Kenyan based novel makes Times’ best children’s books list

The Snow Angel by Lauren St John
The Snow Angel by Lauren St John.

A book set in Kenya has been included in the Times newspaper’s list of the best children’s books of 2017, picked by Alex O’Connell.

The Snow Angel by Lauren St John is Christmas story, set near Mount Kenya in the slums of Nairobi and in the Highlands of Scotland aimed at the 8-12 age range. It has been rated 4.1/5 on Goodreads

The story is loaded with mountain climbing, wild animals, survival skills and hope.

12-year-old Makena lives a good life, excelling at school and learning about wildlife from her father. Growing up, she has only one dream: to climb Mount Kenya like her hero, her mountain guide father.

However, after her parents are called away to care for her sick Aunt Mary who has Ebola in Sierra Leone, Makena’s parents don’t return.

With her beautiful world shattered, she finds that in the city’s dark places there are a thousand ways to fall, each more deadly than any crevasse and has to survive her feckless uncle and slum life.

In a world of strangers, does she dare trust albino child Snow, whose ballet dreams are haunted by a past she’s still running from? And is the sparkling fox friend or foe?

After a fresh start in the Scottish Highlands turns bad, Makena flees to the mountains. But will they betray her or be the making of her?

Lauren St John

Author Lauren St John grew up on a farm and game reserve in Africa, the inspiration for her acclaimed memoir, Rainbow’s End, and her award-winning White Giraffe series for children.

Dead Man’s Cove, the first in her Laura Marlin mystery series, won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award in 2011.

Her bestselling One Dollar Horse trilogy for teenagers was followed by The Glory, a breathtaking YA adventure and romance about a long distance horse race across the American West.

Formerly a sports and music journalist, Lauren is the author of Seve and Hardcore Troubador: the Life & Near Death of Steve Earle, a superb, gripping biography of an Americana legend.

The Obituary Writer, her first adult novel, was published in 2014 and she is currently at work on her second. Both The White Giraffe and The Glory have been optioned for film.