Playing a Dangerous Game
by Patrick Ochieng
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 17 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2021
W. W. Norton & Company, Norton Young Readers
This whip-smart coming-of-age novel sees a group of boys embark on a madcap, high-stakes adventure of survival and friendship.
Lumush and his three friends live with their families in Railway Estate, spending their free time in the countryside or in the yards behind the estate, playing a game of chance called pata potea next to the wreck of an old car. When the boys’ attention begins to wander farther, they discover a deserted house believed to be haunted. As they explore the house, they learn that it’s not ghosts they have to fear but the malevolent Mwachuma. By day he works in his junkyard, but by night he and his accomplices steal coffee from the railway yard and smuggle it into the “ghost house.” As the young boys are drawn into this criminal underworld, they face a mounting danger that threatens both themselves and their families.
With rich storytelling and gripping adventure, Playing a Dangerous Game is a brilliant debut set in 1970s Kenya from a talented new voice in children’s fiction.
About the Author:
Patrick Ochieng was longlisted for the Syncity NG 2018 Anthology prize. He has been published in Kikwetu, Munyori, Brittle Paper, and other literary publications. He lives in Kenya with his family.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 3 members
This is a fun middle grade read about a group of friends in 1970's Kenya. They are struggling to grow up and scrapping along the way. They work to manage their teachers and parents who seem to get in the way of having fun and just living life. This is a great book for fans of the 1986 movie, Stand By Me.