In Maasai Angel, a lyrical story for all ages, "emorata" (a Maasai rite of passage) looms unexpectedly over a young American girl's "journey of spirit" to a distant Maasai village. Compelled to choose between her family and her desire to follow her own path, Yambaine is not unlike Meredith, who also faces similar choices in "growing up" -- of playing life safe (thinking only of prom, Algebra grades and pretty skin) or expanding her awareness to include those who are outside her comfort zone. The hard-hitting, based-on-truth story bridges the Maasai and American cultures, making visible the all too often invisible Maasai girls who must choose between risking their lives at the fate of emorata or escaping to schools beyond the savannah. It is in this sense then that Maasai Angel speaks to all persons of consciousness who seek to build bridges between cultures and bring to light rituals and/or secrets that all too often mask human anguish, pain and fear. African artist Sue Stollberger's drawings of the Maasai heighten the impact of this story; Maasai Angel is inspired by the real-life adventures of Ruth Clemmens, an incredible blessing to all who know and love her. Margaret C. Price
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