Jummy at the River School

Jummy at the River School

By Author / Illustrator

Sabine Adeyinka


School Stories

Age range(s)



Chicken House Ltd




Paperback / softback




A glorious boarding school adventure set in Nigeria - a story of friendship, empathy and fighting for what you believe in.

Jummy has won a place at the River School, the finest girls' boarding school in Nigeria. Nothing can dampen her spirits, not even when she learns that her best friend Caro won't be joining her. By the Shine-Shine River, school is everything Jummy dreamt of, with friendly new girls, midnight feasts and sporting prizes - but when Caro suddenly arrives at the school to work, not to learn, Jummy must bring all her friends together to help.

From a fantastic new talent in middle-grade contemporary fiction, Sabine Adeyinka, based on her own experience of attending boarding school in Nigeria A joyful, glorious collision of classic boarding-school story with vibrant 1990s Nigeria Irrepressible Jummy investigates an intriguing mystery as her best friend from home turns up at the school.

'What a joyful, vibrant story! A book for the heart' EFUA TRAORE, author of Children of the Quicksands.

See also: Time to Shine at the River School



Although Jummy is excited because she has earned a place at River School, the best girls' boarding school in Nigeria, she is upset that her best friend, Caro, won't be joining her. River School is everything she dreamed of and she quickly settles into her new school house. Every year, the school holds a competition, the Harmattan Games, and Jummy is determined to help Nile House beat the other school houses and win.  But when Caro does arrive at school, working as a maid, Jummy is determined to get her friend the education she deserves.

Beautifully told, Jummy at River School brilliantly brings to life rich, vibrant, colourful scenes from Nigeria. Full of detail, the writing transports the reader River School, where hard work and excellence are celebrated, but all the rivalries, difficulties, fun and friendships of school life are also experienced. The fierce rivalry between the houses, particularly Nile and Limpopo, the midnight feasts and sporting events offer all the classic hallmarks of a boarding school story and the story romps along at a pleasing pace!

Jummy is a very likeable heroine who develops over the course of the story to reflect on things which she has always taken for granted - the comfortable circumstances of her family life - as she observes behaviours in others which she intensely dislikes and is concerned to consider that they might reflect her own attitudes. In her determination to help her friend, she resolves to change her behaviour and be different to Bonjali, a reluctant member of Nile House, and others like her.

The story makes its readers consider the inequalities in access to education experienced by children in Nigeria, opening discussions about the importance of free education for all. Jummy at River School is an enjoyable, accessible read!

272 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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