One Chance Dance
Jomi’s Aunty Patience laughs at his hopes and dreams and punishes his inventions. Yet his time on the scrap hill is time to imagine and create. It also helps him remember his mother, who left him with his Aunty and Uncle when she travelled to Lagos for work. She promised she’d return for him, just as she promised she’d write every week.
However, he’s heard nothing, and weeks have become years. Yet when the bulldozers move into the farm land and forests about his Aunty and Uncle’s home more than their livelihood’s are disturbed. Could it be that there are letters? Then again, might there be clues as to Jomi’s mother’s whereabouts? Could it all lead to him packing a rucksack and leaving for the big city of twenty million on a seemingly impossible search?
Yet there might be a way? What if Jomi’s lucky enough to be found by children cared for by Aunty Bisi? It seems they love LLD, Lagos Loves Dance, the dance show mentioned in one of Jomi’s mother’s letters. What if the children put together an act. After all, the host reminds viewers, ‘everybody and anybody can take part in [the] free auditions‘… It will take some planning and persuading, but doesn’t Aunty Bisi remind Jomi not to abandon his ‘dreams and hopes’? Then again, what about Jomi’s mother?
Bookwagon loves One Chance Dance. Jomi is such a determined, inspiring central character that we feel as attached to him as Ghost, the bush baby who shadows him. Thereafter, we want him to be safe, cared for and respected. What’s more, we want him, and his mother, to have the chances they deserve. Bookwagon recommends One Chance Dance to all middle grade readers.
The Times Children’s Book of the Year
One Chance Dance