Picture Books

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Barongo, Evangeline L

My Name Is Street Child, Beggar…Rose

Illustrated by Helga Hoveka. Cape Town: Maskew Miller Longman (Pty), 2002. 24 p. ISBN 0 636 04963 9.
Ages 8 and up.

This is an inspiring and touching story of a girl who lives in the streets of Kampala, Uganda. She survives from begging for money from the passers-by. The girl tells us about the hardships she and other children have to endure, and how some people look at them with hatred, while others do not even acknowledge them. She thinks her name is Street Child or Beggar because that is what people call her. Eventually, a social worker comes and asks her if she would like to return home, and so one day the girl sees her aunt coming to her with her arms wide open and calling her Rose.

This story tells about a harsh reality, not only in Uganda, but also in many developing countries: children living on the streets. The issue is so distressing that it is hard for a writer to hold the reader’s interest without becoming pathetic. But this story is narrated in a very special way: it describes the horrors of children in poverty, but at the same time it creates a believable story about a young girl. The illustrations make a wonderful background for the story, completing in visual form what the author says in words. Evangeline Barongo is well known in Africa and Europe for her writing and the work she has done for children’s books.

Picture Books

South Africa

Maskew Miller Longman (MML)