Listening for Lions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Listening for Lions
Listening for Lions.jpg
Author Gloria Whelan
Audio read by Bianca Amato
Genre Historical novel
Publication date
Pages 208
ISBN 9780060581763

Listening for Lions is a children's novel by Gloria Whelan, first published in 2005.[1] Set in 1919, it concerns an orphaned girl who becomes involved in an inheritance swindle.

Plot summary[edit]

Rachel Sheridan is the only child of British missionaries working among the Kikuyu and Maasai tribes of British East Africa (present-day Kenya). They work on a hospital in addition to church-work and teaching. Life goes haywire as influenza strikes when Rachel is 15, in 1930. The sickness is the cause of many deaths, soon her friends from the Kikuyu and Maasai tribes, the dreaded Pritchards, planters in the area come with their daughter Valerie, who looks very much like Rachel. Valerie dies within hours, and later Rachel's father. She is lured to the Pritchards' home and forced to impersonate their daughter, who was going to visit her dying grandfather in England, being told it would "save his life". Rachel considers telling people of the Pritchards' lies on the ship, but she soon arrives in England and begins to develop a close relationship with her "grandfather", who, like her, is very fond of birds. Just as things begin to get better, the Pritchards' unveil their new plot, to take the grandfather's property when he dies. In scorn of his son, the Grandfather sends them away, but his trusty solicitor, Mr. Grumbloch, gives Rachel his address and tells her to come in an emergency. Rachel comes within the day, and he returns her to her grandfather, telling him the truth, which they have already suspected. There is an epilogue at the end of the novel, in which Rachel becomes his adopted daughter and attends school, later returning to her parent's hospital as a doctor.

Critical reception[edit]

The audiobook recording of Listening for Lions received an Audie Award as well as AudioFile magazine's Earphones Award. AudioFile called the story "solid" and Bianca Amato's narration "stellar".[2]


  1. ^ Jolin, Paula (August 1, 2005). "Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan". KidsReads. 
  2. ^ "Audiobook Review: Listening for Lions (2006)". AudioFile. Retrieved December 8, 2014.