Cover image for Sosu's call
Sosu's call
Asare, Meshack, 1945-
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
La Jolla, Calif. : Kane/Miller Book Publishers, 2002.

Physical Description:
37 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
When a great storm threatens, Sosu, an African boy who is unable to walk, joins his dog Fusa in helping save their village.
Reading Level:
760 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.6 0.5 58485.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.6 3 Quiz: 49254 Guided reading level: P.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Sosu is all alone in his family's compound when disaster strikes. The waters are rising, and most of the people of the village are in the fields. The only ones left are the very old and the very young. And Sosu, who cannot walk. Somehow he manages to make his way through the rising waters up the hill to the drum shed, where he sounds the alarm and saves the village.A book about differences, about acceptance, about what it means to be "normal." A book about the people and the lives that take place on the other side of the world, and in our own backyard.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ghanian author Asare (Cat in Search of a Friend) touches on weighty themes of prejudice and courage as he introduces Sosu, a disabled African boy whose bravery eclipses his physical limitations. Incapable of walking, Sosu is shunned: "It is bad luck to have the likes of him in our village.... You must keep him in your house," two fishermen tell Sosu's father. While children will empathize with the unfairness of Sosu's situation, the story moves sluggishly. Lengthy blocks of text unhurriedly relate both the poignant and exciting moments. It is mainly through slow, third-person-omniscient narration that readers learn of Sosu's feelings, as in Sosu's jealousy of his active dog or his interest in watching the chickens, "perhaps because there was nothing to envy about them!" When storm waters rage one day, Sosu drags himself to the drum shed, where he beats out a rhythm to call the men back from their work, to help save the others. Drab hues dominate the watercolors in the climactic scenes and elsewhere, possibly echoing Sosu's feelings of deficiency and loneliness but issuing little welcome to readers. And while rainbow colors grace the final spread when Sosu receives a wheelchair for his heroic deed the ending is a bit of an abrupt turnaround. Children may celebrate the message of Sosu's triumph, if not the way in which it is delivered. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-Sosu lives in a small village "Somewhere on a narrow strip of land between the sea and the lagoon." Unable to walk and considered "bad luck" by the villagers, he is forced to stay at home with only a dog for company while his brother and sister attend school and his parents go to work. But when a storm causes the sea to overflow, threatening the lives of the young and the old, Sosu conquers his fear and, led by his dog, crawls through the "howling wind" and "churning water" to the drum in the chief's house. His drumming brings help, and in gratitude for the lives saved, the villagers provide Sosu with a wheelchair. African designs grace the endpapers, and Asare's pastel-hued, impressionistic watercolors aptly depict life in an African fishing village: the blue sea, swaying palms, thatched huts, and villagers going about their daily chores. When Sosu is thought to be a spirit, accusing neighbors loom over him in black gray shadows in a particularly eerie spread. The lengthy text contains some lyrical descriptions and evidence of the author's love of the land. While there is never any doubt that Sosu will save the day, and some of the dog's actions stretch credibility, this story of overcoming a serious physical challenge and achieving acceptance may offer hope and inspiration to young readers.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.