Babu's Song by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

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Bernardi loves to play soccer and would love to go to school too, but he and his grandfather, Babu, cannot afford to pay for schooling. Babu makes toys and Bernardi sells them at the market. Together they make enough money to get by.

One night Babu gives Bernardi a special gift — a handmade music box that plays a song Babu used to sing when he still had his voice. That night and many nights after, Bernardi falls asleep listening to Babu's song.

At the market the next Saturday, a tourist offers Bernardi so much money for the music box, he cannot resist. Now he can buy the new soccer ball he has always wanted! When Bernardi returns home his difficult dilemma is resolved in a surprising turn of events that strengthens the love he and Babu share.

Set in contemporary Tanzania, this warm and tender intergenerational story is sure to touch readers of all ages.


About Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

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After living on Midway Atoll in the center of the Pacific Ocean for nearly three years, Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen now lives in the state of Washington, not far from Mount St. Helens. Stephanie is a faculty member of the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program there, and she is the author of several widely-reviewed and award-winning books that have become favorites of parents, librarians, and teachers. Jabari Asim is a poet, critic and playwright who works as a Senior Editor at the Washington Post Book World. Aaron Boyd's illustrations have been published in a number of children's books and magazines.
Published March 1, 2003 by Lee & Low Books. 32 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books.

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Kirkus Reviews

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In this realistic tale of a young boy in Tanzania, Stuve-Bodeen, a former Peace Corps volunteer, explores the relationship between Bernardi, who wants nothing more than to attend school and get a real soccer ball, and his grandfather, a wonderfully creative toymaker who has lost the ability to sp...

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Publishers Weekly

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Bernardi sells Babu's toys at market, bringing home enough money for the two to live—but not enough to pay for the two things Bernardi most wants—school tuition and his own soccer ball.

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