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9 Degrees North: The ABCs of North Ghana



Tools for Schools Africa Foundation. 9 Degrees North: The ABCs of North Ghana. Red Deer, Alberta: Tools for Schools Africa Foundation, 2011. Print.

Since 2003, Tools for Schools Africa Foundation has been working to increase educational opportunities in northern Ghana. A registered charity based out of Red Deer, Alberta, they have been working to advance the quality of life of those living in the northern regions of Ghana by improving access to post-primary education. One of their recent projects includes the publication of an ABC book for primary school students.

9 Degrees North: The ABCs of North Ghana is an amazing piece of beautiful artistry; each letter colourfully depicting animals, activities, plants, traditions, history and other aspects of Ghanaian life. Each of the 26 letters is illustrated by a different artist, allowing readers to be introduced to a variety of artistic mediums, including oils, pastels, watercolours and pencil. The artistry from letter to letter is unique, featuring different uses of colour and technique, yet each image is consistently impressive.

The accessible and well-written sentences that accompany each illustration introduce readers to Bolga baskets (grass baskets made in Bolgatanga), Kapok trees (used by people and farm animals for its shade), Oware (the national game of Ghana), and the Black Volta River (full of crocodiles) amongst many other interesting facts and features about this country.

In addition to the few sentences used to explain the illustrations associated with each of the 26 letters, there is a detailed appendix with additional facts about the object or focus of each letter which could serve as a useful teaching tool for using this book in the classroom. The appendix also includes several additional photographs and paintings of Ghana.

9 Degrees North: The ABCs of North Ghana is highly recommended for elementary school libraries as well as public libraries. With its varied and vibrant illustrations, and with proceeds from the sale of this book supporting scholarships for girls in northern Ghana, this will also make an excellent addition to any reader’s collection.

Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Nicole Dalmer

Nicole Dalmer is a Public Services Librarian at H.T. Coutts Education & Physical Education Library at the University of Alberta. She is interested in health literacy, pinball, and finding the perfect cup of coffee to accompany a good read.