Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Zulu Dog

Zulu Dog

Fall 2002 Fiction
Ages: 10 - 15 yrs.
Author: Anton Ferreira
ISBN: 0-374-39223-4
Hardcover Price: $16.00
Paperback Price: $16.00
Gillette, named for his razor-sharp teeth, is a bush dog. Losing his entire family plus his leg to a leopard, he becomes the beloved, hidden pet of an eleven-year-old Zulu. Vusi is determined to train Gillette to be a hunting dog despite the dog's handicap. Set in post-apartheid South Africa, Vusi's poverty-stricken Zulu family is on a collision course with the local white farmers. The farmers own all the land, and any Zulus who hunt on the land are considered poachers. Sneaking onto one of the farms with Gillette, Vusi meets and befriends Shirley, the daughter of a white farmer.

The farmers are not all drawn as villains. One tries to resolve cultural differences in a helpful way. The training of the Zulu dog, and the relationship of the children help to enlighten others during the frightening climax. Despite the realistically presented problems of South Africa, the story is exciting and hopeful. Born in Zambia and having grown up there and in South Africa, Ferreira's fresh voice is authoritative.

Kemie Nix   ©2002 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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