BOOK NAME: Chike and the River
AUTHORS: Chinua Achebe
Chike and the River, an African story written by Chinua Achebe, is similar to Aesop’s fables. This story shows how working, not begging, will help you reach your goals.
Chike is an eleven year old boy who leaves his family to live with his uncle in Onitsha, Nigeria. Chike makes friends who talk about their trips to Asaba, a big city on the other side of the Niger River. Adventurous Chike dreams to go there someday in a ferry, but needs one shilling to do so. Chike wonders how to get the money but learns that begging is not the solution. Then he goes to a money doubler but realizes that people can be deceptive. By being a good boy, Chike unsuccessfully tries getting money from his rich neighbor. Finally he washes cars and earns a shilling to sail to Asaba. However, Asaba is different from his expectations, and danger and crime lurk around him. But soon Chike becomes a hero. How? Read the book to find out.
This book is a fabulous read for all ages. It brings out the traditions of Nigeria. For example, people ride in lorries (or trucks) for long drives, and if they break down people have to push the lorry. Also, the detailed descriptions help visualize Nigeria’s villages by the Niger River. I liked how the author added in a light mystery at the end which has been foreshadowed earlier. This book really brings out African myths by incorporating small fables into the plot.