I’ve always been a big lover of books and have spent a small fortune on children’s books in my lifetime. Reading to my kids has always been a priority of mine as I know how many amazing benefits there are to the simple story time but if I’m honest I have been slacking off lately…. by the time bedtime rolls around I’m just too tired to spend another 20 mins reading stories and all too often I have been bypassing this beloved bedtime activity… Well, no more! All that was needed was a good book to capture the attention of the reader and listener!
I recently was sent a copy of a new South African novel for pre-teens called Seekers of the Lost Boy by fellow “mommy blogger” Taryn Hayes – a Cape Town based homeschooling mom of 4. The story revolves around a 12 year old boy called Simon who spots a mystery object on Muizenberg beach on cold winter’s morning and together with his twin siblings, Kim and Nic, decides to track down the origin of the object. This takes them on an adventure around the city of Cape Town while learning about various historical events as they search for the original owner. Along the way they reveal secrets and find answers to questions they never knew to ask!
Ben, age 6, and I have been thoroughly enjoying reading this fun book – part of the appeal is that it is set locally so there are many familiar landmarks and references including The Cape Flats, The Southern Suburbs and District Six. It is easy to read to children from age 6 up and I’m sure slightly more capable readers (the target market is 9 – 13) would sail through it as the story moves along at a great pace and holds your attention well. We couldn’t wait to get back to the Ward kids and find out where they were in their adventure.
Another positive aspect of the book is that it covers a part of South African history that can be difficult to teach our children about – Apartheid – specifically The Group Areas Act. This story brought a lot of life to this experience which I, as a child of the 80’s, found interesting to read too. The children in Seekers of the Lost Boy are home schooled which makes this quite a unique book. I’m not a home schooler but according to family members of mine that do home school there is not much literature out there for home schooled kids that features their lifestyle, so this will appeal to home schooling families. There are aspects of home schooling that feature in the book which would be encouraging for kids who attend regular school too – such as how excited the kids get about researching to discover the author of the letter using the internet and library.
This story has some emotional highs and lows with a dose of humour too. It also shares the Christian gospel message in a non-threatening way and covers some of life’s big questions that many tween readers might be asking such as “Who is God and does he care about me?”
Seekers of the Lost Boy has been the recipient of rave reviews both in South Africa and internationally (read more here) and would be a great addition to any pre-teen’s bookshelf. I recommend it for all South African families. Look out for it at your local book store!
I’m pleased to have a signed copy to give away to one lucky reader
How to enter
1. “Like” Becoming you on Facebook
2. “Like” Taryn Hayes on Facebook
3. Email your details using the form below:
Share this competition with your friends by Email, via Facebook or Tweet about it for an extra entry…
#Win Seekers of the Lost Boy book for 8-14 year olds. Themes include CT, apartheid, family, friendship & forgiveness http://bit.ly/11cIAyu
Winner will be drawn on Monday 17 June 2013.
Taryn Hayes the author of Seekers of the Lost Boy will be interviewed on Thursday 13 June by retired Bishop Frank Retief at the launch of the book taking place at Planet Arts Building. They will speak about the issues raised in the story, including the forced removals from District Six, and the themes of redemption and forgiveness in the South African context. All are welcome to attend.
Unit 3, The Planet Art Building, 32 Jamieson Street, Cape Town
Date and Time:
13 June 2013, 17:30 for 18:00
to Marinda Meyer of NALEDI
Seekers of the Lost Boy will be available at the special publisher’s price of R100 on the evening of the launch.