This July, our guest will be Atinuke, author of the Anna Hibiscus series.
Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa. She lives in a big white house on a compound with her extended family - mother, father, twin baby brothers, grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles, and numerous cousins. The books tell the story of Anna’s life with her family and her experiences in both Africa and eventually, the larger world.
Filled with interesting stories and endearing characters, the series gives young readers an amazing portrait of life in a large family in Africa. Atinuke also addresses serious social issues, such as Anna’s first encounters with children from an unfamiliar culture, the plight of the young orange sellers outside the gates of Anna’s family compound, and her eye-opening trip to the other side of the city, where children in rags beg and search rubbish piles for food.
Atinuke’s skill at navigating these difficult scenes with the reader is admirable, as are the humorous scenes involving Anna’s large family and community. The Anna Hibiscus books are written with honesty, humanity, joy, and love.
In addition to the Anna Hibiscus books, Atinuke has written The No. 1 Car Spotter, a story that features a boy in a small village in Africa. His favorite hobby is to spot cars as they pass by on the road - a task he carries out with great enthusiasm.