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Read an excerpt from the third book in Bontle Senne's Afrocentric fantasy adventure, Shadow Chasers

Only the Shadow Chasers, with their magical knives, can save the world from the evil that lives in the dreamworld.

“Scary riveting fun! Escape in this magical and modern South African fantasy.” – Nonikiwe Mashologu, childhood literacy specialist

“I love the book because it’s scary and cool. Nom is a very brave girl.” – Gugulethu Machin, tweeny reader

Flame of Truth is the third in the Shadow Chasers series, an Afrocentric fantasy adventure for pre-teens (9 to 12 year olds.)

Bontle Senne is a book blogger and literacy advocate. She is a former managing director at the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation, a trustee of READ Educational Trust and a part owner of feminist trade publishing house Modjaji Books.
 
 
Read an excerpt from Bontle’s extraordinary book:

They hear the piercing scream of the Lightning Bird as another ball of flames falls from the dark sky and explodes on the patch of sand at the cave opening.

Nom and Zithembe lie on their bellies in the dirt, trying to stay low in the shadows so that the Lightning Bird does not come into the cave to find them.

“Nom, when we get out of here … ,” Zithembe whispers bitterly, pressing his cheek to the ground so he can look at Nom and she can see how annoyed he is.

Nom rolls her eyes and shifts her attention to the cave opening. She can’t hear the Lightning Bird, but that doesn’t mean it’s not waiting for them just outside the cave, ready to drop another ball of fire. “There was no way I could have known that it was going to come all the way up to the mountains,” Nom says. “I thought these things stayed in the forest!”

“Who told you that?” Zithembe snaps.

“Rosy! Well, kind of Rosy. I think that’s what she said …” Nom thinks back to a few weeks ago when she and Rosy, Zithembe’s cousin, had come into the dreamworld and were chased by the Lightning Bird. The giant black bird had flown over them, circling, stalking. With its long, curved beak, shaggy chest feathers, two sets of wings, and two long, orange legs, it had terrified her and brought back Rosy’s darkest memories.

Now, when Nom reaches out and her hand finds the cave wall, the stone feels cool and wet. She feels the magic of the dreamworld buzzing lightly through the tips of her fingers. It’s the same feeling she sometimes gets when she holds her knife. A Shadow Chaser’s knife has powers that she and Zithembe are only just starting to understand.

“We could go back,” she suggests, already guessing what Zithembe will think of that idea. Zithembe groans as a clap of thunder booms from outside the cave.

“We cannot just go back,” he says. “We have to find my mother. How can we find her if we go back?”

“Zee, we’re not going to be able to get out of here without getting roasted. We can use the special powers in your knife to get home, and then try another night. We can come back in a few days with – I don’t know – a plan or something.”

It is weird for Nom to suddenly be the one with a plan. She’s never really been known for thinking things through. They got stuck here in this cave because when Nom saw the Lightning Bird she turned and ran before Zithembe could even ask what was going on. They had scrambled further up the mountain they were exploring. Then Nom dragged Zithembe into the cave just as the balls of fire began to rain down on them, burning holes the size of soccer balls into the sand. Nom had been right to be afraid, but she could have at least warned him before she started running.
It was so often “act and then think” with her. At least Zithembe had finally gotten used to that.

“I have a better idea,” Zithembe says. “You should use your knife to turn yourself into a Lightning Bird.”

“What?” Nom asks, even though she’s pretty sure she heard him.

“You should turn yourself into a Lightning Bird,” Zithembe repeats, replaying what his mother had told him about the power of Nom’s blue knife to change her into someone – or something – else. “I’ll jump on your back and we can fly out of here and into the forest.”

If they weren’t trapped, crawling on their stomachs in the dark, Nom would punch Zithembe. “But the forest is where it lives!” she says, feeling deeply frustrated.

Nom remembers the forest from her visit to the dreamworld with Rosy, when they fought the Mami Wata.

She remembers the muffled sounds of moans, crying and wild giggling drifting out to them from inside the dark and unknowable Thathe Vondo Forest. Rosy had explained that the forest exists in the real world and the dreamworld at the same time. In the real world, the people who live near the forest believe that it is full of spirits and monsters. In the real world, the people are just as afraid of the Lightning Bird which they call Ndadzi, as Nom is, here in the dreamworld.

