I remember several years ago I visited Shirin Shamsi’s home. She read me a story of her heart…a story she wanted to tell…about the Partition and her mother’s experience.
Somehow, Shirin had found the exact perfect way to tell this story. I was connected from the very first moment…and I felt blessed for the opportunity to take a peek at what happened all those long years ago, from the eyes of a child.
This book is going to touch many hearts…and heal some as well.
I love every word. And the wordless spreads at the end are exceedingly poignant and filled with hope!
Here’s a little bit about the book from the Amazon sales page:
In time for the 75th anniversary of the Partition of British India, this picture book is a stirring account of the harrowing journey faced by millions of migrants in the aftermath of the division of India and Pakistan.
Azra knows that wherever she goes, her doll Gurya will follow. Even if it’s on a train that will take her far away from the house her family has lived in for generations. Even if there is a new flag flying in Dehradun, and no place left in it for Azra. At least she will be taking a piece of home with her.
But when Abba comes home and says they must leave right now, Gurya gets left behind in the scramble. Will Azra be strong enough to face the long journey alone? And what will happen to Gurya, now hundreds of miles behind them?
Inspired by the author’s family story, this lyrical, moving picture book is a testament to the strength, courage, and perseverance of the over 10 million refugees displaced by the largest forced migration in recorded history, and shares a young girl’s journey from her old home to a new one.
To learn more about Shirin’s books and to connect with her:
Shirin was born and raised in the UK. Having lived on three continents, she views herself as a global citizen and now spends her time sharing stories with children of the world. She has raised six children- three human and three feline, and lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband.
Her books include the middle-grade novel, Laila and the Sands of Time, and several picture books:
ZAHRA’S BLESSING (Barefoot Books, Spring 2022) Illustrated by Manal Mirza
PLANTING FRIENDSHIP: Peace, Salaam, Shalom with Melissa Stoller and Callie Metler Smith, illustrated by Kate Talbot
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share in the celebration with this Book Birthday post…and even though it’s Shirin’s book’s birthday, she’s the one giving the gift! If you leave a comment on the blog, you’ll be entered in a giveaway of a copy of this beautiful book!
I hope you all have a wonderful week…be kind to each other.