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Download Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna Audiobook, by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.04 out of 54.04 out of 54.04 out of 54.04 out of 54.04 out of 5 4.04 (24 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton Narrator: Kevin R. Free Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2015 ISBN: 9781470355920
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Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton gives American kids a firsthand look at growing up in Kenya as a member of a tribe of nomads whose livelihood centers on the raising and grazing of cattle. Readers share Lekuton’s first encounter with a lion, the epitome of bravery in the warrior tradition. They follow his mischievous antics as a young Maasai cattle herder, coming-of-age initiation, boarding school escapades, soccer success, and journey to America for college. Lekuton’s riveting text combines exotic details of nomadic life with the universal experience and emotions of a growing boy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The Cinderella theme begins in Kenya where he’s the shabby kid accepted at a fancy Nairobi high school. Later he travels to his college interview in a cattle truck with the cows. What gives this short, readable book its power is Lekuton’s authoritative, intimate view of now and then.”

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hellokitty12 | 2/9/2014

    " This book was quite instresting about this young boy an his family beliefs.the weirdest thing about this book is that they had this young boy go to school far away from home. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Margaret | 2/8/2014

    " Didn't know until I started reading that this book is meant for grade-schoolers. At the 2nd to 3rd grade reading level, it works all right. I wish he'd written a book with an adult audience in mind, for the Maasai intrigue me so. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 2/2/2014

    " After returning from a safari vacation where we had a Massai warrior for a safari guide, I was very intrigued about the Maasai culture, so I bought this book on Amazon. What a great story! Very well written and easy to read, as it is written for kids to read (I would say 12 and up). Great descriptions of Maasai mentality and traditions. Great rags to riches story...Great book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 2/1/2014

    " This is a memoir of a boy who grew up in a Nomadic tribe in Kenya and had the opportunity to go to school and become educated in America. He spends half of his year as a teacher in Washington D.C. and the other half of his year as a herder for his tribe. A great commentary on the benefits of having two cultures. This is one I definitely want to read with students. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyler | 1/28/2014

    " The book Facing the Lion by Joseph Lemasolai-Lekuton was a very well-written autobiography. It describes life for a man named Joseph in a village in the center of Africa. He makes a picture of life there as a difficult one where people as young as 8 have to carry their weight like an adult would. His life gets better thoguh when he goes to school by himself and later becomes a known and accomplished writer in America. I enjoyed reading about this mans life and would reccommend it to everyone in middle school or higher. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mandy Anderson | 1/14/2014

    " This book was a quick read. It was written simply and in a story-telling style so it was more like having a conversation with the author and less like just reading information. I knew a bit about Maasai culture before but it's always interesting to hear it from an individual's point of view. The childhood stories about ditching responsibilities to play with friends also made me laugh because it's a reminder that all around the world, children are basically the same :) I was smiling all throughout when I got to read about Joseph's triumphs and even though he was so scared to come to America, he did it anyway. This is a great book and a quick read if you've got a couple of hours to spare! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teneke | 1/13/2014

    " Fast read. More geared to young adults but still presents a fascinating story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy Kahn | 1/2/2014

    " This book was on several "must read" young adult non-fiction book lists and I understand why. Leukuton gives a very concise, yet highly descriptive account of growing up as a member of the Maasai tribe. He provides a wealth of information about tribal structure, roles, responsibilities, milestones and daily life, and never lets the reader forget his pride in who he is and where he came from. Most striking is his drive to become educated. It's easy to forget that part of this world does not formally educate its children (reading, writing, etc), and to become educated means separating from everything and everyone familiar. Lekuton's vivid account doesn't explain the source of his drive, but does make the reader realize that there are some people whose innate determination and strength set them apart in a most admirable way. I highly recommend this book for all readers who want a glimpse of a culture typically not well understood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 12/30/2013

    " Very interesting but probably just because I went on a safari this past summer in Kenya. Still very interesting to really understand a different cultural upbringing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nate | 12/27/2013

    " Its an interesting look at nomad culture in Africa and their desire to hold onto their way of life. Joseph is a brave soul in his search of the world beyond the Savanna. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 11/30/2013

    " I loved this book. It gave me a new insight into the Maasai, and helped satisfy my recurring need to read something, something, anything about Africa. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaime Maldonado | 11/24/2013

    " ...fantastic, courageous, inspirational. Everyone who complains about their troubles should read this story. A family must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 11/17/2013

    " An easy book to read that will draw you into the life of the Masai through a true story. Captivating and enjoyable! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 10/10/2013

    " Target audience is Young Adult so while very simplistically written still interesting and inspiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lavinia | 9/6/2013

    " A charming, fascinating, hopeful boo; Joseph gives the reader a tantalizing glimpse into the nomadic Maasai life and people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yahya Han | 7/20/2013

    " Although the book was intentionally written for a young audience, its story will appeal to readers of all ages. The Maasai way of life, well-detailed in Lekuton's book, is an interesting contrast to more "modern" societies that are ruled by technology. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katy | 7/3/2013

    " I read this with the kid I volunteer with. We didn't finish it, and I made us skip the chapter on circumcision! Awkward!! But interesting, and the author was my sister's 8th grade social studies teacher. Kind of cool. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sean Saldana | 6/29/2013

    " This (in my opion) was a REALLY good book......It tells a story of a boy who grows up as a part of the Masai tribe...his WHOLE life depends on cows..... when he turns 5(I think) he HAS to go to school.....And his journey begins there "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 6/16/2013

    " An interesting read. Makes me want to go back to Kenya again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adrian | 6/2/2013

    " A simple but inspirational tale about the traditional Maasai lifestyle, combined with an account of the author's new life in America. This is a great teaching resource for multi-cultural studes, as well as being a book to read and treasure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sparkytime66 | 5/7/2013

    " Not the best was told to read it for a class "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sally Kroon | 4/17/2013

    " Autobiography of a Maasai boy from Kenya. Pretty amazing to read what his life was like in his village and see the differences between that and our culture. Very eye-opening! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angeal | 4/11/2013

    " I really liked this book. It was inspirational hearing about his childhood and how he excelled to continue his education no matter what the odds. And, it's amazing how far he has gone! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jess | 4/2/2013

    " Nonfiction, about a boy growing up in Kenya. It reminded me of Namibia in some parts. "

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About the Narrator

Kevin R. Free is a multiple Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator. Known for his work with young adult novels, he has read titles by Rick Riordan, Walter Dean Myers, and Joe Haldeman. In 2011 he was named a Best Voice in Young Adult & Fantasy from AudioFile magazine for his narration of Myers’ The Cruisers: Checkmate.