Sierra Leonean author and activist Ishmael Beah’s Little Family is the April selection for One Read Africa. Beah’s third, the novel follows “five young Africans on the quest to replace the homes they have lost.”
The One Read Africa initiative is a collaborative project between Nigerian publishing house Ouida Books and Sterling Bank. It is centered on Ouida press’ mobile subscription-based application meant to encourage reading and to support the book industry by giving readers access to one new book every month. Last month’s read was Nigerian writer Odafe Atogun’s Taduno Song.
Here’s a description of Little Family by its publishers;
A powerful novel about young people living at the margins of society, struggling to replace the homes they have lost with the one they have created together. Hidden away from a harsh outside world, five young people have improvised a home in an abandoned airplane, a relic of their country’s tumultuous past. Elimane, the bookworm, is as street-smart as he is wise. Clever Khoudiemata maneuvers to keep the younger kids—athletic, pragmatic Ndevui, thoughtful Kpindi, and especially their newest member, Namsa—safe and fed. When Elimane makes himself of service to the shadowy William Handkerchief, it seems as if the little family may be able to keep the world at bay and their household intact. But when Khoudi comes under the spell of the “beautiful people”—the fortunate sons and daughters of the elite—the desire to resume an interrupted coming of age and follow her own destiny proves impossible to resist. A profound and tender portrayal of the connections we forge to survive the fate we’re dealt, Little Family marks the further blossoming of a unique global voice.”
Born in Sierra Leone, Ishmael Beah moved to the New York as a teenager courtesy of UNICEF after a three-year stint as a child soldier in the Sierra Leonean civil war. He earned a degree in political science from Oberlin College. He is the author of the acclaimed memoir A Long Way Gone and the novels Radiance of Tommorrow and Little Family. He is married with three children and lives around the world.
To download the One Read Africa app, go here.