15 noviembre, 2011


Books for Intermediate 2 year (first term)

Choose one of Following:

‘Tales of the Unexpected’ by Roald Dahl. (Penguin) 

This collection showcases sixteen of Roald Dahl's finest tales, taken from "Kiss Kiss" and "Someone Like You". There are tales of the risk-takers, such as the man who wagers his daughter's hand in marriage to a wine connoisseur, or the traveller who throws himself overboard on a cruise liner to win a bet. Here too is the understated cruelty of "Edward the Conqueror," in which a mysterious cat seems to threaten domestic life, or the innocuous-seeming "Landlady," whose guests stay for longer than they intend. Not forgetting the satisfyingly shocking tales of revenge, such as "Nunc Dimittis" or "Lamb to the Slaughter".

Roald Dahl's Biography

Roald Dahl's father, Harald Dahl, immigrated to England from Norway around the turn of the century (1900). Not long after the death of his first wife, he took a trip back to Norway in hopes of finding a wife to help him raise his young son and daughter. He married Sofie Magdalene Hesselberg in 1911 and the couple moved to Dahl's home in Llandaff, Wales. Over the next six years they had five children: Astri, Alfhild, Roald, Else, Asta. Roald was born on September 13, 1916 in Llandaff. Unfortunately Astri, the eldest, died of appendicitis in 1920. Harald Dahl quickly deteriorated after his daughter's death and he died of pneumonia a few months later. Sofie Dahl, pregnant at the time with Asta, was left with three of her own children, two step–children, a sizeable estate, and her husband's dying wish that his children would be educated in English schools, which he thought the best in the world.A less determined woman would have packed up and moved back home to Norway, but Sofie decided to stay in Wales and carry out Harald's wish.

In 1983, Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal divorced after thirty years of marriage. Dahl quickly remarried Felicity Dahl, with whom he had fallen in love and carried on an affair for some time. Thus the last years of his life were relatively happy and productive, and some of his best books were written during this period: 
The BFG, The Witches, and Matilda.Roald Dahl died on November 23, 1990 in Oxford, England. He was buried in Great Missenden.

 ‘The no 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’ by Alexander McCall Smith. (Abacus)

When Precious Ramotswe decides to use the money her beloved father left her to open the first ever Ladies’ Detective Agency in Botswana, everyone is skeptical. "Can women be detectives?" asks the bank’s lawyer. Mma Ramotswe herself feels unsure of her success. After all, her only assets are a tiny white van, two desks, two chairs, a telephone, an old typewriter, a teapot, and three teacups. But she does possess the intangible assets of intuition and intelligence. These she has in great supply, along with perseverance, a keen knowledge of the human mind and heart, a steadfast sense of right and wrong, and a personality that inspires trust and loquaciousness in nearly all who meet her. What she also has is a deep love for Africa generally and for Botswana and its people especially. "They are my people, my brothers and sisters. It is my duty to help them to solve the mysteries of their lives. That is what I am called to do". These mysteries aren’t the standard stuff of detective novels. There are no bludgeoned millionaires or murdered sexpots in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Mma Ramotswe’s cases range from exposing a freeloader posing as a father, to discovering whether or not a young Indian girl has a boyfriend, to determining the legitimacy of a worker’s injury claim, to revealing the real reason behind a doctor’s inconsistent performance. Mundane concerns, by the standards of most American mysteries, but much of the charm of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency lies in just this quality of ordinariness–the problems that ordinary people confront in the course of their everyday lives. The threat of something more violent, more sinister, appears when a young boy goes missing and Mma Ramotswe suspects he has fallen victim to witch doctors. This crime will bring Mma Ramotswe face-to-face with one of Africa’s most frightful traditions–the use of human bones in the making of muti (medicine).


Alexander McCall Smith is a professor of medical law at Edinburgh University. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana. He is the author of over fifty books on a wide rage of subjects, including specialist titles such as Forensic Aspects of Sleep and The Criminal Law of Botswana, children’s books such as The Perfect Hamburger, and a collection of stories called Portuguese Irregular Verbs.

History of Botswana

The recent history of Botswana, a central South African country smaller than Texas, but larger than California, hinges on gaining independence in 1966 from the United Kingdom. Under the British, the country had been known as the Bechuanaland protectorate. As a reader can tell from the story, Botswana’s relatively recent independence and success, due in large part to the country’s development of extensive diamond reserves, is a source of great pride among its citizens. Thus, Mma Ramotswe’s depiction of Botswana as a stable, highly fortunate beacon of hope on the all-to-often tumultuous landscape of Africa is more than just a fictional creation; it is reality. Previous to the British occupation of Botswana, the region had known many African as well as European visitors. Frequently threatened by these visitors, natives in the region banded together under chief Khama II as well as subsequent leaders to drive out the Zulus, Ndebele, Afrikaners, and Germans. The point should not be lost, then, that natives of Botswana were and are not isolated from the rest of Africa and the world. This small country of an estimated one and one half million people has a thriving capital in Gaborone, a democratically elected legislature that adheres to a constitution over thirty years old, and a beautiful country that includes hills, deserts, rivers, and marshlands.