A Girl Called Problem
In 1967 Tanzania, when President Nyerere urges his people to work together as one extended family, the people of Litongo move to a new village which, to some, seems cursed, but where thirteen-year-old Shida, a healer, and her female cousins are allowed to attend school. Includes glossary and author'sMore »
In 1967 Tanzania, when President Nyerere urges his people to work together as one extended family, the people of Litongo move to a new village which, to some, seems cursed, but where thirteen-year-old Shida, a healer, and her female cousins are allowed to attend school. Includes glossary and author's note.« Less
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The thing about Shida is that in spite of her name (in Swahili it would be “problem”) you just can’t get her down. Sure, her mom is considered a witch, and every day she seems to make Shida’s life harder rather than easier. Still, Shida’s got dreams. She hopes to someday train to be a healer in her village of Litongo, and maybe even a village nurse. In light of all this, when the opportunity arises for all of Litongo to pick up and move to a new location, Shida’s on board with the plan. In Nija Panda she would be able to go to school and maybe even learn medicine firsthand. Her fellow villagers are wary but game. They seem to have more to gain than to lose from such a move. However, that’s before things start to go terribly wrong. Escaped cattle. Disease. Even death seems to await them in Nija Panda. Is the village truly cursed, just unlucky, or is there someone causing all these troubles? Someone who doesn’t want the people of Litongo there. Someone who will do anything at all to turn them back. It’s certainly possible and it’s up to Shida to figure out who the culprit might be.
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