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Reading Corner Library

I love looking through other people's bookshelves.
There is always inspiration and a 'Ah!' moment waiting on every shelf.
 
These are some of the books I have recently read, breathed, and loved.
I hope they inspire an 'Ah!' moment or two in you ...

Children's Books 2023

Rosie Raja.jpg

Following on from the first Rosie Raja book, Sufiya is back with a new tale of thrilling adventure, set in the hot and dusty planes of Cairo during WWII. Cue: a traitor in the British ranks, and a father-and-daughter team on another mission to not only save themselves, but the world as they know it.

 Again, a real-life character, given the Ahmed treatment, and perfect for a bedtime read (IF they can hold on for the next chapter that is!).

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Having recently seen an exhibition on Hatem Aly's beautiful art works in Boston, I am even more in love with his drawings for Ibtihaj and S.K. Ali's second beautiful book.

The Kindest Red is everything you want in a children's picture book: stunning to look at, imaginative, and an instant arrow to the heart of anyone who picks it up. As a Muslim woman, I can only imagine the impact on little girls of the same faith, feeling seen for the first time.

Grounded.jpg

What do you get when you mix a thunderstorm, an airport, a lost cat and four children from four  different walks of life?

Easy! Mayhem embedded genius! This is a book that will speak to millions of children vying for the attention of their parents, whilst craving independence and trying to grapple with their own place in the world. A perfect accompaniment to the airport (just in case).

Wonder Brothers.jpg

Any book by national treasure, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, will always be sure to make me grin, laugh-out-loud and then spontaneously want to hug random objects. Wonder Brothers is no different, with cousins Nathan and Middy taking everyone on a rollercoaster ride from Blackpool, right through to the giddy lights of Las Vegas.

An utterly delicious joy of a book, which will be devoured by any child who fancies themselves capable of magic (which should be all of them!).

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Having travelled to Hiroshima and lit paper lanterns of peace, this soul-shifting book was one I couldn't wait to read the second it came out. Twelve-year-old Nozomi's understanding of the horrific atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6th August 1945 is marked each year by the annual memorial lantern-floating ceremony, and by watching the names of all the innocent souls killed ascend into the air.

 

But when Nozomi realises that her mother always releases one lantern with no name on it, she begins to ask questions which pierce open unspoken struggles and grief, and highlights the ongoing human desire for peace. Devastatingly beautiful, and a read as haunting and as unforgettable as Hiroshima itself, this story is must-read for everyone of all ages.

Boy WHo Saved a BEar.jpg

The fourth story in Nizrana's luscious collection takes us to Sri Lanka for another giddy adventure, featuring a hidden key, dastardly thieves, the world of a library, and a bear which is anything but cuddly!

 

Book delivery-boy Nuwan's unintentional adventure alongside the grizzliest of grizzly bears, and the use of his wits to stay alive, uneaten and unfound, lead once more to imminent dangers being mingled with heart-stopping moments of beauty and the deep longing for home every human can recognise. 

Kofi.jpg

Jeffrey Boakye's deep respect and love for the freedom and importance of music in all our lives, comes shining, shimmering and dancing out of every page of this soul-lifting book.

 

Kofi is the doppleganger of any child who is used to never catching a break, and always being put into detention for some reason or other. But merging the discovery that his best friend has a photographic memory, with a world of music that no-one understands, and suddenly, a rather genius brand new money-making scheme is afoot!

 

A perfect book for all summer holidays to come. Ever.

Ajay.jpg

Anyone worried that this sequel to "Ajay and the Mumbai Sun" might disappoint can stand down! Varsha Shah brings the goods and then some once more, as we follow Ajay trying to survive on the Mumbai Railways, whilst dreaming of becoming the winner of a competition linked to a meteor crashing to earth.

 

As a space race to Jaipur beckons, so does as an opponent beyond imagining and a threat to all of India itself. What results, is a star-studded, eye-opening adventure: one that my own Aniyah (in The Star Outside My Window) would have been desperate to join. 

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A heart-wrenching tale, from an author I have loved since I was myself a child: this is crucial reading for anyone wanting to understand deeply, the losses and struggles too many in the world experience daily.

 

Much like her classic, Journey to Jo'burg, Beverley's latest tale of Adam, Leila and Zak refuses to sidestep the everyday fights for justice so many children face. One they must bear alongside the utter injustice of systems which favour and hear only the already-privileged our worlds.

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