Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Twenty Chickens for a Saddle

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Twenty Chickens for a Saddle

The Story of an African Childhood

by Robyn Scott

Twenty Chickens for a Saddle by Robyn Scott
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2008, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2009, 464 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Vy Armour

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Interesting Facts About Botswana (map)

Since independence in 1966, the former British Protectorate of Bechuanaland has transformed itself from one of the continent's poorest nations into one of its most prosperous. Botswana's vast diamond wealth has underpinned this boom (Jwaneng, the world's largest and richest diamond mine, was discovered when termites looking for water brought grains of diamond to the surface), but, making it almost unique among its neighbors, the money has been carefully spent and reinvested in infrastructure, education and health by a judicious government.

The small population – fewer than two million in an area about the size of France – has also contributed to the country's remarkably high per capita GDP ($15,800 in 2008 according to the CIA Factbook). In 2004, it was declared Africa's least corrupt country by Transparency International but the country is beset by high unemployment (~25%) and the second highest rate of AIDS infection in the world.

The first reported case of AIDS in Botswana was in 1985; by 2002 the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in adults was 38.8%. According to the World Bank, life expectancy at birth in Botswana increased steadily for more than 30 years until 1987, but plunged 15 years between 1987 and 1998 (life expectancy by country).

Mothers For All, a not-for-profit organization founded by several of those who appear in the book, runs skills training and income generation schemes for the caregivers of Botswana's children affected or infected by AIDS. Some of the proceeds from the sale of Twenty Chickens for a Saddle are being used to fund the start-up costs.

Botswana is the setting for the popular mystery novels by Alexander McCall Smith, the first in the series being The No. l Ladies Detective Agency. The light-hearted series is appreciated by many for its human interest and local color.

British author and historian Susan Williams' book, Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Khama and His Nation, tells the story of the marriage and struggles of Sir Seretse Khama and Lady Ruth Williams Khama.

Botswana was the location for the 1980 movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy.

More about Botswana at the author's website, which includes many photos of her childhood.

Article by Vy Armour

This article was originally published in April 2008, and has been updated for the March 2009 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dark Flood Rises
    The Dark Flood Rises
    by Margaret Drabble
    Margaret Drabble, the award-winning novelist and literary critic who is approaching eighty and ...
  • Book Jacket: All Our Wrong Todays
    All Our Wrong Todays
    by Elan Mastai
    You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don't let that put you off. ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Chance favors only the prepared mind

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -