Book ReviewsHome Fire by Kamila Shamsie
Shortlisted for the Costa Book Award.
Kamila Shamsie’s riveting tale of a young British Muslim family, two sisters and their brother, forms a loose modern adaptation of Antigone. After bringing up her twin siblings Aneeka and Parvaiz, older sister Isma finally pursues her dream of studying in the USA, but the unsettling memory of their jihadist father’s death and the disappearance of troubled brother Parvaiz casts a shadow over this experience. Meeting handsome and privileged Eamonn the son of a prominent British Muslim politician unsettles her further and his subsequent liaison with head strong Aneeka back in London sets the scene for a powerful conflict between society, family and religious faith, as the two families’ fates become devastatingly entwined.
“An urgent, fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide, confirming Kamila Samsie as a master storyteller of our times.” Guardian
I’ll Keep You Safe by Peter May
Niamh’s life had already started to unravel when she discovered that her husband Ruairidh had been having an affair. It is utterly destroyed when, on a business trip to Paris, she sees he and his lover killed by a car bomb. She returns home to the Isle of Lewis, bereft, and desperate to recall if anyone had held a grudge against her husband. Meanwhile, the French police have ruled out terrorism, and have started tracking their number one suspect, Niamh…
Peter May will be joining us for an author supper at the Sussex Produce Café on the 23rd January. Tickets are ￡30 and include a two-course meal and a copy of this novel. Contact us for further details and tickets.
The Terrible Two Go Wild by Mac Barnett and Jory John
These two authors from the USA also have many fans amongst Steyning children who met them when they visited Steyning Primary School during their UK tour. This is the third in their wacky series about young pranksters Miles and Niles, who this time find themselves at an extremely worthy and tranquil summer camp. Inevitably things soon change for the worse – or better maybe! Plenty of illustrations and short chapters make this series good for reluctant readers. Great literature no, great fun yes.
The Cat and the King by Nick Sharratt
Bookshop favourite Nick Sharratt’s debut novel is fantastically funny! After an unfortunate incident with a dragon, the gentle, unworldly King and his friend Cat, need to find a new home. They settle on No.37 Castle Close, but life outside his castle is rather a challenge for the King, who has never had to do much for himself. With the Cat’s help, however, he manages all sorts of new experiences, such as washing up and shopping. But then the pesky dragon reappears…
Just lovely. Perfect for children moving on from picture books.
Sky Chasers by Emma Carroll
Chicken House £6.99
When orphan Magpie encounters an unexpected sight – a boy swept off his feet by a kite – she goes to his rescue, only to find herself dangling in mid-air too! The boy is part of the Montgolfier family, and it is no ordinary kite he is flying. Magpie finds herself consumed by the desire to fly, and to be the first to fly in a hot air balloon in front of the king and queen of France.
A charming and richly evocative story set in eighteenth century Paris, for age 9+