has empowered many people to mobilize and combat deforestation, soil erosion, and environmental degradation.Mwikali and the Forbidden Mask (The Intasimi Warriors)12-year-old Mwikali is moving to a new school in Nairobi and just wants her life to be normal. But when she meets Soni, Odwar and Xirsi who reveal that she is descended from an ancient bloodline of legendary Kenyan warriors, all hope of a normal life fades. Now, with an array of malign forces massing, Mwikali must delve deep into the past to discover her ancestry, learn to harness her extraordinary powers, and enter a race against time to defeat a village elder who has turned to dark magic in an effort to gain ultimate power...A fantasy adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the moment of its breathtaking conclusion.
*Featured Image: Mwikali and the Forbidden Mask (The Intasimi Warriors)