The Last Days at Forcados High School, by A. H. Mohammed


As a compulsory reading material, this book came along with the purchased enrollment forms for the year 2015 universities Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exam. I wrote the exam over 31 years ago and I was intent on helping my two teenagers with the English paper of their JAMB exam by going through it with them.

The book is fast paced and the characters are well developed IMO. The story is about teens, their ways, thoughts and often lopsided value systems. It reminds us of what can and do happen when parents neglect their responsibilities to their kids. It teaches us not to judge people by what just meet our eyes but rather evaluate them on the basis of the motives behind their actions and possibly the experiences they might have gone through. It talks about teens rivalry and foibles, love, friendship, betrayal, repentance and forgiveness. Eventually, I decided to buy the kindle eBook version even before I finished reading the hard copy.

Through the audacious defense of Efua, the beauty queen of the class, whom the hero, Jimi, failed to stand up for, in her hour of unjust persecution, Jimi was finally redeemed from shame and public opprobrium.

Two lines that stood with me are on the third page before the end of the book, and I quote:

‘I didn’t deserve this from you,’ said Jimi to his friends.
‘Who deserves anything?’ Nene said, murmuring to herself. ‘It’s like grace. God’s grace.’

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