Double Book Review: Because I Am A Girl and Goodbye Unanswered by John E. Kato

because

Because I Am A Girl

John Eldard Kato

Publication Date: December 9, 2013

4 Stars=Great Page Turner

This was a novel about a young African girl named Shamim. Shamim was raised in a home where her family stayed true to their cultural beliefs. Shamim was expected to be married off to the man of her father’s choosing for a dowry. Shamim wanted to get an education and if she did what was expected of her she would have to drop out and assume the duties of a wife. Shamim was headstrong, strong willed and she was going to stand up to her father. She wanted to pursue her own dreams but that would mean she would have to flee.

This story shows how a young girl stands up to defy traditional and cultural norms by trying to choose her own path in life. Many young women can see the importance of being educated and independent and making their own choices, even if it means being disappointing the people you love. In the end she overcame and proved that all she needed was a chance to do it her way.
Nicely written story and I enjoyed watching Shamim find herself and then become successful despite being estranged from her family. This is a good read and I give it four stars.

Reviewed by Tracy Cooper

goodbye

Goodbye Unanswered

John Eldard Kato

Publication Date: November 30, 2013

3 Stars=Okay Page Turner

Vanessa and Paul are siblings struggling with the loss of their mother. Due to the mother’s passing the children are separated after a decision by the family’s clan. Vanessa would move away from the village to stay with an aunt and her brother would remain at home with his father. The father decides that the household can use a female caretaker and her son would serve as a playmate for Paul.

His daughter Vanessa is living in a rural area where she began farming and doing chores as the others. Her living conditions were adverse compared to where she had come from and her aunt didn’t find schooling to be important. Vanessa constantly worried about her brother and hoped their situations would not be long standing.

Paul on the other hand feels hat new caretaker shows favoritism towards her son and Paul’s appearance shows the lack of care. Vanessa finds that her father’s focus has shifted from them and he has become preoccupied with the caretaker and her children. The siblings feel slighted and find that their father has some secrets of his own which are revealed when Vanessa returns home for a visit.

This was an interesting storyline although I must admit it took me longer to get through the story, which made it an average read for me. I appreciate the author highlighting African life for youth. Their experiences and challenges they are faced with are exhibited through his storylines. I can hear their voices loud and clear through his writings and that is a plus.

Reviewed by Tracy Cooper

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