In this book for youngsters we travel to Ethiopia. In this country we meet a groep of paleonthologists who are searching for fossiles. They pitch their camp near the river Awash. The story is told from the perspective of the student Tom form the United States of America and the Ethiopian boy Menelik.
Befor the group settles near the river they ask permission from the local chief. Not only do they need permission, they also need help. They ask for someone who will be the cook for the workers at the camp. One of Menelik’s uncles gets this job and as often as possible Menelik visits his uncle at the camp. In this way Tom and Menelik meet, together they start looking for fossiles and remnants of animals and human beings. Menelik proves to be very good at searching for these things.
One day the people at the camp receive an important visitor. It is the famous dr. Richard Leaky from Kenya and Mary, his even more famous (at that time) mother. Both have come to look at the recent findings of the team.
The story is set in turbulent times, including rebel groups. This does not leave the work at the campsite unhindered.
This is a nice book for younger readers, partly due to the double perspective of Tom and of Menelik.
Lieve Hoet – Ontdekking aan de Awash – 1997 – 143 pages