One Shadow on the Wall

One Shadow on the Wall An orphaned boy in contemporary Senegal must decide between doing what is right and what is easy as he struggles to keep a promise he made to his dying father Eleven year old Mor was used to hearing h

  • Title: One Shadow on the Wall
  • Author: LeahHenderson
  • ISBN: 9781481462952
  • Page: 478
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An orphaned boy in contemporary Senegal must decide between doing what is right and what is easy as he struggles to keep a promise he made to his dying father.Eleven year old Mor was used to hearing his father s voice, even if no one else could since his father s death It was comforting It was also a reminder that Mor had made a promise to his father before he passed keAn orphaned boy in contemporary Senegal must decide between doing what is right and what is easy as he struggles to keep a promise he made to his dying father.Eleven year old Mor was used to hearing his father s voice, even if no one else could since his father s death It was comforting It was also a reminder that Mor had made a promise to his father before he passed keep your sisters safe Keep the family together But almost as soon as they are orphaned, that promise seems impossible to keep With an aunt from the big city ready to separate him and his sisters as soon as she arrives, and a gang of boys from a nearby village wanting everything he has including his spirit Mor is tested in ways he never imagined With only the hot summer months to prove himself, Mor must face a choice Does he listen to his father and keep his heart true, but risk breaking his promise through failure Or is it easier to just join the Danka Boys, whom in all their maliciousness are at least loyal to their own

    One thought on “One Shadow on the Wall”

    1. This deeply immersive novel takes the reader into a life that few ever see: the life of street kids in Senegal. Mor is an orphan who is visited by the spirits of his deceased parents at moments of need. The summer after his father dies in an accident, he tries to prove to his aunt that he can take care of his two little sisters on his own. As Mor struggles to make any income possible, he is taken under the wing of Demba, a fisherman with a mystical persona who the village people think is crazy. [...]

    2. Such a poignant and beautiful story! The writing is so immersive and captivating that I couldn't put it down. I absolutely adored Mor, his family, and his community. An absolute must-read!

    3. A beautiful and sometimes lyrical middle grade story set in a culture and place rarely seen in the US for this age group. Most books I've seen or read that are set in Africa are geared toward younger readers and are picture books. While that is lovely, this novel gives readers a chance to fully immerse themselves in the setting and conflict in a deeper way because the story format is longer and able to be fleshed out more for a more mature audience. Even though the setting is different than most [...]

    4. Yea! Here is a loud hoorah for adolescent literature - really heartfelt and well-done adolescent literature. Five cheers. I wish I knew how I happened across this novel. I don't remember but how ironic that I saw someone else with exactly the same book in hand as I was ushering at a symphony performance one evening. Small world. I asked her what she thought and she replied, "The writing is exquisite. I am there in this story." I agree.Reminiscent to me of other strong adolescent characters such [...]

    5. I didn't set out to read this book in one sitting, but I ended up doing just that. The story quickly drew me into the world of Mor and his sisters and their struggle to stay together after being orphaned. Endangered by a gang of tough boys, Mor must keep his family safe with his own quick wits, the kindness of caring adults, and the reassurance that his parents' love will always be with him. This is a book that will expand young readers' understanding of the world and how to navigate it. The aut [...]

    6. Wow. This book is simply stunning! I was pulled right in by Mor's voice--so tender and true--and by the precise (sometimes beautiful, sometimes appropriately ugly) details. This author did her work. Mor's impossible predicament made me ache for him and wonder which path he'd choose. Shoutout to his sister, Amina, whose provided a sharp-eyed counterpoint to the more compulsive, emotionally driven Mor. Their love for each other and the tug of their differing points of view was so real and one of m [...]

    7. It is rarely that I read a book that transports me from day to day world. One Shadow on the Wall did that for me. Set in Senegal, it is the story of Mor, who has sworn not only to keep his sisters with him after their last parent dies, but to earn enough money to support them and to pay his sister Amina's tuition at her dream school. But the world wants to knock Mor down, just as it has knocked the hopes and dreams of other similar boys. This book is thrilling and heartbreaking and inspiring, an [...]

    8. The setting might be foreign to American readers, but the themes are real -- family, friends, bullies, responsibility, acceptance, a wise elder, the need to prove your worth, hard choices, making your parents proud.The book was a little slow at the beginning for me, but once I was hooked, I couldn't put it down.

    9. One Shadow on the Wall is a sophisticated heartfelt story. Don't miss it. I want to read about Mor again, slowly.

    10. When I opened the first pages of Henderson's 450 page novel, I never expected to finish it in one sitting. I was especially impressed by the way the author was able to make her characters so fallible, so human. It truly is a captivating and compelling read. I found myself bargaining with myself as I read, "Just one more chapter." But, I couldn't stop. I wanted to stay in this world forever. I needed to make sure the characters were okay. The characters, Mor and his sisters, continue to visit me [...]

    11. This book easily transported me to the dirt streets of Senegal. This poignant story of a boy named Mor and his sisters was beautifully written. It's nice to see more multicultural books on the shelves in our libraries. Mor and his sisters are orphans after their father dies in the opening scene of the book. His aunt comes from the city to take them away and split them up. Mor convinces her that he can take care of his sisters by himself. He wants to prove to her that he can do it even though he' [...]

