Hi everyone, this first week’s post features a series of three books I found by chance while looking for something else. One of the reasons I truly enjoyed this trio of books was not just the stunning writing by Sita Brahmachari, but the family she focuses on. If you enjoy a family story like me, then read on!!
Titles: Mira in the present tense, Jasmine Skies, Tender Earth
Author: Sita Brahmachari
Genre: Fiction – contemporary
What these books are about: This series of books starts with twelve-year-old Mira Levenson. Mira comes from a chaotic, artistic, and outspoken family in which it’s not always easy to be heard. This first book brings sadness to the family as their beloved grandmother’s health declines. Young Mira is also finding herself drawn to a mysterious boy in school. As Mira experiences grief for the first time, she also discovers the wondrous and often mystical world around her. An incredibly insightful, honest novel exploring the delicate balance of life and death. But at its heart, it’s a celebration of friendship, culture – and life. In the second book, Jasmine Skies, 14-year-old Mira flies to India to stay with her aunt and cousin for the first time. As soon as she lands, Mira is hurled into the sweltering heat and a place full of new sights, sounds, and deeply buried secrets. From the moment Mira meets Janu she feels an instant connection. The last book, Tender Earth, we read of the baby of the family, Laila. With her older siblings, Mira and Krish, leaving home just as she starts secondary school, everything begins to change. Laila stumbles upon Nana Josie’s Protest Book and a sort of spirit is released in Laila, her friends and her local community which helps her find her own voice. A powerful chime rings through Laila’s mind, guiding her to walk in the footsteps of the past on her way to discover her own future.
My review: A beautiful trio of stories about growing up and friendship, but mostly about the crazy, quirky, and awesome Levenson family. This was one of those stories which kept me in tears amidst laughter throughout the whole journey!! The amazing characters and awesome story-line from the first book is the perfect base to start from! We see themes of heritage, love and family bonds come into play in these stories. Everything from the first two ties up neatly in the last one Tender Earth, with the adventures of the youngest of the Levenson tribe off to school. Not only do we get to see a tween-aged Laila but also an older Mira, going through more grown-up challenges. The characters are all so realistic and you feel an instant connection with them!! Some aspects of this series might be better for older readers.
My rating: 5 ⭐
Additional notes: The first two titles of this series were both nominated for the Carnegie Medal in 2012 and 2013!!