Kid’s Book Review: Kofi and the Rap Battle Summer

Kid’s Book Review: Kofi and the Rap Battle Summer

About the Book and Author

This story includes so many topics that are worthy talking points for discussions with today’s kids (such as friendship, peer pressure, racial prejudice, family dynamics and loyalty, educational settings) but at the end of it all it is a fun story with great characters and retro music vibe because it is set in the 90s in the days before smart phones!

Kofi is a super cool, a natural entrepreneur, with an older brother and sister. Then his uncle and girlfriend move into the family home and it all gets very crowded.  Kofi’s friend Kevin has a gift for words but is not considered to be cool by the kids at school.

The story is about Kofi and Kevin’s various business ventures, the ups and downs of their friendship and about how they got their school rapping. It is funny and warm but not without its thought-provoking shades of dark. Our young reviewer loved it and we think most readers aged 8-11 years will too.

Kofi book cover

Jeffrey Boakye originally from Brixton in London, has taught English to 11- to 18-year-olds since 2007. He began teaching in West London, before moving to East London where he established a successful English department at School 21, and then Yorkshire where he now lives with his family. He is now a Senior Teaching Fellow at Manchester Institute of Education. Kofi is his first story for readers aged 7 -11 years. Older readers will enjoy Musical Truth which is also published by Faber

Book Review

This book is awesome. I love Kofi. What a brilliant character!

This book is awesome. I love Kofi. What a brilliant character!

The book is set in the 1990’s so I didn’t understand some of the things they were talking about, especially the TV show which is mentioned regularly but I looked it up and I wish it was on now because it looked brilliant and I can see why the characters family liked it so much.

I really enjoyed reading all the lyrics used in the story and the way it showed that rap is for everyone. It even inspired me to do my Shakespeare homework as a rap which went down well at school. I liked how rapping and the cypher circle gave some of the bullied and quieter kids more confidence and the take downs were brilliant and so funny.

The family in the book are all interesting, Gloria and Jeanette made me laugh and Uncle D seemed super cool. Kofi and Kelvin are my favourite characters though, especially when they are together, as I like their friendship.

There is a scene towards the end that is hard to read and deals with how differently black people are treated by the police, it was interesting to read and I liked that we are told what happened after and how it effected everyone in the family.

I recommend this to anyone over the age of 8 years. I passed it on to my mum and she loved it too, especially the bits she remembered from growing up.

[Ryan’s Mum says: Ryan enjoyed this one although he now wanders around the house rapping everything! I enjoyed it as well, great for anyone who grew up in the 90’s.]

If you would would like to buy a copy of the book we invite you to order it from your local independent book shop.

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Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!


Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Ryan
  • Age: 11 years
  • Likes: Lego, Dragonball Z and reading
  • Dislikes: Being woken up and losing on computer games!
  • Favourite Book: Tom Gates: Dog Zombie Rules by Liz Pichon
  • Favourite Song: The Final Countdown by Queen
  • Favourite Film: Dragonball Z: Super Battle of the Gods