Seeing the World through Children's Books

On Saturday, I went to an event at the Oxford Literary Festival that was both moving and enlightening. Elizabeth Laird and Gill Lewis both write amazing books which vividly portray current world events and issues while Anna Bassi is the editor of 'The Week Junior' a newspaper especially for children.

Gill is well known for her moving stories with animal welfare at their heart. Her background as a vet and her passion for animals shine through her work, making her work a joy to read. You can read our review of 'Gorilla Dawn' here. She told us about her new book, 'A Story Like the Wind', a story of 'freedom, music and seeking refuge'. The reading she gave was enough to put it high on my list of books I must read and the illustrations looked amazing!


Elizabeth Laird's writing is always compelling and emotive. You can read a review of 'The Fastest Boy in the World' here. Her latest book, 'Welcome to Nowhere' was inspired by spending time in Amman with refugee families. She is passionate about making everyone see refugees as the people that they are- people who have been forced to leave homes, jobs, lives- and not as the media would have us view them. She spoke passionately about how we- all of us- have the ability to change the end of their story. Elizabeth is working with the Mandala Trust to raise funds for young refugees. You can find out more here.

Although a lady with a delightful sense of humour, Elizabeth moved many of us to tears by telling us about the street children she spent time with- and obviously came to care for very much.

'The Week Junior' is a fascinating publication aimed at bringing new stories to 8-14 year olds. Anna Bassi , the editor, is commited to bringing the news to children in a way they can understand without patronising. I have put copies into the hands of my Reading Champions at school and will post their thoughts about this magazine soon!

A Story Like the Wind by Gill Lewis, illustrated by Jo Weaver

OUP Oxford (Published1stMay 2017)   ISBN: 978-0192758958

Welcome to Nowhere   by Elizabeth Laird

Macmillan Children's      ISBN: 978-1509840496