When Robyn Scott was six years old, her parents abruptly exchanged the tranquil pastures of New
Zealand for a converted cowshed
in the wilds of Botswana. Once there, Robyn and her siblings, mostly left to amuse themselves, grew up collecting snakes, canoeing with crocodiles and breaking in horses in the veld. In the shadow of one of Africa's worst AIDS crises, this moving, enchanting memoir
is an extraordinary portrait of an unforgettable childhood. [Taken from the book cover.] [Small font]
An easy read once we adapted to the small print. We learnt alot about Botswana. Upper Hutt 001
Discussion was fast and furious. Admiration for the intelligence and adaptability of the children, not so much for the parents. Hamilton 010
What a wonderfully free and unrestricted childhood? Towards the end of the book issues arise to spoil the tranquil way of life. A good read. Te Pahu 001
Animated discussion coming from both extremes - those who loved everything about this story and those who could see little value in a diary style story. Thames 001
Once you got into the story it was a good storyline, but it was difficult to get started.
A very mixed reaction to this book - some enjoyed it, others did not. We all struggled with the small print.
Our group had a mixed reaction to this book. Generally we felt it was an engaging read, and we admired the family for their values and energy. We also felt it was somewhat patchy in style.
Enjoyed by all.
Led to interesting discussion about childhood, upbringing and education. Good to learn about Botswana. Most people did not quite finish the book - did not like the small print. We felt it was bit repetitive and could have been edited a bit.
Those that read the whole book really enjoyed it. Others felt it was too drawn out after about three quarters of the way through and never finished.
It was a long drawn out story. We learnt some interesting facts about Botswana. It was hard to believe that such a young girl remembered so much. The book was very well named.
This book generated a lively discussion on home schooling, the sorts of parents who would make a success of it - whether the results would be the same had they home schooled in NZ. Made us all nostalgic for the freedoms of childhood. Some thought the Aids topic was too much, others that it was very informative. It was an easy read with great descriptions.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this book. Full admiration for Linda ( the mother) for home schooling Robyn and siblings - what a fantastic childhood they had.
It stimulated good discussion as her life was so different from the norm, and the parenting choices were relatively extreme. The font size made it hard reading at times.
We loved the book. It was well-written and humorous and a delight to read. We enjoyed the anecdotes and the family characters. It was a lovely nostalgic portrayal of an idyllic childhood, which provoked discussion about our own childhoods.
Generally well received. Interesting insight into aspects of life in Botswana. Some characters were well developed. Of particular interest was the description of the Aids epidemic, and the reluctance of the populace to recognize or admit their infection, which exacerbated the situation further.