Swahili for Beginners


This is a fictionalized account of a penpal relationship. Georgie Wilde, a 13-year-old girl from Canada, is adventurous and interested in doing many things in life. One day she goes online and comes across a site where youth can put their address in the hopes that they will get a penpal. She takes the address of another teenager, Ellie Mwanga, who lives in Tanzania.

Once Ellie’s letters arrive, Georgie’s world is broadened as she learns both about this African country and Ellie’s life. Georgie gets it in her mind that she should go visit Ellie in Tanzania and sets about raising funds through working various jobs, but she is scared to ask her mother as she feels her overprotective mother will not allow her to go.

The book gives the account of Georgie’s life which includes normal issues of a Western teenager as well as her growing friendship with Ellie. I would recommend this book, as it gives information on touristy sties in Tanzania and generalized accounts of life in that country (at least at the time of publishing).

Keep calm and write on!