Thursday, July 2, 2009

Teen Angst in Africa - "We're Not In Kansas Anymore"

By Eve Yohalem

We have all read stories of teen angst - father doesn't understand - mother is overbearing...I know it's been done.

However, when you take these same elements and place them in Ethiopia - a country so foreign...

"Everywhere I go in pop out of nowhere to bombard me with the same three questions: "You are from America? You want a...[fill in blank: necklace, fake antique coin, toothbrush stick, religious icon, etc.]?" and - my personal favorite - "Gimme pen?"

This debut novel by Eve Yohalem draws you into the world of 13 year old Lucy Hoffman. Yohalem definitely "gets" teens. Lucy, wealthy and white in a country that is dirt poor and primarily black - is at the start, headstrong and confident, but when she finds herself in dire straits she is finally able to see life from her parents viewpoint.

Loosely based on a real life event, the author has done her homework. The history and culture of Ethiopia is fascinating, and memories of the late ruler Selassie quite fantastic!

I look forward to more from this author!

From Amazon:
Lucy's mother is the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia. So Lucy's life must be one big adventure, right? Not really. Her parents are more focused on their careers than their family, so they live on different continents. And Lucy's worrywart mother keeps her locked up inside the ambassador's residence for her own good. Lucy's had enough. So one day, she and a friend sneak off. When Lucy's kidnapped, things get decidedly more interesting. Using her knowledge of African animals, inventiveness, will, and courage, Lucy embarks on an adventure beyond her wildest dreams.

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