After we shared our list of 100 Must-Read Nigerian Novels, many of our followers and fans asked where some of the classic children's books from their school days were. And we listened: check out our list of 20 beloved Nigerian children's books - be sure to share your favourites in the comments!
1. Eze Goes to School by Onuora Nzekwu and Michael Crowder
Eze Goes to School is a must-read for Nigerian children, with its vivid portrayal of life in a typical Nigerian community and inspiring determination in the face of challenges.
Chike and the River is a magical tale about a boy's dream of crossing the mighty Niger River by one of Nigeria and the world's most beloved writers.
3. Without a Silver Spoon by Eddie Iroh
The story of Ure - who works as a houseboy to pay his school fees and is accused of stealing money - has taught generations of Nigerian children the importance of honesty.
The story of Akin, a blind drummer who inspires everyone with his talents, celebrates the uniqueness of the individual and how self-fulfillment can help us touch the lives of others.
Okoro takes on the classic folktales of Igbo culture in this novel. For the first time, Tortoise leaves his home on earth to explore outer space, tackling environmental problems and many timeless themes of mankind and society.
6. How the Leopard Got Its Claws by Chinua Achebe and John Iroaganachi
Achebe and Iroaganachi's retelling of this Igbo folktale explores issues of power, freedom, ambition, violence and justice in a way that children can easily understand.
A group of animals act to stop the destructive human invasion of their home. This book teaches children the importance of protecting our environment.
8. The First Corn by Mabel Segun
Mabel Segun is one of Nigeria's best-loved children's novelists. This story of how a man first discovered corn fully engages younger readers.
9. Nma and Nkita by Chinwe Agbakoba
An enthralling choice for kids, Nma and Nkiti is the story of a beautiful girl, her handsome husband, and a secret uncovered by a dog.
10. The Village School by Anezi Okoro
Anezi Okoro is a children's stories expert with a long resume; this classic tale of a village school in southeastern Nigeria - first published in 1966 - has stood the test of time.
This collection of stories by the famous educationalist speaks to the experiences of all Nigerian students.
12. Little Snake and Little Frog by Gabriel Okara
This touching story about friendship for kids is set in Nama-ama, the town of animals.
13. Sugar Girl by Kola Onadipe
This gripping story centers on Raila, a young girl who goes missing from home and must overcome a wicked witch and a horrible hunter.
14. A Child with a Child by Clement Okosun
A great read for older children, A Child with a Child is the story of 17 year-old Enibo, a student too afraid to tell her family or friends that she is pregnant, and who is driven to desperate measures.
15. Coal Camp Boy by Cyprian Ekwensi
This folktale by Cyprian Ekwensi is a fantastic read for older primary school pupils. Check out this throwback post about the author's visit to ZODML for a CATHY session.
16. Tales Out of School by Nkem Nwankwo
Another great story about a young person's first year at secondary school. The protagonist Bayo experiences a class rebellion and a challenge to the school football team during his first term at school.
17. Jelly Baby by Philip Begho
Jelly Baby is set in a camp for boy soldiers during Sierra Leone's civil war. Many critics and readers have called for the book to be given to every child in the world.
18. Koku Baboni by Kola Onadipe
Koku Baboni calls into question a village's practice of leaving one of a set of twins to die. It introduces young readers to complex questions about human rights.
This book by the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature winner and professor is set in the wake of the Nigerian Civil War and tells the story of Ola, whose family has been left poor after the death of her father.
20. Burning Grass by Cyprian Ekwensi
Burning Grass is a fascinating tale about Northern Nigeria where, when the grass is burnt on the plains, Fulani cattlemen move southwards towards the banks of the Niger. Mai Sunsaye, the hero of the story, is afflicted with sokugo, the wandering sickness, and his experiences and those of his herdsmen will stay with you long after the final page.
These books and many more are available to borrow at the ZODML Community Library - sign up today and borrow books for your child and yourself! [Tweet "#TBT: #ZODML's 20 Beloved Nigerian Children's #Books"]