The Secret Birthday Gift (PB) (2020)

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Growing up in Ethiopia, young Addis Meeraf is familiar with the excitement and beauty of her vibrant culture that has been a part of her life since she was born. She has experienced the traditions, celebrated the holidays, and even heard stories of Ethiopians who came before her. Yet when Addis and her friends decide to start an ethnic dance club to keep the African customs of the past alive, she discovers secrets about the foundations of her Ethiopian culture that she had never known before.

When Addis is faced with an illness, she must find the strength in her family, her friends, and her love for her country to continue her calling to breathe the life of her nation into the generations who will come after her.

In the pages of the Secret Birthday Gift, author Beliyuwork Getachew reveals the wonder of life in Ethiopia through the spirited eyes of Addis, whose passion for life leads her to learn the amazing treasures of an African culture that deserves to be honored and explored. Addis's story will open your heart to the unique traditions and timeless values of the Ethiopian people. From the opening pages about the Ethiopian New Year (Enkutatash) to a glossary of Ethiopian words, this original middle-grade book teaches young readers about the history of Ethiopia while showing the important role that parents, grandparents, and neighbors play in the lives of Ethiopian children.

Join Addis on a thrilling journey of the culture of Ethiopia, the gift of family, and the power of friendship, and be inspired to uncover mysteries about your own heritage.
Beliyuwork Getachew is an Ethiopian/American, born and raised in Addis Ababa until age eighteen when she lost her vision. The hope of having her vision restored inspired her travel to the USA. She learned that vision restoration wasn't an option but she could attend the Virginia School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, where she learned to read and write braille.

She attended community college before transferring to the University of Virginia, where she earned a degree in sociology and anthropology. She wrote this book to remember her childhood in Ethiopia and share cultural experiences as she remembers.


Beliyuwork Getachew
ISBN 10:
Xulon Press
Publication Date:
August 29, 2020
Age Group:
Children & Young Adult

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