Nation – Terry Pratchett

NationWhen a giant wave destroys his village, Mau is the only one left of his nation. He’s completely alone — or so he thinks until he finds the ghost girl. She has no toes, wears strange lacy trousers, and gives him a stick that can make fire. Daphne, sole survivor of the wreck of the Sweet Judy, almost immediately regrets trying to shoot the native boy. Thank goodness the powder was wet and the gun only produced a spark. She’s certain her father, distant cousin of the Royal family, will come and rescue her but it seems, for now, that all she has for company is the boy and the foul-mouthed ship’s parrot, until other survivors arrive to take refuge on the island. Together, Mau and Daphne discover some remarkable things and start to forge a new nation.

If You Could Be Mine – Sara Farizan

If You Could Be MineSeventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love–Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed. So they carry on in secret until Nasrin’s parents suddenly announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution: homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. Sahar will never be able to love Nasrin in the body she wants to be loved in without risking their lives, but is saving their love worth sacrificing her true self?

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story – Linda Sue Park

7981456A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Linda Sue Park’s website.

Linda Sue Park discusses A Long Walk to Water:

The best day of my life – Deborah Ellis

best day of my lifeValli spends her days picking up coal to support her family. She is not allowed to go to school and there is never enough food in her house. When Valli discovers that the ‘aunt’ she has lived with for as long as she can remember is not really her aunt Valli runs away to Kolkata, a nearby city in eastern India. While living on the streets in Kolkata Valli is very resourceful and so she manages to survive. Near the river one day Valli meets a doctor who notices Valli’s feet. Valli has thought that she had magic feet because she never feels pain in them, but the doctor recognises the signs of leprosy.

I Am Malala – Malala Yousafzai

malalaWhen the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. In 2012 when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Malala’s miraculous recovery has seen her become an inspiration around the world, a champion of girls’ education and a symbol of peaceful protest. At sixteen she became the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The current

Shahana – Rosanne Hawke

ShahanaA story about Shahana and her young brother Tanveer who live close to the ‘Line of Control’ that separates Kashmir into the Pakistani and Indian controlled sectors.  Shahana and Tanveer are orphans of the conflict and develop close bonds with other children who are also adversely impacted by the events around them.


On Two Feet and Wings – Abbas Kazerooni

on-two-feet-and-wingsjpgThis is the amazing true story of Abbas Kazerooni who grew up in Tehran at the time of the Iran Iraq war. When he was nine years old the age of recruitment into the army was reduced to ten. In an attempt to keep him safe his family sent him away. But events didn’t go to plan and Abbas found himself alone in the strange and frightening city of Istanbul. Unable to speak the language, Abbas had to learn to survive, to judge who was friend or enemy, while hoping for his dream visa to England.

Angus & Robertson