Twenty Chickens for a Saddle: The Story of an African Childhood (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

I listened to this one on audio with the author reading it and I loved it! Robyn Scott had a very unorthodox childhood growing up in the African bush of Botswana. An intriguing, true story of a quirky family in a constant state of change that grabs your attention and keeps you entertained. - Madison

— From Madison's Current Favorites

Indie Next List Highlights 2008

“An astonishingly written story of growing up in modern-day Africa with loving, eccentric and adventure loving parents. Every character in this book could fill a novel.”
— Lillian Kinsey, Bohannons' Books With a Past, Georgetown, KY

Winter 2011 Reading Group List

“Scott tells the loving yet unsentimental story of her unusual family and her experiences growing up in the African bush. Her parents moved their family to Botswana when she was seven. Her father was a doctor and a pilot who flew to his cases, and her free-spirited mother home-schooled their three children -- in a manner of speaking. Scott is a gifted storyteller who endears her family to the reader, while chronicling the changing times in Africa.”
— Jan Healy, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA


An exquisitely rendered portrait of an African childhood from an astonishing new talent

When Robyn Scott 's parents decide to uproot their young family from New Zealand and move to a converted cowshed in rural Botswana, life for six-year-old Robyn changed forever. In this wild and new landscape excitement can be found around every corner, and with each misadventure she and her family learn more about the quirks, charms, and challenges of living in one of Africa's most remarkable and beautiful countries as it stands on the brink of an epidemic. When AIDS rears its head, the Scotts witness the early appearances of a disease that will devastate this peaceful and prosperous country. Told with clear-eyed unsentimental affection, Twenty Chickens for a Saddle is about a family's enthusiasm for each other and the world around them, with the essence of Africa infusing every page.

About the Author

Born in 1981, Robyn Scott began her formal education at the age of fourteen, when she started boarding school in Zimbabwe. Moving to New Zealand for her undergraduate degree, she studied bioinformatics at the University of Auckland. In 2004, she was awarded a Gates Scholarship to Cambridge University, where she took an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise, focused on the pricing of medicines in developing countries. Robyn lives in London, but visits and works regularly in southern Africa.

Praise For…

"[A] beautiful and loving portrait."
- The Boston Globe

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143115090
ISBN-10: 014311509X
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: March 31st, 2009
Pages: 464
Language: English