Reading Challenge: Northern Africa

I’ve been interested for a while in reading books about Africa. If you look at the top of this page you will see a link to my pages of Books about Africa, sorted by region and then by country. So I decided to get organized in 2012 and sponsor a challenge for myself and anyone else who wants to join in.

'africa-globe' photo (c) 2007, openDemocracy - license: (we) will be concentrating on Northern Africa this year. It’s a good place to start because I think we could all afford to know a little more about this part of the world from which so much of our heritage comes and in which so much has been happening lately. In my template, there are eleven countries in Northern Africa: Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara. The challenge is to read eleven books either set in this region or written by authors from this region in 2012. I hope to read read at least one adult book and one children’s book from each country. The children’s books may be more difficult to find.

You are welcome to try any one of the following challenges—or make up your own.

1. North Africa Tour: Read at least one book from each of the eleven countries in Northern Africa. Since the challenge runs for eleven months, this challenge would entail reading one book per month.

2. African Country Concentration: Read five books set in one of the countries of Northern Africa or five books by authors from one of the countries of Northern Africa. Example: Read five books by Egyptian authors.

3. Children’s Challenge: Read five to eleven children’s books set in Northern Africa. Adults are welcome to do this challenge either with a child or not.

The Northern Africa Challenge begins on January 1, 2012 and ends on December 1, 2012. If you choose to read eleven books for this challenge, that will be one book per month. If you would like to join me in this challenge in 2012, please leave a comment. I will keep a list of challenge participants in a separate post, and I will link to your reviews, if you write them and send me links, on my Africa pages. (If you already have book reviews on your blog related to Northern Africa, those books don’t count for the challenge. However, if you send me the links at sherryDOTearlyAtgmailDOTcom, I will add your reviews to my Northern Africa page.) If anyone knows how to make nifty graphics/buttons and wants to make one for this challenge, I will be appreciative. I am graphically and artistically challenged. (Get it? Challenged? Ho, ho!) There may or may not be prizes for those who complete the challenge: I’m looking at some books related to Africa to give as prizes.

I will also be praying for the people and countries of North Africa as I read about them, and you’re welcome to join me in that endeavor, too.

19 thoughts on “Reading Challenge: Northern Africa

  1. Well, I’m in, of course. Have I turned down a challenge yet? ;-). I’ll probably concentrate on children’s books, but I’m leaving it open to adult books, too.

  2. I’m in! I’m planning to do a series of posts looking at kids’ books and folktales from various cultures, starting with a few Asian countries. (Got some great resources for Japan.) But I bet I can work in Africa in there…especially if some of your other readers give me some good ideas. I plan to interview missionaries and when possible, scholars, about how these tales reflect their cultures…and in some veiled way, Christ. I’ll be reading through them with my kids, too, and praying along with you.

    I actually got the idea for this after reading an African folktale with my kids: After I wrote the post (and got over the experience of trying to explain to my kids why the hero wore pink panties), I realized that if I wanted my kids to get an informed view of foreign folk tales, I would need more input…looking forward to discovering what God has to show us.

  3. Ann

    Did you read the Lost Boys by John Baldau? It’s about the boys who traveled from the Sudan.

  4. JoV

    Every year I read at least one book on North Africa, even this year my favourite book of the year is from Libya. So I’m in!

  5. Great idea! I wanted to give you a book recommendation if you don’t know it…for kids a book called Africa is Not a Country by Margy Burns Knight. It looks at modern kids in countries all over Africa to show the diversity of cultures and geography. It’s an easy book but a great intro to Africa for kids (or for anyone for that matter).

  6. Any suggestions of kids’ books (or adult books, too, for that matter) as a starting point?

  7. I am so happy to find you; I adore books and lists. Brenda at Coffee tea books and me suggested you. I have one book published and one coming out in April, so not only do I love reading, but I write too.

  8. Edi

    You have quite an ambitious year in front of you! I’ll have to check back from time to time to read your reviews. I think you’ve selected some very interesting books.

  9. I’m signing up. This looks like an interesting challenge and I’m looking forward to it.

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