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Authors: Precious McKenzie,Becka Moore

Grand Theft Safari

BOOK: Grand Theft Safari
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© 2016 Rourke Educational Media

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher.

Edited by: Keli Sipperley
Cover layout by: Tara Raymo
Interior layout by: Jen Thomas
Cover and Interior Illustrations by: Becka Moore

Library of Congress PCN Data

Grand Theft Safari / Precious McKenzie

  (Rourke's World Adventures Chapter Books)

  ISBN (hard cover)(alk. paper) 978-1-63430-391-0

  ISBN (soft cover) 978-1-63430-491-7

  ISBN (e-Book) 978-1-63430-585-3

  Library of Congress Control Number: 2015933786


Printed in the United States of America, North Mankato, Minnesota

Dear Parents and Teachers:

Rourke's Adventure Chapter Books engage readers immediately by grabbing their attention with exciting plots and adventurous characters.

Our Adventure Chapter Books offer longer, more complex sentences and chapters. With minimal illustrations, readers must rely on the descriptive text to understand the setting, characters, and plot of the book. Each book contains several detailed episodes all centered on a single plot that will challenge the reader.

Each adventure book dives into a country. Readers are not only invited to tag along for the adventure but will encounter the most memorable monuments and places, culture, and history. As the characters venture throughout the country, they address topics of family, friendship, and growing up in a way that the reader can relate to.

Whether readers are reading the books independently or you are reading with them, engaging with them after they have read the book is still important. We've included several activities at the end of each book to make this both fun and educational.

Are you ready for this adventure?


Rourke Educational Media






Hello Africa

Welcome to Maasai Mara

Hot Air Balloon


Giraffe Encounter

Elephant Stampede

The Maasai

Lake Bogoria

Goodbye Africa

Chapter One


“Who's coming to Africa with me? Tomas? Marisol?” Mom asked excitedly. She was selected to research the lesser flamingo in Kenya. As a bird biologist, Mom has had the chance to travel all over the world but never to Africa. This was a chance of a lifetime for her.

Tomas, my twin brother, jumped up and down, waving his hands in the air. “I'm in, I'm in!” he shouted. Tomas loves animals and he's dreamed about going on safari for most of his life.

“Oh, you're not leaving me behind,” I said. Visiting Africa and watching lions and zebras in the wild was something I wasn't going to miss, either.

“Fantastic! We'll all go. Alberto,” Mom said as she glanced at Dad, “I'll go book the flights.”

Dad cleared his throat. “You kids need to calm down. Before we go, you'll both have to go to the doctor.”

I looked at Tomas nervously. I wasn't a fan of doctor's offices. “Why?” I asked.

“You'll need all your vaccinations updated and we'll need to see about anti-malaria protection,” Dad said. “Marisol, it's no big deal.”

I shrugged it off. “Sure, no big deal,” I repeated, trying to convince myself it was true.

The next few weeks were a flurry of activity. We had doctor's appointments for our vaccinations. It wasn't so bad. Mom took us shopping for outdoor gear and new hiking boots. Dad mapped out our homeschool work and loaded books onto our tablets. Just because we were going to Africa didn't mean our studies stopped.

With our bags packed, we headed to the airport. It would take us a full day to get to Nairobi, Kenya. From our airport in Chicago, we'd fly to Atlanta, then cross the Atlantic Ocean to the Netherlands, and from the Netherlands, we would fly south to Africa.

As we boarded the airplane, Mom said, “I hope they don't lose our suitcases.”

Dad joked, “Oh well, you'll just have to shop some more in Nairobi.”

Mom rolled her eyes at Dad. “Very funny, sweetheart. You know I don't like to shop,” Mom said.

“Really?” Dad laughed as he pointed at all of us decked out in our new hiking boots and khaki pants. We looked like tacky tourists decked out in our safari costumes.

“That was enough shopping for a lifetime,” Mom laughed. “It will take me a year to pay off the credit card bill for all these outfits.” I couldn't tell if she was joking or serious. I knew going on safari was expensive, an unreachable dream vacation for many people around the world. We were very fortunate. Since this trip was part of Mom's job, some of our expenses were paid for by the university.

“You don't have to remind me,” Dad said. “When we get back to the States, I'll need to find a second job to pay for this trip. I could be a historian by day and a waiter by night.”

The full day wasted on planes was the most boring time of my life. I read a few books, took a
few naps, and ate all of the snacks in my carry-on bag. Tomas did exactly the same thing. The planes didn't even have any decent movies for us to watch, just old kids' movies that we'd seen years ago.

When we landed in Nairobi the next day, we were sweaty and tired. It had been a very long trip.

Mom pulled out her map. “Let's find our hotel. I think we could all use hot showers and a nap in a real bed.” Mom flagged down a taxi and gave the driver instructions to our hotel.

Nairobi is a modern city, with shopping malls, hotels, and apartment buildings. Our hotel had stone lions by the front doors and mahogany floors and leather chairs in the lobby.

“This is nice,” Dad said as we walked inside.

After we checked in, we took the elevator to the fifth floor. Our room had dark wood panels on the walls, crisp white blankets, and African art above the beds.

“This feels like Africa,” Tomas said as he rolled on the soft bed.

“Really?” Dad laughed. “A big soft bed feels like Africa? You'll be surprised when we get out to the bush in a few days.”

“No,” Tomas answered, “The artwork, the dark wood. It looks exotic, like Africa.”

Mom read through the hotel brochure on the desk. “We have twenty-four hour electricity here, room service, a pool and a spa.”

“Sweet!” I exclaimed. We could escape the heat in a nice, cool swimming pool.

“Wait a minute,” Tomas interrupted. “What do you mean by twenty-four hour electricity? Is there any other kind of electricity?”

Mom explained, “Not all parts of the world have electricity all of the time. They might have limited power supplies or outdated equipment. Electricity is a luxury. You should be thankful you have such a comfy life in America.”

“Enjoy it,” Mom continued. “In four days, we'll be in tents in the bush surrounded by insects and wild animals.” Mom was used to camping in rough country. It was part of her job as a biologist. She always joked that biologists don't study pigeons in a city next to a luxury hotel. She liked being out in nature. I liked being out in nature, but I also liked a nice, soft bed and a warm shower too. I guess I wasn't as tough as Mom.

“Tomorrow I need to stop by the university, to meet the research team and help load the trucks. But the three of you are welcome to explore Nairobi,” Mom said.

“Sounds like a plan, Carolina.” Dad smiled and patted Mom on the back affectionately. “We'll be tourists while you work.”

“Honey,” Mom said to Dad, “Be sure to hire a driver. Don't wander around without a guide or a driver.”

Dad gave Mom a frustrated face.

“I'm serious,” Mom said. “Nairobi is a huge city. There are lots of criminals that will take advantage of tourists. There are many very dangerous neighborhoods.”

BOOK: Grand Theft Safari
13.07Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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