Costa Children’s Book Award Winner & Young City Reads 2020

Costa Children’s Book Award

Picture of the cover of the book Asha and the Spirit BirdCongratulations to Jasbinder Bilan who won the Costa Children’s Book Award for her magical realism story Asha and the Spirit Bird. This is Bilan’s debut novel and it won the Times Children’s Fiction Competition two years ago. The story is set in the foothill of the Himalayas.  Asha, an 11 year old girl, is worried about her papa, who had to leave the farm to work in the city. As his letters have stopped arriving, Asha sets off to the city to find him, guided by a majestic bird which she believes to be the spirit of her grandmother. The story has also been nominated for the 2020 CILIP Carnegie Medal. The World Book Day website includes an interview with Jasbinder Bilan which gives more information on her inspiration for the story.


Young City Reads 2020

Cover of the book MalamanderSchools can currently sign up to participate in Young City Reads 2020. The chosen book this year is Malamander by Thomas Taylor. Schools purchase copies of the book and are then provided with weekly resources (from March to May), which are linked to the story. They can also buy discounted tickets to see the author at the Brighton Festival.

Malamander is a seaside adventure, set in Eerie-on-Sea. Young detectives Herbie and Violet are determined to find out what happened to Violet’s parents, when they disappeared 12 years ago. Could a legendary sea-monster have anything to do with it?

Walker Books have a teaching resource pack available for this story and there is also an online interactive map and an activity pack on the Eerie-on-sea website.




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