Written by Refiloe Moahloli and Illustrated by Katlego Keogale (Pan Macmillan)
Know My Name is an early chapter book about twins Rorisang and Morena who move to a new school and have to face all sorts of new challenges.
Rorisang and her twin brother Morena can’t believe they have to move to a new school. Their old school was right across the street, and everyone knew them. They even got the annual award for being most likely to be late to school and the headmaster, Mr Pope, was best buddies with their dad. Mama decides they are not taking school seriously enough and she moves them to The Cradle, a fancier school just out of town. Rorisang is filled with butterflies as she worries about starting afresh where no one knows their name. What if they struggle to make friends? What if they aren’t good at anything? How will they make their mark? Before long, the twins have to face all sorts of new challenges – and discover new talents!
There’s a lot going on, with moving school being more than enough to make Rorisang feel out of sorts, but on top of that she can’t seem to win her athletics races, she can’t perform in front of people, her brother is bugging her and she is nervous about playing her first softball match. Each issue is lightly touched upon, but her need to overcome her performance anxiety is deftly handled as her mother reveals that she too gets nervous making presentations in front of a lot of people. Together they come up with a way of calming each other’s nerves. I love that they work on it together, showing that it’s not only children who get nervous and that Rorisang doesn’t give up. She is a positive young role model yet a completely believable and fun character.
Early chapter books
This is the perfect step into chapter books for young readers age 7 to 10. The illustrations help bring the story alive and illustrator Katlego Keokgale has captured the twins personalities in her expressive drawings. You’ll know the author, Refiloe Moahloli from her popular picture books such as How many Ways Can I Say Hello? and We Are One. Her first foray into early chapter books shows a simple yet skilled touch in evoking what makes a ten year old’s life tick. From popularity to competitiveness, stage fright to sibling rivalry, she covers a range of issues that impact on a young child’s life.
Also available in isiZulu and Afrikaans.