Hey guys! Maymunah here! ?
I want to talk about one of my now favourite books: Red Leaves by Sita Brahmachari. I was so close to crying and that’s something that doesn’t happen very often when it comes to books!
Red Leaves is about a refugee called Aisha, a boy called Zak who isn’t coping very well with his parents’ divorce and Iona, a homeless girl. Both Aisha and Zak run away from home and end up with Iona and a seemingly crazy old homeless lady called Elder in the Home Wood where they have to learn to let go of their pasts.
I liked this books for a lot of reasons. Firstly, it ties together three people who are as different as they could possibly be.. A Somali, theist girl who has escaped her war torn country after watching her parents be killed. Then she discovers she is to be offered for adoption by her foster mother. An English atheist boy who has been pretty comfortable all his life. Now his father is in New York, his brother away at Uni and his journalist mother reporting from crisis’ across the globe, while their divorce is hanging over Zak’s head. Then Iona, a homeless girl who only has her dog Red for companionship and who we later learn had an abusive past.
The story is very well written and paces well. It’s written from a constantly changing viewpoint so you always have an understanding of all of the characters thoughts and feelings. I really enjoyed the way that none of the details were divulged straight away; instead they were given out slowly, piece by piece and you had to keep reading to know the characters’ qualities, flaws and individual traits.
The book constantly challenges stereotypes of different types of people who are often ignored, overlooked or unwelcome in society. With homelessness, divorce rates and the issue of refugees on the rise, I think this book is very relevant and addresses these problems extremely well and tries to gain some empathy from the reader.
I’d recommend this book to teenagers, mainly because I think these deep issues would be best understood by them. The story explores some very complex issues and was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal.
Definitely worth a read!
So, have you read this book? What did you think? Leave a comment below!
About the Author
Maymunah Azad is a 15 year old author living in Derbyshire. She enjoys reading, writing and being a general geek!
You can find more about her at www.daimbycity