Happy new month !!! Wow the months flew by so fast.
Time to share some Book love. These are the books I read in primary and junior secondary school that I fondly remember. They made me get interested in reading and writing books. Most of them are written by Nigerian authors with a few foreign authors. Most of the books were written before I was born and some of the Authors have passed on (May their souls rest in peace) but their books remain unforgetable classics in Nigeria.
- EZE GOES TO SCHOOL: Written by Ajayi Crowther and Onuora Nzekwu. Eze is determined to go to school with the death of his father and misuse of his fathers wealth by relatives to being the man of the house, Eze has to face a lot of challenges to achieve his dream. It has a sequel called Eze goes to college which funny enough I never read.
Eze goes to school is one of the earliest books I can remember reading. It shows the mentality most Nigerians have that a good education equals a good life or more opportunities in life. But in present times that is not the case as many graduates are unemployed and the Nigerian education system is in decay.
- THINGS FALL APART: Written by the “father of Modern African Writing”, Chinua Achebe. Things fall apart follows the life of Okonkwo who is a famous Igbo wrestler who lives a good life until he is kept in charge of a boy, Ikemefuna and makes a wrong choice which sets off a series of events leading to Okonkwo’s fall from grace. Then the English missionaries arrive in the village leading to a clash of cultures which ultimately lead to a tragic end for Okonkwo.
One of the first books I read that portrayed Igbo society in Nigeria and in which the protagonist was flawed and not perfect like most novels I used to read then. It also depicts life in a pre-colonial village and the effects of colonisation on our culture. I loved the book and it was full of so many proverbs. It is part of the African trilogy which includes No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God.You can get it on Amazon HERE or at any major bookstore around you or even on Konga.
- WITHOUT A SILVER SPOON: Written by Eddie Iroh. Tells the story of Ure, a boy from a poor family who in order to continue his schooling becomes the houseboy of a teacher. He meets new people and makes new friends and learns several lessons along the way especially when he is accused of a crime he did not commit. The major moral lesson in the book is that honesty is the best policy. It is a really interesting and funny book.
- CHIKE AND THE RIVER: Chike lives with his uncle in the city but longs to cross the Niger River on the ferry and go to Asaba city. The book is about his adventures trying to get the money needed to board the ferry and what happens when he finally gets it and crosses the river. To be honest when I first read this book in primary school, I really liked it because I was planning to run away from home to see new places (Thank God I didn’t!) . And Chike wanted to cross the Niger river to see a new city even though he got in trouble. Needless to say I forgot all about my runaway plan . Chike and the river was also written by Chinua Achebe.
- AN AFRICAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENT: Story of a man who wants a male child at all costs, the lengths he goes to get one and the consequences it has on himself, the man who is left scorned by his actions and the child who he so desperately wanted. This story in this book is a perfect example of karma, where the evil you do comes with its consequences no matter how long it takes for you to see them or how long you run from it. Written by Cyprian Ekwensi.
- A YEAR IN SAN FERNANDO: Tells the story of Francis, a boy who leaves his village and his poor widowed mother and family to go to the city of San Fernando and be the houseboy to old Mrs chandler and her son. He is introduced to new places, meets new people and experiences life in the city. Written by Micheal Anthony.
What I loved about the book was its simplicity and the way the world in the book was described. Even though I have never been to San Fernando in Trinidad and Tobago, it felt like I was there, looking through his eyes, seeing the local delicacies, smelling the burning sugarcane fields. So much happened in his year at San Fernando. It’s a very fun read.
- HOMECOMING FOR KEZZIE: Written by Theresa breslin. Sequel to Kezzie. Kezzie comes home with her younger sister Lucy to her grandpa her only other living relative in Scotland. But war arrives right on her heels bringing death, fear and hatred. Kezzie has to deal with it all and along the way makes new friends, saves lives and shares in the grief of the many people she meets along the way.
The first novel I read that was about world war two. I practically read it more times than I could count cause I love historical fiction and the main character is so strong, she doesn’t wait for someone to save her, she rolls up her sleeves and makes her way out into the world. There was just something special about this book. It takes you through a rollercoaster of emotions and at the end leaves you with this warm feeling. You can get it on amazon HERE.
- THE INCORRUPTIBLE JUDGE: A Play written by D. Olu Olagoke. In this book we meet Ajala a graduate who is looking for a job and applies for one but is asked to pay a bribe to the officer in charge in order to get the job. He complies but not before alerting the police and the officer is caught in the act and taken to court until finally justice is served by a judge who refuses to be bribed. Was surprised to see this book on Goodreads with a 3.75 rating.
When I first read this book, I was in primary school so I didn’t think much of it. It was just fun then but reading it again years later I understood Ajala struggle a lot more as there are many unemployed graduates in Nigeria looking for jobs who are used by corrupt oficials as a money-making source. Corruption has eaten so deep into the country that giving and receiving a bribe is almost seen as a normal affair. Regardless of all that I still love my country Nigeria. We are a strong, diverse people with a lot to offer the world and I believe better days are coming for Nigeria.
- THE BOTTLED LEOPARD: Tells the story of a schoolboy who is chosen to bear a mystical power, the power to control Leopards. Amobi, a first year secondary school student is troubled by dreams of a leopard. Worried by the mysterious illness, his parents consult a Dibia who shows them the mystical link between Amobi and the leopard who plagues his dreams.This leads to a lot of trials and tribulations for Amobi both at home and at school when the secret gets out. We never really get to see Amobi wield his powers though as the Dibia claims to have bottled his power hence the name of the book. Written by Chukwuemeka Ike.
- THE POTTER’S WHEEL: Tells the story of Obuechina, an eight year old boy who is clever but lazy and spoilt and the only brother of six older sisters. His father decides to send him to be the servant of Teacher Zaccheus and his fearsome wife Madam Deborah at his school in the hopes of improving his character. Obu goes, suffers various hardships and comes back home quite different. This book touches several subjects like the plight of a couple without a male child, his mother is pressured by her relatives to give birth to a boy who will be her husbands heir which causes her to be a very doting mother to Obu and leads to him being spoilt. Madam Deborah despite being childless is harsh to the children under her care and many other issues like Ogbanje and the society attitude towards them, local beliefs and traditions. Great book. Also written by Chukwuemeka Ike.
That’s all Folks!!! (Always wanted to say that). There are several others that did not make this list like Koku Baboni, Joys of motherhood, the boy slave, Sugar girl, the second chance, the drummer boy, Efuru. Great books by Nigerian Authors.
Chat time!. What books did you read in your childhood that you fondly remember? Have you read any of these books? If you have you had a great childhood 😀 .
All images gotten from external sources: Google books and Wikipedia.