“OK, then we fly to the Clearing or to the Lake of Memories,” Zithembe suggests.

Being annoyed isn’t helping, so Nom sighs and tries to be kind instead.

She says, “Zee, listen to me. There are soldiers of the Army of Shadows everywhere. Even now, the shadow men must be marching towards us. Your knife’s power can get us out of here safely. I know you want to find your mom. I want to find her too, Zee, but not today …”

They are quiet for a few minutes.

Nom isn’t sure whether Zithembe is still trying to think of ways to get out of this cave and keep exploring the dreamworld or whether he is trying to accept the truth in her words. As she waits for him to speak again, Nom sees a cloud of pale orange dust float into the cave.

The dust cloud stops just in front of them, blocking their view of the cave’s opening, and then drifts down low to the ground where they lie.

“Nom … Zithembe,” says the soft, faraway voice of a girl.

Zithembe twists his head to look at the floating dust and then back at Nom.

“Did that dust thing just speak?” Nom asks, saying out loud what both of them are thinking.

“I have a deal for you,” whispers the dust. “Help me rescue my friend fromthe Army of Shadows and I will help you find Itumeleng.”

Itumeleng. Zee’s mother.

“Who – or what – are you? Why should we believe you?” Zithembe asks.

There’s a trace of anger dripping into his voice. He wants to save his mother, but how can he trust a floating cloud of dust? Any of the magical things in the dreamworld could trick him into trapping himself or Nom here.

Book details

Die immergewilde Babalela en Betty Misheiker-reeks: ideale leesstof vir die jongspan hierdie Oktober

Babalela

Die Babalela-storieboek
Martie Preller
Illustreerders: Andries & Erica Maritz

Diep, diep in ’n donker bos
waar die son net soms deur die takke loer,
diep, diep in ’n donker bos
waar die varings welig diepgroen staan,
diep, diep in ’n donker bos,
in ’n hol boomstomp, net onder ’n blaar,
woon die Babalela.

Duisende Afrikaanse kleuters ken die betowerende openingsrefrein van Martie Preller se immergewilde, bekroonde Babalela-boeke. Meer as 85 000 eksemplare van die vier titels in die reeks is al verkoop.

Kom kuier saam met die Babalela en sy maats Meermoskat, Knortand, Potifant, Wrrrumpie en die lawaaierige Fripperwakkies in die bos; kom beleef hope avonture!
Vir die eerste keer verskyn al vier Babalela-boeke nou saam in een storie-omnibus. Dit sluit vier stories in:
* Babalela
* Diep, diep in ’n donker bos
* Los ons uit!
* Ons kan!

Die Betty Misheiker-reeks

Hierdie reeks bestaan uit drie oulike prenteboeke gebaseer op die lirieke van Misheiker se immergroen kinderliedjies “Die lappop”, “Die eensame krokodil” en “Die dapper muis”. Geslagte Afrikaanse kinders het grootgeword met Betty Misheiker se prettige liedjies. Nou word hulle in hierdie pragtige, volkleurformaat uitgegee.

Die dapper muis
Betty Misheiker
Illustreerder: Chris Venter

Ek’s ’n dapper muis, kyk hoe stap ek deur die huis,
en daar’s niks waarvoor ek skrik nie.
Vir niemand is ek bang, daar is niks wat my kan vang,
nee, daar’s niks waarvoor ek skrik nie.
En sê nou daar’s ’n kat …?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Die eensame krokodil
Betty Misheiker
Illustreerder: Johann Strauss

Ooo …
Ek is ’n eensame krokodil.
Mense kyk vir my en gril.
Ek soek maters hoog en laag,
maar almal sê ek vreet te graag.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Die lappop
Betty Misheiker
Illustreerder: Karen Ahlschläger

Iemand het ’n lappop op ’n ashoop weggegooi,
sy was gedaan en stukkend,
verbleek en nie meer mooi nie.
Op die ashoop hoor sy stemme praat
en dié verwelkom haar.
Maar o, ellende, toe sy kyk,
wat sien die lappop daar?
Net ’n vrot pampoen en ’n stukkende skoen,
’n grammofoonplaat en ’n kous sonder maat,
net ’n leë bottel bier, ’n verlepte angelier,
’n gelapte binneband en ’n ou koerant.

