The Girl Who Saw Lions


Abela’s life in Tanzania is difficult; her mother and baby sister are desperately ill and medical help is miles away. Even further from her village is an ice rink in Sheffield, where Rosa and her mother take lessons each Saturday. Rosa is considering the prospect of an adopted sister and is not happy.

We watch as their lives splinter and take shape. As Abela is held hostage by epidemic, traditional belief and her uncle’s treachery, Rosa grows up. She begins to respect her mother’s commitment and develop a need to recognise her father’s culture.

This is a magnificent story, thoughtfully created with respect, authenticity and such empathy. ‘A Girl Who Saw Lions‘ will linger with me rather like the colours that Abela sees when she sings. We recommend this book to readers from upper Junior age to adult.


The Girl Who Saw Lions

Berlie Doherty

(Andersen Press)

While Abela struggles with tragedy and deception in Tanzania, in Sheffield, Rosa finds her mother’s deception to adopt a child difficult to bear. This gentle, compulsive, ‘real’ story held me captive for a sitting; I could not put this book down. ‘The Girl Who Saw Lions‘ is a masterpiece of storytelling that I urge readers from upper Junior School to adult age to read.


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