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The Mzungu Boy

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  69 Ratings  ·  14 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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Mwanamali  Mari
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
Eric
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Settler colonialism for young people. Justifiably a classic.
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
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 my mom about and she also liked it so much that he 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.
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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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