Winner of the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari is an incredibly insightful, honest novel exploring the delicate balance, and often injustice, of life and death – but at its heart is a celebration of friendship, culture, and life.
Heart-healing, deeply enriching and utterly chaotic . . . Be ready to have this one stay with you. – Onjali Q Rauf author of The Boy at the Back of the Class
Twelve-year-old Mira comes from a chaotic, artistic and outspoken family where it’s not always easy to be heard. As her beloved Nana Josie’s health declines, Mira begins to discover the secrets of those around her, and also starts to keep some of her own. She is drawn to mysterious Jide, a boy who is clearly hiding a troubled past and has grown hardened layers – like those of an artichoke – around his heart. As Mira is experiencing grief for the first time, she is also discovering the wondrous and often mystical world around her.
Heart-healing, deeply enriching and utterly chaotic, Mira is a heroine after our own multi-layered hearts: being one perpetually teetering on the cusp of all that life throws at her, as she confronts the whole spectrum of experiences - from deep grief, to the blossoming of a first love to the security of lifetime-old friendships. Who can't help but be mesmerised by the hilarious, dear characters which all work to leave a permanent mark on both Mira and her readers - from the curt Nana Josie to the elusive Jide to the ever-present Millie, and ultimately, not have us fall in love with them too? A deeply unforgettable, gorgeous story. Be ready to have this one stay with you. -- Onjali Q Rauf author of The Boy at the Back of the Class This is heartfelt story-telling at its best - of goodbyes and new beginnings, of fierce family bonds and the wonder of first love. I tucked in close to Mira through all the ups and downs, sharing every emotion as she does. A very special book and so very excited that this celebratory 10 Year Edition will bring Sita's powerful story to new readers. -- Jasbinder Bilan, author of Asha and the Spirit Bird These particular artichoke hearts have been marinated in some powerful ingredients * Guardian * Brimming with emotional honesty, the voices of all the characters have an authenticity that allows the painful situations to be lightened by gentle humour . . . This is a brave and ambitious book that succeeds on every level. A wonderful debut from a new talent * Daily Mail * A beautiful book! It all had such a true ring to it . . . -- Jamila Gavin Young readers who have experienced bereavement will find this novel touches them on many levels, while for others it may help them reflect on a subject many find hard to think about, let alone discuss, and feel less afraid * Books for Keeps * A welter of emotions engulf Mira in this touching pre-teen story about secrets and how to keep them and share them. Mira tells her story with appealing directness -- Julia Eccleshare * LoveReading.co.uk * Artichoke hearts is a novel about many things: love, loss, acceptance, family, friendship . . . [it] draws on real life in a way that makes you think it could be talking about your friends or relatives. It really is a special book, and it's one that will stay with me for a very long time -- Jenny Davies * Wondrous Reads * Artichoke Hearts sits somewhere between a fairy tale and a family story. In Mira and her fabulous Nana Josie, we see a beautiful counterpoint between the two distinct life processes of growing up and saying goodbye to life. We are shown how in heartbreak and sadness, the strongest colours of communal spirit and family relationships can shine bright. A life-affirming book! -- Sarah Jane Fenton, child psychotherapist
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