Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences
Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan

Book Summary

Rachel's parents work in a hospital in a small village in Africa in 1919.  Although they are from England, Africa is the only home Rachel has ever known.  When a highly contagious disease sweeps through the village, Rachel is left on her own.  Another family sends her to England, where Rachel must pretend to be someone else.

Listening for Lions book cover
Listening for Lions

Book Review

This book is a bit similar to A Little Princess or Heidi, in that an orphaned girl befriends new acquaintances from a different background.  The book spans a long period of time, and some sections are given much more detail than others.  This gives it a slightly off-balance feel, but the book still goes quickly.  The details of the illnesses at the African hospital and the loss of her parents may be sensitive topics for some readers.

left quotation mark

I was like the leopard at the moment before it springs, tasting only what was to come."
p. 183

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Surviving Difficult Circumstances
  • Moving from Kenya to England in the 1930s
  • Respecting Your Past; Planning for Your Future
  • Female Roles and Opportunities in early 1900s England
  • Truth, Dignity, Honor
  • Ornithology
  • British Missionaries in Africa in the Early 1900s; Missionary Hospitals

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

If you liked this book, you might also like . . .

A Little Princess book cover
A Little Princess
Uprising book cover
The Other Side of Truth book cover
The Other Side of Truth