Title: A Boy of Two Worlds
Author: Lorna Eglin
Major Themes: Maasai, Missionaries, Kenya
Synopsis: Can Lemayan blend his two worlds, that of his Maasai family and that he lives in the Christian boarding school, together?
I saw A Boy of Two Worlds on a friend’s shelf, and borrowed it to read specifically to review it. That’s something I am really enjoying about writing these reviews—I have a good excuse for reading! I enjoyed this book, but to be honest will have to say it is not an exciting story that carries you along to the end. The message is good, and the story line is good, but it is not a gripping story.
The main character is Lemayan, a Maasai boy in southern Kenya. He loves caring for the family’s cows and sheep, and is thrilled when his father promises him that he will never have to go away to school. School, after all, is only for the weak, and Lemayan is strong. Then, a terrible drought strikes, and the village moves to where there is grass for their animals. When they get there, they are disappointed to find that others have arrived ahead of them, and then horrified to find army worms eating the grass that remains. They end up having to sell their animals, except a few for breeding stock, and return home to survive as best they can. Then, Lemayan is struck with polio and partially paralyzed. Christian nurses find him and take him to where he can find help, and he learns about the Good Shepherd. He finds himself with two worlds—the traditional world of his Maasai family, and the world of the Christians in the Children’s Home where he finds help. Can the two worlds be brought together?
If you are studying Africa, you would find A Boy of Two Worlds to be a great supplement to your study. It would probably be best as a read-aloud for children, or they might not be caught up enough in the story to get through it.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15