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The Mzungu Boy

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Winner, Children's Africana Book Award - Best Book for Older Readers


For young Kariuki, life in a small village in central Kenya is one great adventure. And when he meets Nigel life becomes even more interesting. Nigel is from England and he has come to visit his great grandfather, the fearsome Bwana Ruin who owns the farm where all the villagers work. The villagers call Ni
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Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Groundwood Books (first published 1995)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  114 ratings  ·  22 reviews


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mwana
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kenyan, childrens
My favourite characters in this story were Jimi the dog, and Lesson One. This book is a classic masterpiece and one of the funniest LOL historically accurate books I have ever read. It spans the (mis)adventures of Kariuki and Nigel (the little white man or mzungu boy) while tensions mount in the country due to the growing Mau Mau rebellion of the 50s-60s. Never has there been a more entertaining story about the way of life while still portraying the ongoing struggle for independence from British ...more
Bill Khaemba
D.N.F. at page 120 ( East African Reading Project: Kenya)

This started out great and had so much potential since we follow a young Kenyan boy during The Mau Mau revolution but it lacked depth. If you are looking for a fun short read about Kenya's history this one is for you but you won't get the emotional depth
Almira
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit2
Het boek begint met de groeiende angst van de jonge Karioeki over dat zijn leven moeilijker zal worden, met de Mau-Mau, Keniaanse rebellen die strijden tegen Britse landeigenaren die enorme problemen in zijn dorp veroorzaken. Karioeki's leven is gevuld met geweld en onrecht. Karioeki is zich bewust van het risico van een opgewekte blanke jongen, Nigel, maar hij wordt hoe dan ook bevriend met hem. De jongens delen een fascinatie voor het land, dieren en avontuur. Beide jongens zijn eerst wat kort ...more
Tracy Sereti
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am not normally a person who enjoys reading children's book and for that reason, I was reluctant to pick this book.

I was wrong because my expectations were met and surpassed considering its a fictitious narration done by a class five boy before Kenya gained its independence.

I liked the simplicity of the language used in this book, the flow of the story, the thrill when Kariuki and Nigel go hunting and fishing. The writing style is something that also impressed me....the way Kariuki articulate
...more
Ryne
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
"They shot into the still pool and went round and round in the eddies without moving their feet until they reached the dark, quiet places where the water never moved."

Gorgeously written, although certainly a grim book in many ways, with pretty unflinching depictions of how native Kenyans were brutalized under a colonial system. Unfortunately, I successfully predicted a large amount of the book's plot arc, but that wasn't a huge problem for me. I really really liked this. 4.5 stars.
Valerie
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Vivid portrait of a boy and his world - the good and the bad.
Lexa Lubanga
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Meja has a way of capturing his readers attention. This was a page turner!loved it!!
Eric
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Settler colonialism for young people. Justifiably a classic.
Ms. Stephens
Surprisingly violent. Didn't want to keep reading...
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Travis
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, young-adult
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
Mahmoud Al Masri
May 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing


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
Miriam
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I re-read this book to remind my self why I liked it so much. If my memory serves me right it is the first 'real book' I loved. I remember telling my mom about and she also liked it so much that she read the whole book for her English class. Something about it touched me about Kariuki's story way back then and I confirmed it still does. Oh! and it was called Little White Man then :)
Hilary
Jun 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: grad-class
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.
Caroline
two boys' interracial friendship during Mau-Mau rebellion in 1950s Kenya
Jordan bootylicious Waka Passage Waka
Interesting book.
Nate Orff
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting. It showed the difference in lifestyle between America and Africa. I recommend this book.
Julie Bill
Sep 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Teen Novel
Anthony
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book gave me a better perspective on my time in Kenya.
Ms. Cook
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Dec 04, 2016
Pedro
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Nov 06, 2017
Katie
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Jul 17, 2013
Yuyun
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Oct 26, 2015
Tatuu
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Mar 19, 2013
Jason Macklane
rated it it was amazing
Jul 19, 2019
gabriela
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Jun 30, 2017
KendyKesh
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Jun 09, 2016
Mixonna
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Jan 05, 2019
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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 ...more

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