The Mzungu Boy
by Meja Mwangi
For Kariuki, life in a small village in Kenya is one great adventure. The best part of his day is the walk home from school, when he is free from both his bullying headmaster and his mother’s long list of chores. The landscape around his village is beautifully wild, and Kariuki knows it well. One day Kariuki meets Nigel, a boy from England who has come to visit his grandfa...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published March 24th 2006 by Groundwood Books
(first published 1995)
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Jan 01, 2012 Arminzerella rated it 3 of 5 stars
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Kariuki thinks that life in Kenya’s villages is a fabulous adventure. The land around his village is extremely wild, but Kariuki knows it really well.
One day, a new boy from England came to Kariuki’s village to visit his grandpa. The boy’s name is Nigel, but the villagers call him the mzungu boy because they view him with fear and disbelief.
When Kariuki and Nigel had a good friendship, they determined to hunt in one of Kariuki’s favorite forests. That hunting trip was deeper than Kariuki has ev...more
Apr 07, 2011 Erin Reilly-Sanders rated it 4 of 5 stars
I was pleasantly surprised how much better I liked The Mzungu Boy than Burn My Heart. I was really able to identify with Kariuki, although since this story takes a side I thought that the character of Nigel was lacking in a lot of personality, or at least not brought together in a way that makes sense. He is clearly impulsive, demanding, brave to the point of fool hardy, and also kind and just but we are given no reasons about why is he like this and why he is so different from the rest of the w...more
Set in British-ruled Kenya in the early '50s, this is the story of Kariuki, a Kenyan boy who becomes friends with Nigel, an English boy who's come to stay on his grandparents' farm during the summer.[return][return]What I really liked about this book is how honest it was. While the boys are friends, it doesn't paint an idealistic portrait of their friendship. Being friends doesn't magically make the horrible things that are going on any better, nor does it solve any problems. In fact, it only ma...more
Another Mau Mau Rebellion story, but the war is not as prominent of a feature in the narrative, though the portrayal of the Kenyan landscape is harshly beautiful. I didn't like this as much as Burn my Heart, though half of my classmates preferred it, so.
Meja Mwangi began his writing career in the 1970s, a decade after his more well-known compatriots such as Ngugi wa Thiong'o and Grace Ogot had been publishing their works. When he burst onto the scene with the award-winning Kill Me Quick in 1973, Mwangi was hailed in various quarters as a rising star in the East African literary constellation who was helping to disprove Taban lo Liyong's oft-cited...moreMore about Meja Mwangi...