This is a story which takes place in the African jungle, the date is 1914 - in the First World War. Rose Sayer and her brother Samuel work in a mission: they both are missionaries. They teach Christianity to the Africans.

One day, Samuel falls ill. They think he is suffering from malaria. The next day he dies. A general has carried everything away and has taken the people from the village to become soldiers. Now Rose is alone with a dead man in the African forest. Three days later a man called Allnutt comes up the river with a little boat. He asks Rose to come with him and she agrees.

Rose wants to go down the river to a lake to destroy a ship called 'Louisa'. This is a German ship. But the way to the lake is very dangerous.

First they have to go to Shona. There are two hills where Germans and Askaris fire at everything going down the river. When they come to Shona, Allnutt begins to work on the engine to make it do its best. Allnutt and Rose are lucky because the Germans and the Askaris think that they want to give themselves up as prisoners, because they have no more food. And so they don't fire and the launch passes safely.

A little bit later they come to the rapids and Rose has to fight with the tiller. In the end the 'African Queen' hits a stone in the water and the propeller brakes. Now Allnutt has to go under water to repair it.

The next day the river becomes half mud und half water steaming in the heat and overgrown with a thick covering of tall grasses and other plants and trees. Suddenly thousands and thousands of insects come and attack Rose and Allnutt in big swarms. They fly in their ears, their mouths and noses. The insects are not like normal insects, they are bigger and more dangerous. Rose and Allnutt don't sleep very well, but the next day all the insects are gone.

Later on there is another problem. There are tall water-plants called reeds and so the propeller gts caught in them. When the reeds end, trees begin. These trees are called mangroves. Now it is easy to go down the river because the water is clear.

After some days the channel opens and there is a big lake. They see the 'Louisa' and so they hide behind some grasses. They plan to attack the 'Louisa' with torpedoes. In the night they tried to torpedo the 'Louisa', but suddenly a storm comes up. The 'African Queen' is not built for such a storm and so the waves come over the flat sides and carry Rose and Allnutt away.

On the next day the 'Louisa' takes them on board. The Germans are very friendly and decide to hand them over to the British. With the information from Rose and Allnutt, the British commander can destroy the 'Louisa'. The British carry the men who have survived to a doctor.

In the end Allnutt and Rose decide to get married.


I liked the book very much because it's quite exciting. I enjoyed reading a lot but sometimes I had to look up some words in my dictionary. I found it fascinating how Rose and Allnutt made the best out of the terrible situations. The book was great but I didn't like the ending of the story: I think that the British shouldn't torpedo the 'Louisa' because Rose and Allnutt were saved by the German.

Alter des Verfassers                  14 Jahre

Schulstufe (Verfassen)              8. Schulstufe

Jahr (Verfassen)                        1997

Fach                                          Englisch

Typ                                           Bookreport

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