Neema’s Reason to Smile

Ages: 7 - 11Publisher: Lightswitch Learning Author: Patricia NewmanIllustrator: Mehrdokht Amini


Even though primary education is free in Kenya, uniforms, pencils, and paper are not. Neema dreams of going to school as she carries the heavy basket of fruit on her head to the market. After their obligations are subtracted, Neema and her mother place every extra coin in their “Dream Basket” to save for Neema’s future education.

Although children at the local government school wear blue and white, one day, Neema sees a girl in a white blouse and red skirt. Following the young girl, she discovers a school whose teacher welcomes her. When Neema returns with her mother, the teacher gives her a uniform and reassures her mother, and her deeply desired education begins.

The Kenyan characters and milieu are cheerfully and wonderfully depicted by the bright colorful stylized pictures. Based on a real educational project, the book tells a satisfying and enlightening story of a child’s thirst for an education. Important for children who take the opportunity to go to school for granted.

Kemie Nix ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children’s Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents’ Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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