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Kenya Learning Box


Includes: 30 copies of Burn My Heart, by Beverley Naidoo. This contrast of a white farmer's son and a native African child paints a grim picture of British imperialism and revolution in Kenya.

Additional resources: Background information, reading guides, discussion questions, activities, maps, related DVDs and images are included, and are tied to the N.C. Standard Course of Study.

Book Description: Alternating its focus between Mathew, a white farmer's son growing up in Kenya during the 1950s, and Mugo, a native African close to Mathew's age, this novel paints a grim picture of British imperialism and revolution. Mathew and Mugo have been lifelong friends, even though Mugo has been a trusted servant in Mathew's household since the day he saved the then six-year-old Mathew by killing a snake. But the friends' loyalty is tested when rumors of deadly uprisings against white settlers sweep the country, and two groups, the Mau Mau (a band of angry revolutionaries) and red hats (police guards trying to control the Mau Mau), become a threat. Examining the effects of hatred and distrust, Naidoo (The Other Side of Truth) casts steadfast Mugo as a far nobler and more likable figure than Mathew, who fails to stand up for Mugo at critical moments. If the author's political message overshadows characters' development at times, the book successfully evokes the fears and moral dilemmas plaguing both European and native Africans in the post–WWII era.

To borrow the learning box: Please email Stacey Sewall, sewall@email.unc.edu. Include in your email-- your name, school name, dates you will need the materials (please try to keep no longer than 4-6 weeks), your school's mailing address, your school phone number, and grade level that you teach. The box is free to N.C. educators, and we will pay shipping in both directions.

Other Boxes: South Africa  Egypt  Timbuktu  Kenya