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A young child describes her experiences of life in Mali as she spends a day carried in a blanket on her mother's back.
Ten-year-old Sidikiba is about to be initiated into the world of the kora, a twenty-one stringed West African harp performed by his family for seventy generations. To become a kora player, like his father and grandfather before him, Sidikiba must honor and respect the wisdom of his elders, trust in the mystical secrets of his community, and above all else, be patient and practice hard.
Yatandou lives in a Mali village with her family and neighbors. And though she is only eight years old and would much rather play with her pet goat, she must sit with the women and pound millet kernels. To grind enough millet for one day's food, the women must pound the kernels with their pounding sticks for three hours. It is hard work, especially when one is eight years old. But as they work, the women dream of a machine that can grind the millet and free them from their pounding sticks. But the machine will only come when the women have raised enough money to buy it. Yatandou must help raise the money, even if it means parting with something she holds dear.-- Publisher description