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Years 5 and 6: Figgy in the World

Figgy in the World

I am the only person named Figgy in my village. Probably the only Figgy in Ghana. Maybe the only one in Africa. And possibly,by the smallest chance, I might be the only person named Figgy in The World.

About Tamsin Janu

Tamsin's novel, Figgy in the World, was inspired by her three month stay in Ghana, West Africa in 2009.

** Interview with the Australian Writers’ Centre

** Interview with Reading Time magazine

** Interview with Readings Independent Bookstore

Tamsin's website

Figgy and the President

Coming soon to our library... Tamsin's new book

Book Trailer for Figgy in the World

Plot and Theme

The plot is the storyline - what happened in the novel.

Figgy, accompanied by her pet goat, sets off from her village in Ghana, West Africa, for America.  Once she is there, she plans to visit a bank to borrow money to buy her grandmother lifesaving medicine.  She does this without any understanding that she needs to know the name of the medicine and the type of illness her grandmother has and that you cannot get to America from Africa merely by walking and catching buses.  Throughout her journey, she meets a number of people, both kind and unkind, and gains a much better understanding of the world.

Themes are underlying ideas that are explored in a novel.

Figgy in the World is a story about courage, naivety, family, friendship, resilience and a child’s determination to make something right. 

Accessing Library resources

username: School username

password: your birthday ddmm (i.e. January 1 = 0101)


See Library staff for World Book log in


For use in school


Click here to log into the Portal and access a range of online resources from home.


Find out more about Ghana here

Find out about everyday life in Ghana

New words

Tro tro: In Ghana and neighboring countries tro tros are privately owned minibus share taxis that travel fixed routes leaving when filled to capacity.

Typhoid: typhoid fever is remains a serious health threat in the developing world, especially for children. It spreads through contaminated food and water or through close contact with someone who's infected. Signs and symptoms usually include high fever, headache, abdominal pain, and either constipation or diarrhea.


When someone has diabetes, their body can't maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood. This can cause serious syptoms and even death. There is no cure but diabetes can be managed with good medical treatment.

Scholastic Teachers' Notes for Figgy and the World