Africa Is Not a Country, 2nd Edition

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 6
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Enter into the daily lives of children in the many countries of modern Africa.

Countering stereotypes, Africa Is Not a Country celebrates the extraordinary diversity of this vibrant continent. This edition includes updates to the text, statistics, and illustrations to reflect Africa in the 2020s.

“A lovely book about Africa that gets the issue of its enormous diversity right.” —Barbara Brown, Director, Africa in our Schools and Community Program, African Studies Center, Boston University

“A book every school must have as we emerge into the global village. Gives good insights into Africa’s many cultures, with a balance of the contemporary and traditional that is the way of life now.” —Oscar Mokeme, Director, Museum of African Tribal Art, Portland, Maine

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Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 4
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Category Diverse Books: Celebrating Differences , Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity, SEL: C Social Awareness, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2023
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 40
Publication Date 2022-08-02
Text Type Informational Fiction
BISACS JUV030010, JUV074000, JUV015010
Dewey 960
Dimensions 8.5 x 10.875
Lexile 1090
Guided Reading Level T
Features Index, Maps, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Author: Margy Burns Knight

Margy Burns Knight is a children's book author and educator based in Maine. She received the National Education Association's Author Illustrator Human and Civil Rights Award and the Children's Africana Book Award for Africa Is Not a Country.

Author: Mark Melnicove

Mark Melnicove is an author, teacher, and director. He is based in Maine.

Illustrator: Anne Sibley O'Brien

Anne Sibley O'Brien is a children's book illustrator of over thirty-five picture books. A 2014 recipient of the Katahdin Award for lifetime achievement from the Maine Library Association, Anne is dedicated to diversity education and leadership training. She cofounded two projects featuring diverse books: I'm Your Neighbor Books, and the Diverse BookFinder. She lives with her husband on an island in Maine, and is the mother of two grown children and a grandmother of two.

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Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

“This book is a beautiful presentation of Africa’s stunning range of people, places, and priorities. Children parade across the endpapers waving the flags of the fifty-four countries that make up the African continent. A full-page map shows country names and borders, along with rivers and the continent’s three main ecosystems. Introductory paragraphs read like a poem, distilling key demographics for anyone to understand. For example, Africa covers more area than the United States plus China, Japan, and Europe combined. And, if Africa were a pie with ten slices, four would be the deserts. Each of the sixteen subsequent spreads is dedicated to a family or individual in a different country. The first focuses on morning activities while the last features a bedtime moment. The daily routines—breakfast, going to school or work, shopping, studying, playing, and eating meals—will be familiar to readers, but each is shown in a manner that is unique to the featured country. Richly colored art shows culturally distinct details of urban and rural settings as experienced by the children. The art style is rather traditional, and each page has a lot of text. This visual and linguistic tone conveys simple steadiness and is never stale. Extensive backmatter shares brief blurbs of key demographic and historical facts about all of the African countries in this fascinating continent. This approach works as a very kid-friendly reference that tells the elaborate story of Africa in a personal way. Reviewer Rating: 4” –Children’s Literature