Lulu Kibwana is a tween TV star working at the studio where a statue gets stolen. After paying careful attention to the police investigation, Lulu discovers that people in her family and social circle discriminate against certain tribes in Kenya, and that poor people do not always get adequate medical care. Each of these issues can lead to opportunities for gifted thinkers to have socially aware discussions.
Although upper elementary is not generally an age of abstract reasoning, gifted students often have an increasing awareness of social rights and responsibilities. Teachers can group students for Nairobi Nightmare student book group discussions and give topics based on social issues in the book.
When one of the workers on the tv how set of her show is the main suspect in the theft, Lulu uses inductive reasoning to reach the logical conclusion that that the show’s clown is not guilty. She must use deductive reasoning to exclude suspects as she looks for clues.
Being with peers who can work at a similar pace is a benefit of enrichment classes, and discussion is certainly more meaningful and enjoyable for students who are capable of looking at multiple views of issues . Offering higher-level thinking questions to group discussions and connecting the story back to skills taught in the classroom makes reading Nairobi Nightmare an enriched learning experience.
Nairobi Nightmare (ISBN 0979291216) is written by W.A. Sorrells and illustrated by Tom Bancroft and Rob Corley. It was published by KidsGive in 2007.
A version of this article was originally published on February 10, 2009 by Alex Sharp on Suite101. Read more about using Nairobi Nightmare in elementary enrichment classrooms.