Boekbesonderhede

Baas Baba besef wie's werklik baas wanneer sy babasussie aankom...

Vanaf die oomblik toe sy babasussie daar aankom, is dit vir Baas Baba duidelik SY is nou die baas. Die personeel is in vervoering oor haar en sien hom skaars raak – maak nie saak wat hy doen, waar hy dit doen of hoe verregaande dit is nie. Toe gooi Baas Baba handdoek in. Maar gelukkig weet die nuwe baas net wat om te doen om die organisasie van ondergang te red …

Baas Baba se baas volg op Baas Baba. Dis ‘n pragtig geïllustreerde tong-in-die-kies-storie waaroor kinders EN ouers mal sal wees! Moet nie die film Boss Baby misloop nie!

Dit is boonop ‘n fantastisese oeivaarstee-geskenk!

Marla Frazee is ‘n bekroonde Amerikaanse skrywer en illustreerder van kinderboeke.

Boekbesonderhede

Flame of Truth: third book in the Afrocentric fantasy adventure series, Shadow Chasers, "scary riveting fun!"

Only the Shadow Chasers, with their magical knives, can save the world from the evil that lives in the dreamworld.

“Scary riveting fun! Escape in this magical and modern South African fantasy.” – Nonikiwe Mashologu, childhood literacy specialist

“I love the book because it’s scary and cool. Nom is a very brave girl.” – Gugulethu Machin, tweeny reader

Flame of Truth is the third in the Shadow Chasers series, an Afrocentric fantasy adventure for pre-teens (9 to 12 year olds.)

Bontle Senne is a book blogger and literacy advocate. She is a former managing director at the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation, a trustee of READ Educational Trust and a part owner of feminist trade publishing house Modjaji Books.
 

Book details

Book Launch: Flame of Truth: Shadow Chasers Book 3 by Bontle Senne

Flame of Truth: Shadow Chasers Book 3 Join us for the launch of the third book in this fantastically creepy local fantasy adventure series for tweens. Bring the kids to meet Bonte Senne and find out what happens when the Shadow Chasers meet the orisha Oyo and head off again into the dreamworld … Fast-paced, fabulous fun!

Event Details

Book Details

Sam en Julia besoek die teater en gaan baljaar by ’n kermis in die twee nuwe Muishuis-titels

Nog nooit is daar vir diere so ’n mooi nessie gebou soos in Karina Schaapman se Die Muishuis nie. – NRC Handelsblad

 
 
Die Muishuis: By die teater (2)

Sam en Julia woon in die Muishuis. Sam is BAIE skaam en BAIE soet, en Julia is BAIE nuuskierig en BAIE eiewys. Maar al verskil hulle so van mekaar, is hulle beste maatjies.

Toe hulle op ’n dag met albasters speel, tel hulle ’n besonderse klip op – ’n gelukbringerklip. Hulle bêre dit natuurlik in hul skatkissie in hul geheime hut onder die trap. Min wetend dat die klip later handig te pas sal kom …

Soos in die topverkoper Die Muishuis: Sam & Julia, sien die leser gaandeweg hoe die vriendskap tussen Sam en Julia ontwikkel. Ons ontmoet ook nuwe karakters soos wat die twee muise nuwe kamers en ruimtes in die Muishuis verken.

In 2012 is die oorspronklike uitgawe as Best Verzorgde Boek in Nederland aangewys.

Die Muishuis: By die kermis (3)

Daar’s ’n kermis in die stad! Sam en Julia gaan kyk hoe die vermaaklikhede gebou word. Daar kom ’n agtbaan wat so hoog is dat dit tot by die derde verdieping van die Muishuis reik. Hulle kan nie wag om op daardie rit te klim nie! Maar daar is een probleem: Alle plesierritte kos geld en hulle het nie geld nie. Hulle bedink saam met die rommelboer ’n plan om ekstra sakgeld te verdien.

En dan kom die groot dag. Die dag waarop Sam en Julia kermis toe mag gaan! En dit is ’n geweldige kermis, want alles waarvan ’n muisekind maar kan droom, is daar. ’n Balgooikraampie, stampkarretjies, ’n spookhuis en die einste agtbaan …
 
 
 
 
 

Boekbesonderhede