In this latest story about Anna Hibiscus, she is on holiday with her grandparents in the rural village where they were born. As a visitor from the city, she likes to entertain local children with her knowledge of numbers and spelling whilst they watch over their goats. In fact, Anna herself is being educated about the complexities of life in present-day Africa and is made aware of her own privileged middle class background as she encounters issues of poverty and deprivation. Noticing how thin village children are, she is shocked to learn it is a simple case of poverty and undernourishment. Even more troubling, when she pursues a boy who steals a banana, she is brought face to face with the desperate circumstances of his lone struggle for survival. Such issues are presented with a light touch, however, and mediated through the gentle humour and memorable characters of this wonderful series of chapter books for younger readers.