What an awesome book! It’s an extremely believable story – no “seen that before” moments whatsoever for me! I loved how Alexandria’s person gradually and slowly changed – it was NOT the case of “seeing the light” and becoming an honest person overnight. It truly was the case of a spoiled, rich girl being put into an amazingly strange and real situation where she blossomed – ever so slowly but blossomed nonetheless…
Let’s see if I can summarize the story here… Alexandria Hyatt is a spoiled rotten rich 15-year-old who was arrested for shoplifting and rather than go to a Detention Centre she was presented with the option to participate in a diversion program. This meant going to Africa and participating in the Save the Child program. Believing this was the best option, traveling through Paris (where there are excellent shopping opportunities) to Kenya sounded much better than sitting in a jail cell for the next 6 months. Little did Alexandria know what really lay ahead of her. Alexandria maintained her “attitude” throughout the book but with a supporting and surprising mentor, Renée, a Maasai warrior, Nebala, and a new best friend, Ruth, she begins to see what life is really about.
I can’t praise this one enough – I think this is a great book for any teenager to read – as I mentioned above – the spoiled and rich attitude of Alexandria is maintained throughout the book and I think this is what will appeal to many. We don’t see Alexandria turning on a dime – we see her maintain a lot of who she is at the beginning throughout the book – but in the end we see how she has matured.
Ages: 12 years and up
“Who went around with slogans on their clothing like they were some sort of walking bumper sticker or billboard?” p. 55
” ‘One thing can be many things.’ he said.
I couldn’t tell if that was really deep or if he was just quoting a bumper sticker or a fortune cookie.” p. 91
“I have even higher hopes. There’s a saying: From those to whom much is given, much is expected. You have so much – and I’m not talking about money – so you have a lot to give. Don’t let anybody sell you short.” She reached out and touched my hand. “Especially not yourself.”
Ever so slightly I nodded my head. I knew what she meant. I even agreed with what she meant. But that didn’t mean I could follow through. The hardest person to overcome, I thought, is yourself.” p. 175
Walters, Eric. (2008). Alexandria of Africa. Canada: Doubleday Canada.
Author website: www.ericwalters.net