Reading Spots African Fiction Top 50
As part of our focus on highlighting the need for the provision of African fiction within the Reading Spots libraries, and in Ghana and Africa more widely, we are asking Ghanaians to nominate their favourite African fiction and non-fiction books, to form what will be called the ‘Top 50’ collection. We want this collection will be available in all of our Reading Spots libraries, comprising of:
- 10 books for Primary 1-3
- 10 books for Primary 4-6
- 10 books for JHS pupils
- 10 books for SHS and adults
- 10 non-fiction books.
We will set it as a challenge for library users to ‘tick off’ all 10 books for their age group! We also decided to choose 50 books in recognition of it being 50 years since Ghana’s independence from the UK. We strongly believe that having African fiction in our libraries is an important priority because it is clear that when observing Ghanaian children in libraries that they prefer the books by African authors – these books are the most popular by some significant margin. It is clear that African stories offer situations and characters more similar to their own contexts, so that they can identify with the stories, and have fictional role-models that are from a similar cultural and geographical background to them. Many have suggested the possible harms of children only reading stories written from a western perspective.
We would therefore welcome any nominations of African books, preferably accompanied by a short book review, explaining the reason for your nomination. You can nominate any book, regardless of your age group. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your name, age, and town. We would rather that the books are nominated by Africans, and Ghanaians will be judging the eventual 50 books. An example is shown below:
A Review of ‘The Clever Tortoise’ by Gerald Rose (for P1-3)
Nominated by Isiah Tahini (age 11, from Abofour, Ashanti region)
The reason why the Clever Tortoise is my favourite African book is that after reading this you will start to use your mental faculties in new situations, and also start to think in a smart and clever way like the tortoise did. The tortoise was not strong at all, and even though he did not use his strength, he was able to take the elephant and the hippo to the conclusion that he was as strong as she was. The tortoise was therefore able to laugh at them, due to the success of his cunning idea. I like books that are critical and also improve our awareness of the world and how to make best use of our senses. This is why I have nominated Clever Tortoise as my favourite African book.