Book Review – Jasbinder Bilan – Asha and the Spirit Bird

Asha and her family live in the foothills of the Himalayas. Her father has gone to work in  the big city, to earn more money for his family. But nothing has been heard from him for months. No money has arrived and debt collectors are bullying Asha’s mother. Asha and her best friend Jeevan decide they have to do something and that involves finding her father. Armed with an address in the big city, they run away, to travel to the temple at the head of the Ganges, to pray for help and then on to the big city. It isn’t an easy journey, but they have help in the form of a lamagaia, a bearded vulture, which Asha believes is the spirit of her grandmother,  who has passed away.

Full of adventures including a close encounter with a snow tiger, this is a wonderful debut novel. The descriptions of the Himalayas, from the foothills to the temple at Karase, the noisy chaos of the big city, Zanapur, all come together beautifully.

Jasbinder Bilan is a graduate of the wonderful creative writing MA at Bath spa university.

I can remember her coming into the children’s library in Bath a few years ago and telling me she was starting a new adventure at Bath Spa University and going to take an MA in creative writing. Well that adventure has created Asha and Javeen and brought us the smells and colours of Asha’s mother’s cooking.

New Series and updates November & December 2018

New series added
Adam Cece – Huggabie Falls Trilogy
Alex Bell – Polar Bear Explorers’ Club
Alex T Smith – Mr Penguin
Anne Booth – Magical Kingdom of Birds
Christopher Paolini – Tales from Alagaësia
Danny Scott – Scotland Stars F.C.
Finn Black – The Deep -BBC TV
Isla Fisher – Marge in Charge
Jessica Day George – Castle Glower
Jessica Day George – Rose Legacy
Jessica Day George – Twelve Dancing Princesses
Joe Berger – Lyttle Lies
Kara LaReau – Infamous Ratsos
Kara LaReau – Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters
Karen English – Carver Chronicles
Karen English – Nikki & Deja
Matthew Swanson – Real McCoys
Michael Grant – Monster ( Following on from the Gone series)
Mike Nicholson – Museum Mystery Squad
Santa Montifiore – Royal Rabbits of London
Simon Cherry – Eddy Stone
Siobhan Dowd & Robin Stevens – London Eye Mystery
Stephanie Burgis – Dragon with the Chocolate Heart
Steve Barlow & Steve Skidmore – I Hero – Atlantis Quest
Steve Barlow & Steve Skidmore – I Hero – Immortals
Steve Barlow & Steve Skidmore – I Hero – Legends
Steve Barlow & Steve Skidmore – I Hero – Toons
Steven Butler – Dog Diaries
Tom McLaughlin – Accidental Series
Tom McLaughlin – Happyville High

Updates
Aaron Blabey – Bad Guys
Andrew Clover – Rory Branigan, Detective – 4
Dav Pilkey – Adventures of Dog Man – 6
Erin Hunter – Warriors – Vision of Shadows – 6
Jacqueline Wilson – Tracy Beaker – 4
John Flanagan – Brotherband Chronicles – 7
Julie Sykes – Unicorn Academy – 5
Linda Chapman – Star Friends – 5
Peter Bunzl – Cogheart Adventures -3
Sibeal Pounder – Witch Wars – 6
Tui Sutherland – Wings of Fire – 10 – 12
Wayne Grant – Saga of Roland Inness – 6

New things have popped up on the Children’s Book Sequels website

We have added some new icons to the Children’s Book Sequels website. previously the links were in the main paragraph or in the links page but now they are much easier to find. There is now a link and icon to the blog, our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed in the menu at the top of every page. Follow us on social media and read about all the wonderful and amazing things that go on in the world of children’s books.

For many years illustrators have been the poor relation in books for older children, but with more books being illustrated, they need to have a bigger presence. So finally we are adding an “Illustrated by” field on the Children’s Book Sequels website. Yes, I know, about time. I now need help from you to share this news everywhere and get any illustrators you know to check the Children’s Book Sequels website and if there is a series on there that they have illustrated, please let me know. There is a contact me form on the website.