Jummy At the River School

Publisher: Chicken House

Jummy longs for only one thing – a place at the River School, the best girls’ boarding school in Nigeria. However, she has never been much good at working hard, and depends on her friend Caro, who is from a much poorer family, to help her out. When Caro is sent as a maid to work at the school where Jummy is a pupil, Jummy is forced to face up to injustice.

This is an absolutely joyous book – it put a wide smile on my face. Jummy and her friends are full of so much energy, and their voices swing powerfully through the whole book. This has all the elements that readers of boarding school stories love: intrigue, snobby girls, best friends, school songs, house loyalties, reassuringly kind teachers and reliably nasty ones. At the same time, the setting in a Nigerian boarding school, where girls must weed the yard, steal water for washing, and clean the toilets alongside studying and having midnight feasts, brilliantly subverts the genre.

Hopefully, Jummy and her friends will soon be back, in many more adventures which will entertain children who have a strong curiosity about the world and a love of fair play.

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