Cover image for Koi's python
Koi's python
Moore, Miriam.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, [1998]

Physical Description:
57 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Eleven-year-old Koi is eager to kill a python as part of the rite of passage to manhood among his Betetelan people, but in the meantime he must face a bully who is picking on an old hunter in the village marketplace.
Reading Level:
"Ages 8-9"--cover p. [4].
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.7 1.0 36475.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Koi is eager to kill his first python as a traditional rite of passage to become an Batetelan man. He is continually teased by the mean Membele, who also teases the old hunter, Sankuru. When Koi defends Sankuru, Membele and his friends intensify their cruel teasing. After Koi successfully kills his first python and protects Sankuru he feels he can do anything and learns the true meaning of being a man.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4. A boy of the Batetela tribe in central Africa comes of age when he stands up to the local bully and learns from an old village hunter how to kill a python. The story, which is part of the Hyperion Chapters series of readers, will appeal to young grade-schoolers with its combination of the friends-and-enemies theme and the thrilling danger of the snake encounter. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6‘In his Batetela village in Central Africa, killing a python is a rite of passage, and at 11, Koi has yet to encounter one. Membele, the village bully, delights in taunting him, telling him he's only fit for selling his mother's yams in the market. The bigger boy also ridicules the elderly man who lives under the mango tree. Koi's mother explains that Sankuru was once a mighty hunter, but the death of his wife and children sent him into madness. The old man shows Koi how to hold his breath so a python can't squeeze all of the air from his lungs, a trick Koi uses when he finally does kill one. He leaves the dead snake near the madman's sleeping mat so that the villagers assume that Sankuru made the kill. Later in the day, however, the boy has another chance to kill a python, and in doing so becomes a man and also saves Membele's life. With just enough detail, Batetela expressions, and interesting language, the authors have created a real place populated with believable characters. While the setting might be exotic, readers will immediately recognize Koi's need to feel valued and the ties that bind this village. With seven short chapters and appealing black-and-white line drawings, the book invites children to read about another culture.‘Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.