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Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the…

Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna (National…

by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton

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Rough booktalk: If right now you were growing up in Africa instead of the United States, you could possibly be a member of the Maasai tribe in Kenya. Chances are you wouldn't be going to school but the law says each family has to send one child to school. So you could be the one kid in your famiyl going to school. Your father could be married to more than one woman. You and your siblings could be walking your family's herd of cattle to pasture several miles away from your village. In fact, you could walk 40 miles in one day if you had to. This is the true story of Lekuton, a Maasai boy who grew up in Kenya, took care of the family's cows and was the only child in his family to go to school. One day he and his brother go to a cattle camp to take care of the cows but what they don't expect to meet is a lion (read pp 12-13).
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |

This memoir of a young Maasai boy tells the story of Lekuton who grows up as part of a nomadic tribe in Kenya. The story sheds light on the Massai culture and life on the savanna. Lekuton comes from a family of nomadic cow-herders, and Kenyan law required each family to send one child to school. Lekuton was the chosen child, and school opened up his world. He works to preserve his Maasai heritage while taking advantage of the opportunities that education brings his way.
  KilmerMSLibrary | May 20, 2014 |
Do a unit on Africa! Traditions, culture, languages, people - could read books like 14 Cows for America and Wangari's Trees of Peace
  mmccauley92 | Oct 24, 2013 |
I loved this book. It gave me a new insight into the Maasai, and helped satisfy my recurring need to read something, something, anything about Africa. ( )
  Cathy_Huber | Mar 31, 2013 |
Joseph recounts his childhood as a nomadic Maasai boy who tends the family cows and is interested in education. His education and character allow him to become an individual who can bridge two cultural roles, the Kenyan tribal member and teacher in the United States. Readers will enjoy his detailed descriptions of life in the African Savanna. ( )
  VaterOlsen | Jun 7, 2011 |
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These words are dedicated to my mother, Nkasiko. Although she is unable to read or write, she gave me a priceless education. And to my mothers in America, Bea, Ricki, Jackie, Anne, Betty, and Kathleen, who reflected and reinforced my mother's philosophy of life. And to all the nomadic boys and girls who have similar stories. My story is theirs; I just had the chance to tell mine.
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My aim was to make an impression. When those tourists got back home and looked at their pictures, maybe they would remember that someone might look ignorant and primitive, but that is no reason to try to take advantage of him. (p. 123)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0792272978, Paperback)

Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton gives American kids a firsthand look at growing up in Kenya as a member of a tribe of nomads whose livelihood centers on the raising and grazing of cattle. Readers share Lekuton's first encounter with a lion, the epitome of bravery in the warrior tradition. They follow his mischievous antics as a young Maasai cattle herder, coming-of-age initiation, boarding school escapades, soccer success, and journey to America for college. Lekuton's riveting text combines exotic details of nomadic life with the universal experience and emotions of a growing boy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:48 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A member of the Masai people describes his life as he grew up in a northern Kenya village, travelled to America to attend college, and became an elementary school teacher in Virginia.

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