This biography was beautiful story. I really felt I was traveling in life story of Bonyo Bonyo. a reminder that heartache can bring about a desire to bring better for others. The art was wonderful also.
This book right here is the reminder of what it means to pursue a dream and how the journey there comes with life lessons, both good and bad, both expected and unexpected. It is an inspirational read that I believe should be in most schools in Kenya, because these stories are the reminders and evidence of hard work and integrity and giving back to the communities that we come from.
Thanks Netgalley for the eARC.
Bonyo Bonyo is based on a true story. Bonyo Bonyo was a young boy from a village in Kenya. Stricken with poverty, Bonyo's family couldn't afford to send him to school. But when his sister- a baby of mere few months couldn't survive the poor conditions they lived in, he decided he wanted to become a doctor.
Bonyo Bonyo is about his struggles to become a doctor in the most adverse conditions —How he achieved what he did, what he had to endure to achieve it. The story is heart wrenching and fascinating at the same time. Again Vanita Oelschlager has come with a beautiful book which a vibrant illustrations and simple yet powerful prose.
P.S.- Notes from the book - Bonyo’s Kenya Mission program was started by
Dr. Bonyo when he was a
medical student, and he was
joined in 1997 by his teacher
Dr. Daniel Marazon. Together,
they raised funds, oversaw the
development of programs and
also the delivery of services for
people living in and around
Dr. Bonyo’s childhood home
in western Kenya.
Medical and educational
services are provided through
the Mama Pilista Bonyo
Memorial Health Centre in
the lovely village of Masara.
The Centre is named after
Dr. Bonyo’s mother.
Bonyo’s Kenya Mission provides
resources for medical care, staff,
and HIV/AIDS education and
counseling, as well as funds
to complete and maintain the
In addition, funds raised
assist in providing children and
teachers in the Masara Primary
School with necessary uniforms,
books and supplies.
Bonyo’s Kenya Mission Inc.
is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit
organization. It is headquartered
in Akron, Ohio, where Dr. Bonyo
maintains his family medical practice.
Thank you very much Netgalley and Vanitabooks for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.
Compelling read. I have a degree in Africana studies, so this is a particular interest of mine. This was well written, and grabbed my interest from the beginning.
A well illustrated book - about a young man's journey to become a doctor. The illustrations brought the book to life. I would recommend for a middle grade audience.
This is a beautifully crafted story based on a true story. Young readers would not only enjoy this, but because it's spun from real life, it is inspirational.
I thought that this book was excellent - it is inspirational and it was eye opening.
The story was really well illustrated and it was an open and honest story.
I loved the determination shown to meet his dreams and make a difference for his community.
This should be a book that is mandatory in school as it shows the cultural differences really well.
I was speaking to my mum about the book and when she visited Kenya a few years back she took presents for the children in the villages, wind up torches, pens, etc as well as dollars, and reading this book now shows how much that would have been appreciated too.
It is 5 stars from me for this one, very highly recommended!
Obviously I am not the target audience for this book, but I still really enjoyed reading it. Its written for kids, and it shows what determination and hard work can do. So inspiring!
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me the digital copy!
Bonyo Bonyo is told in first person point of view, narrated by Dr. Bonyo himself whose life inspired the creation of this book. Hailing from Kenya, Bonyo had to work hard incessantly as he belonged to a poor family and his parents could not afford the one dollar/year fee to send him school after he passed 6th grade. He lost his sister at a young age that motivated him to study medicine. To pursue his goal, he went through countless struggles but the support of his family and others from the village were always there to push him forward. Now a certified doctor, Bonyo continues to give back to the people who once made his seemingly impossible dream come true.
The illustrations are marvellous, beautifully detailed with shadings and colours. The language is pretty basic making it accessible to young readers. It ( the language) bothered me a little because I think with a slightly more matured writing, it could have been so much better. Then again, I am not among the target audience and the book is meant to inspire younglings. Personally, I would recommend the adults to read it too. Bonyo's story conveys hope, emotions, power of togetherness and determination which most of us lack in times of adversity. To everyone who have read this book or plan to read, please buy the hard copy too because it directly goes to the charity. You will learn more about it in the book. Thank you.
It was a sweet, and true, story about about who achieved his dreams. I loved every aspect of it, especially the drawings and the Colours that they used.
This is a sweet story about a boy from a Kenyan village 60 years ago who from childhood nurtured a dream of becoming a doctor. And in true 'boy from African village' fashion as he grows up a little he thinks the way to the best education must be through a western country. So he travels to the US to become a doctor.
The illustrations are done in very bright colours which I think many children would like, and I found the story to be told in simply enough language that most children would be able to follow along.
I think the core elements of this story are similar to many other African people, maybe especially from older generations, who made it to Europe or the US. At least it's quite similar to stories that I've heard from relatives. Ideally this book would have been written and illustrated by somebody East African, but I'm happy the story is out there nonetheless - for a wider, non-African audience, and this book did a fine job of telling the story.
This is such a beautiful yet very inspiring story about a boy named Bonyo Bonyo whose first name is the same as his last name.
Bonyo Bonyo came from a poor family of farmers in Western Kenya where they planted their own crops and rear their own livestock animals. They were so poor yet they worked really hard and find their own happiness in their own ways like Bonyo Bonyo who enjoys playing football and listening to the stories told by his grandmother.
I enjoyed reading this story and learn about the lives Bonyo Bonyo and his family and the culture of the Kenyan people. One of their culture that impresses me is 'Harrambee' or the concept of togetherness. I just loved how everyone is helpful towards each other including in helping Bonyo Bonyo in achieving his dream of becoming a doctor.
