The Rainmakers by Ugandan writer Paul Kisakye won Sarraounia Prize for Young Adult fiction 2020. It is a mystery tale featuring 15 year old Tendo Katende and his friends who during their school holiday turn investigative when strange happenings occur at a farm.
Tendo receives a gift wrapped in love and is the envy of his friends. The video game occupies him and addiction sets in that he almost loses his position as leader of the pack. He gets in trouble with his cool dad who believes that the video game is the leading cause of all trouble at the farm. Tendo is miffed by this accusation as any teenager would be.
The writer through his characters expertly delivers a powerful mysterious tale. The reader is glued to each page with a thirst to know who is in-charge of the havoc at the firm? Is it really coming from the video game? Is Tendo oblivious to this?
Reading about Tendo and his friends set in Uganda with all the technological advancement in the book. I desired that they adopt it on the school curriculum. It is educative, insightful and very futuristic. It captures the essence of the targeted age group: their worries, desires, thought process, curiosity, struggles.
The story`s big reveal in terms of who or what is the cause of the mayhem at the farm was short. I would have desired for it to be deeply explored. But for this age group, what was served was enough. Even the relationship dynamics between brothers needed to be built more but again, the targeted audience would have found the narrative too long.
The Rainmakers reminded me of Nancy Drew, The Famous Five, The Hardy Boys, books I read when I was younger. I loved it when mysteries were solved.
I highly recommend this for young adults (18 years and below). It will serve them plenty of curiosity and open them up to a whole new world.