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Banner: Aboriginal Stories

Annotated Award-Winning Titles

Cover of Le ricanement des hyènes   Governor General's Literary Award – Children's Literature 2005
For best text
Le ricanement des hyènes
Camille Bouchard
Montréal: La courte échelle,
2004. 153 p.
ISBN 2890217671
Ages 12 and up

Manuel was born in Ethiopia of Quebec parents, both physicians devoted to a humanitarian organization. His family now lives in a small village in the bush in the Senufo in Burkina Faso. He goes to school in the village where the teaching is conducted in French. Several different ethnic groups live together in the region, and the students also speak various local languages.

One day after school, while walking in the bush, Manuel and his friend Mamadou meet Sanou, a young albino girl with reddish eyes and pale skin. The villagers are afraid of her because she has visions. The bush has been declared off limits because the hyenas have been wandering nearby and human victims have been discovered. Despite his fevers and being told not to leave the camp, Manuel returns to the bush to watch Sanou. The young girl's visions have been attracting many pilgrims to the village. Manuel's mother wants to care for Sanou, but this means having to accept the Marabout rituals of the village, which could also be beneficial in curing Manuel's fever.

This brilliantly written story of intrigue describes a corner of Africa peopled by djinns and remarkable characters. It makes for an entrancing read to the beat of the djembe.


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Date Created: 2006-11-09
Date Modified: 2006-11-09

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