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The Tin Boat

390 pages5 hours


In August 1982 four boys aged between eight and fourteen and a beautiful fourteen-year-old girl share an old tin boat on Lake Baringo in Kenya. All but the oldest boy William know the lake well. William is apprehensive about his first trip to Africa, but with the encouragement of the other children he learns to enjoy the wonderful life at Pelican Camp and their involvement with the local Njemps people. For a while it seems that nothing can spoil their fun or disturb the peace of the beautiful lake. But further afield there are rumblings of discontent against thr President of Kenya. When these erupt into a coup attempt the children are caught up in the ensuing violence. A series of life-threatening events test them all to the limit, and lead them into an adventure with a terrifying and thrilling climax. Through the help given them by the Njemps people they discover how generous people with very little can be, and William learns that it is possible to care more about somebody else than about himself. The Tin Boat is an exciting adventure novel which can be enjoyed by adults, particularly those with an interest in Africa. However t is primarily intended for young people aged between ten and fifteen. The story grew out of the experiences of the author and his family, although the impact on Lake Baringo of the 1982 coup attempt is mainly fictitious. The life and customs of the Njemps tribe are described in some detail as an attempt to record a way of life under threat as a result of modernisation. The novel is set just before the onset of the digital age, and describes for young people a life where there were no mobile phones and communications could not be taken for granted. Instead it is their very close relationships with members of the Njemps tribe on which they come to depend.

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