Listening for Lions
This was a pretty good book, it's set back in 1919, and it's about a girl named Rachel raised in Africa with parents who both work as docters, but then her parents die of influenza. She's left alone in a brick and mud house, with only the lions on the savannas and their roars as her lulaby. Then a greedy family whose daughter just died of influenza steals her away. They tell her that she must go to england to see Valerey's (the girl who died) rich grandfather, and pretend she's Valerey to get the grandfathers inheritence. She wants to just stay and live with the native people of Africa, who her family befriended long ago. But if she goes to them now Valereys parents will have them killed to get to Rachel. Now Rachel must go to England to pretend to be someone she's not. She may never go back to the grassy feilds of Africa.
Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan was an iffy read for me. I was a little weirded out by the beginning, but once the middle of the book hit I really started to enjoy reading it. It was just a strange plot twist that I wasn't sure would work with readers, but at the end, I think it worked for me.
Rachel Sheridan is a lovely young girl, brought up my missionary parents in Africa. She has never left the continent and deems it her love and her home. She is fascinated by the animals, the people, and the land and knows that she truly belongs right where she is.
When an influenza outbreak begins killing the people of her village and surrounding areas, Rachel begins to get worried. Her parents both work in the village hospital and are exposed to influenza all day long. Rachel's worst fears are confirmed shortly after the book opens, with the deaths of both her parents, leaving Rachel an orphan.
Her incredibly rich, English next door neighbors, take her in, almost by force (this is where it starts to get weird), after having just lost a daughter of their own to influenza. In order to gain an inheritance for the Pritchard's from Grandfather Pritchard, Rachel must impersonate the deceased Violet Pritchard and go to visit Grandfather in England.
Once in England, living a rich life, Rachel vows to tell Grandfather the truth, never wanting to live a lie, especially to such a kind man. She must decide whether to keep her secret in order to avoid worsening Grandfather's health with such a shock, or tell her secret and rid herself of the guilt that is lying upon her shoulders.
Overall, I really did enjoy this book, I just think the whole part about the Pritchards making Rachel impersonate a dead girl was a little strange. I guess it needed to be part of the story to get it all out though, so I got over it and ended up liking the book. This would be a good choice for anyone probably 10+.