Besides that, this remarkable story taught us to work hard and to keep on going despite how hard and difficult our lives are. The story also taught us to be creative & innovative and self-subsistence/self-reliable and to make the most with what we have.
The best part of all is where Bonyo Bonyo finally successfully achieved his dream of becoming a doctor and opened a clinic in his home village which is named after his late mother known as 'Mama Pilista Bonyo Memorial Health Centre' which was established since year 2006.
The most memorable lines that strucked me the most is where he said,
"Follow your dream, don't let anything stand in the way. Others will help you if they see you are determined. But if you need courage, look inside yourself, you will find it there".
Follow the story of Dr. Bonyo Bonyo M.D. whose tragic story of loss inspired him to pursue a career in medicine. This heart-warming story tells of family struggles, community togetherness, and expressing thanks through giving back. Dr. Bonyo shares his uplifting message with young readers to follow their dreams. Beautiful illustrations accentuate the story and bring characters to life.
I’m always fascinated by the intelligences that being showcased by those black skinned people, but unfortunately, because of their endless poverty and war, they couldn’t continue their desired education or job/s.
Description: In this book, the main character – Bonyo Bonyo from Kenya – even though he’s living in lack of basic necessities, he’d enjoyed a bit of fun that being offered in his village by playing soccer with his friends and listening to his grandmother’s folktales. What really drove him to become a doctor was after the death of his little sister and his determination. Some people will know that schools in Africa were just a few and located in a very long distance from their dwellings, and imagine that one have to walk on barefoot for a few hours, or sometimes, a few days! Bonyo were eager to go to school, but unfortunately, he didn’t have the money to pay for the yearly school fee that costs a dollar! Then, his opportunity came when someone was eager in helping him to go to school. In school, he’s such a bright student and excelled in a few subjects, including soccer too. With his good grades, he went to a Catholic boarding school – in FOC – and given good meals every day. His parents too were supportive on succeeding his journey, especially when his mother allowed him to go to the school and his father helped him to earn money by selling his favorite radio, whereas Bonyo too was working very hard just like his father, by showing his letter of acceptation to the villagers and involving himself in every job that were being offered. He finally made his way to America at the age of 17 and of course, he didn’t forget his sole promise – to build a clinic in his hometown.
Conclusion: ‘I would say to all children, follow your dream. Don’t let anything stand in the way. Others will help you if they see you’re determined. But if you need courage, look inside yourself – you’ll find it there.’
I loved the unique artwork in this book, as well as how the story worked. The basis for the story is inspiring. This would be a wonderful book for shared reading.
BONYO BONYO is a beautifully illustrated children's story about a boy born in a village in Kenya. His parents could not afford to send him to school. A kind teacher told Bonyo Bonyo that he would teach him for free, if he could get to the school. Bonyo Bonyo endured many hardships, but with hard work and determination he made his dream come true. He became a doctor and came back to his village in Kenya and founded a clinic. This inspirational book is suitable for all ages.
5 stars ⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️
Thanks to author Vanita Oelschlager, Kristen Blackwood (Illustrator), Mike Blanc (Illustrator), Vanita Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book and write an unbiased review.
Posted to Goodreads, and NetGalley April 7, 2020
It is challenging for an author to self-publish and I admire Ms Oelshlager. As she continues to write her writing will improve.
This was a very, very short story but a powerful one. I can not imagine having the strength to do what Bonyo's parents did. Nor will I ever be capable of the determination Bonyo showed. He is an incredible source of inspiration.
I will buy this book when it comes out and I encourage you do too, since all net profits will be used to fund his medical practice and mission.
Both my daughter and I loved this book. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is endearing and inspiring.
I would prefer for the story to have a Kenyan author but overall it was enjoyable none the less
I've had a lot of success with Oelschlager's books, and this was no exception: it was a lot of fun, as well as informative, and interesting book, beautifully illustrated by Blackwood and Blanc. It's a mini-biography of a young boy who was living in Kenya in Eastern Africa, a country lying just below what's known as the horn of Africa. The boy's name is Bonyo Bonyo, and he loved to go to school That's not a given in Africa. Even if you can find a school, you may have to pay to go there.
These school fees may be cheap compared with what a paid education in the US costs, but people are impoverished there, and even what we consider to be a trivial amount in the US can be an insurmountable obstacle in the so-called third world. This is why we can do a lot by contributing even a little to charities which help with people in such situations. Bonyo had a hard time, and had to travel a long way to get his education, but he was determined.
He did so well in school that he got a chance to go to a college in the USA. All he needed was the airfare! Yikes. That was hard to come by, but through work and donations from friends and well-wishers, he eventually achieved his dream and became a doctor, and now he runs a clinic on his home town and also a practice in the USA. Spoiled as we are for good food, clean water, and a free education in the west, it's easy to forget that others are not so fortunate. It's sad that our millionaire president is too selfish and simple to grasp this. This book is an important reminder to those of us who are open to an education.
The book mentions a college in Texas, not a college in Ohio. While I can find no confirmation of the Texas college attendance, I did find an article online that lists the college he attended in Ohio as an osteopathic college. Such is not exactly a complete medical education. Osteopathy can provide some knowledge of human physiology, but it has only a limited application: to bone and muscle health. It's really not a lot of use for the great diversity inherent in practicing general medicine. In a way, it's a bit like chiropractic (and I could tell you a sorry tale about that!), but at least it wasn't homeopathy! However, that's not so important in a children's story because the take-home message here is one of enduring and triumphing, of courage and persistence, which Bonyo exhibited in spectacular fashion. On that basis I commend this as a worthy read.