Sketches of Children’s Lives in Northern Nigeria

A.M. Locke, The Stable Door. Sketches of Child Life in Northern Nigeria.This little book was written to provide an insight into the work of the Church Missionary Society among children in Northern Nigeria. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of the book to scan and to the Church Mission Society for their permission to place it on-line.

A.M. Locke, The Stable Door. Sketches of Child Life in Northern Nigeria. London: Church Missionary Society, [1935]. Hbk. pp.74. [Click to download the complete book in PDF]


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  1. The Road to “Bethlehem”
  2. The Children Who Come
  3. How Some of Them Came
  4. Of “Bethlehem” Itself
  5. The Day’s Work
  6. “Bethlehem’s” Fields
  7. Increasing in Stature
  8. Growing in Humour and Understanding
  9. Growing Pains
  10. A New Birthday
  11. What Will They Become?
  12. “Immanuel… God With Us?”


Most people at home know that there are a large number of missionaries of various denominations working in Africa, and that a good deal of mission man-power is concentrated upon schools. It may be that some people think that too much time and energy are devoted to this side of the work, and that more ground could be covered if missionaries confined themselves to evangelization. Those who are of that way of thinking should be convinced by reading this little book that the school, and especially the boarding school which starts with quite small children, is the most effective instrument which the missionaries possess if they wish their work to be lasting.

It is not easy to write about a school in any country; the daily round appears so trivial, and nothing really thrilling ever happens in a well-organized school. Miss Locke’s little sketches, however, of the kindergarten section of the C.M.S. school at Zaria give the reader real insight into the daily life of her little community, and into the thoughts and actions of her young charges.

Incidentally he will see for himself that she is obviously the right sort of person to be in charge of it, so full is she of understanding, kindliness, and humour.

Miss Locke’s book is attractively illustrated and will, I am sure, appeal to a variety of readers. [Continue Reading]

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