My Totem Came Calling


Chanda is a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl in Harare, Zimbabwe, who suddenly starts suffering from memory lapses, which become even more worrisome when she starts seeing a zebra in all sorts of places. The trouble is, nobody else can see it. Afraid of being institutionalized in a hospital, she follows the advice of an old aunt and sets off for her ancestral village, a primitive settlement with none of the amenities she is used to in the city. But there she meets the rest of her family, including her strange and mysterious grandmother, and learns the hard way who she really is—not a superficial, rich city girl with foreign habits but someone who is somebody, whose name carries a history of her African people.

“A strong addition to any library collection. This book is intriguing travel fiction with hints of magical realism about a place and characters not usually seen in YA.”
–School Library Journal

“…a lighthearted young-adult novel that adolescent Canadian readers would probably have an easy time relating to.”
–Canadian Literature

“…well-written with a good sense of voice.”
–CM: Canadian Review of Materials



Ages 12+

Publication Date: September 2019

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-988449-75-3
Page size: 5.25″ x 8.25″
168 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-988449-76-0

Photos of Blessing Musariri and Thorsten Nesch

Blessing Musariri has published four children’s titles, two of which have won national awards. She writes poems and short stories, which have been published in various international anthologies and online magazines. She lives in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Thorsten Nesch is an award-winning author for young adults. He is the author of twelve books, including Derailed, for which he wrote and directed a feature film. He lives in Lethbridge, Alberta, with his wife and children. His website is