de Cavally, Jeanne
Bley et sa bande
Bley and His Band
Illustrated by Abou Coulibaly. Avenir Lecture-AveLec series. First published in 1985 by Nouvelles Editions Africaines (NEA). Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire: Edilis, 2000. 85 p. ISBN 2-909238-87-3. Ages 10-14.
Publisher: Edilis (Editions Livre Sud)
Based on real people and events, this narrative takes place in Port-Bouët, Ivory Coast (now called Côte d’Ivoire), during the war years 1942-43. It is the story of Bley, age 12, and his younger brothers, cousins, and friends who are on holiday. Their happy adventures include sea bathing, animal hunting, and the “train game.” This charming and entertaining story is a classic of African children’s literature. Jeanne de Cavally (1926-92) was a teacher and the first French-speaking African to write especially for children. She published four additional titles between 1978 and 1987, all in Côte d’Ivoire.