Dorothy Brown Soper worked with Akan students and teachers in Ghana for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching high school French. Returning to the U.S., she earned an MA in African history with plans to introduce Americans to Africa. She has developed and taught many units on African history and culture for elementary classes. We Are Akan is her first novel. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her family. Visit her at www.dorothybrownsoper.com.
Title by Dorothy Brown Soper
We Are Akan
Genre: Young adult
1807: KWAME, KWAKU, AND BAAKO live in the most powerful kingdom in West Africa. Kwame is the son of a chief. Kwaku is the likely successor to the chief. Baako is a slave earning his freedom. The boys are good friends who work together daily. Guided by their families, elders, ceremonies, and stories, Kwame, Kwaku, and Baako strive to become leaders in the Akan culture.
In the capital city to see the king, the Golden Stool, and the Odwira festival, the boys meet foreign people, learn about writing and books, and witness the sale of slaves. Kwaku cares for a leopard cub that the king wants returned to the forest. On a mission to the coast, Kwame and Baako are kidnapped and threatened with sale to the slave trade.
The Asante Kingdom faces rebellion and the decline of its role in the Atlantic slave trade. Change will come. Kwame, Kwaku, and Baako balance the life they know with new possibilities for their future.