    12. I am always keen on discovering new kidlit titles with an African setting and was excited to discover this story set in Senegal. While the book has a lot going for it - portraying what life can look like for children in Senegal, talking about the importance of extended family, in fact the community, to look out for each other, highlighting the plight of the many street children who live under deplorable conditions in Senegal, sharing an inspirational message to persevere, no matter how hard the [...]

    13. Part realistic, part survival, lots of pain, grit, determination, growing courageOK TALK: Mor had made a promise to his father before he died: keep your sisters safe. Keep the family together. But almost immediately that promise seems impossible to keep. Their aunt from the big city wants to send each of them to different homes. The kids are given a couple months to make it on their own as a trial. Mor keeps hitting roadblocks in his efforts to take care of his sisters and perhaps the biggest on [...]

    14. This is such a well-written, lyrical story (with a little bit of magic realism!) about an 11 year old Senegalese orphan named Mor. Mor wants to prove to his Aunt that he can care for his sisters and live independently, but he struggles to avoid the attention of a local gang of boys. Each day brings a new challenge and for every step forward, Mor has to deal with a setback. Which makes this book perfect for middle schoolers. states that it's for kids ages 8-12, but I think 11-14 is a better rang [...]

    15. This book really made its Senegalese setting come to life for me. Henderson creates a community that feels both harrowing and beautiful, but above all, by the end of the book, she makes this distant place feel familiar. I was so taken by the subtlety and rhythm of the language, and Mor completely stole my heart. I cheered for him all the way through, though I truly could not anticipate how the author was going to resolve his conflicts, which kept me on the edge of my seat. But Henderson pulls th [...]

    16. This is a beautifully written and an emotionally intense, vivid story. I loved the way the book showcases the world of small-town Senegal and offers a window into Mor's life. Though the copy says it has elements of magical realism, I think what struck me was how the book captured what is magical about life and about Mor's everyday experience, even as he is struggling to support his family as an orphaned 11-year-old. It is so powerful, and I was completely swept up in the story.

    17. One of the best books I've read this year. Leah Henderson's debut novel is simply captivating. A beautifully written tale of a young boy in Senegal who is determined to keep his family together - despite the very real dangers that come his way. Young Mor is faced with one tough decision after another, but with the help of his neighbors, his friends, and his family, Mor finds the will to not only survive, but to thrive. A gorgeous debut that is a must for every school and library collection.

    18. One of the best books I've read all year. Mor's story is simultaneously sad and uplifting. Excellent writing, unique setting, beautiful storytelling. This is a modern classic. I loved everything about this book and the Fall family's journey. My only problem with this book is that it had to end. A must-read!

    19. Just finished reading One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson. What a gorgeous story. It's middle grade, beautifully crafted, loveable characters andt in modern Senegal.I have REALLY needed some stories set in West Africa in my middle school library. In a world in need of diverse books, this novel really suits this need. I highly recommend this one!

    20. I love Mor. What a sweet character! I liked this story, but felt it was drawn out and a little didactic in parts that might make it a hard sell for most readers. Still a worthy addition for elementary libraries. Reminded me of Goldenboy by Tara Sullivan just a little.

    21. Thoroughly engaging story. I loved the main character, Mor, so much. This is a story of courage, determination, and the power of one. Not only in one’s ability to overcome obstacles, but also the power of one having a positive impact on someone else. If I could, I’d give 4.5 stars.

    22. I loved the ride into daily life in Senegal. I'm not sure what younger readers would make of the plot, especially the visits from the boy's deceased parents-not creepy, just an unusual thread. Perhaps that is part of the window into a life and culture so different from my norm.

    23. Middle school age book about survival and street gangs in Senegal. Mor, an orphaned boy, is trying to keep his family together while dealing with bullying and street gangs violence/pressure. Sad to learn from author's note that this scenario is not all that uncommon.

    24. One Shadow on the Wall is a beautifully written book that tells a powerful and superbly-crafted story. Readers will be entranced by Mor's journey and drawn into the lovely prose and Senegalese setting. A middle grade must!

    25. Lyrical, beautifully written, heart-warming story of a boy and his family. I was transformed to Senegal and learned a whole lot!

    26. Eleven-year-old orphan, Mor, struggles to keep the promise he made to his dying father to keep his young sisters safe and to keep their family together. His aunt comes to take them away from the village they call home, and Mor begs for the opportunity to prove that he can care for himself and his sisters. But finding work and food for his family isn’t easy. To make matters more complicated, a gang of boys from a nearby village, the Danka boys, threaten to take the little bit he’s saved and h [...]

    27. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This is absolutely, hands-down, one of the most beautiful middle grade novels I have ever read. I was hooked from the very first page, and quickly grew to love brave, honarable Mor and his loyal, resourceful little sisters. I found myself immersed in the beautiful, complicated world of Mor's village in Senegal and wrapped up in the emotional tangles at each moment, with orphaned Mor trying to support his sisters, learn new skills and seek an ho [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *