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I can’t wait for my room
down the hallway
Mum’s old study
Dad said one more lick of paint
and it’s mine!

Mina has been waiting forever for her own room, gathering her treasures and eagerly planning the perfect layout. Until…

‘someone is coming
to stay with us
for a while,’ mum says
‘someone who needs a home
and…a room.’

Mina’s parents have offered to foster a refugee boy from Afghanistan who needs a place to stay. Mina knows her family is doing a good thing, but her heart is broken and it’s hard to be kind to the stranger who has taken her new room. His name Azzami means ‘one who is fierce like a lion’, instead he is a boy who is scared and small as a kitten and doesn't seem at all grateful to be in Mina's room.

At school, Azzami doesn’t speak and when Oliver and his mates bully him, Mina can’t understand why he won’t stand up to them and instead ‘curls up in silence like a snail in his house’. In class, she doesn’t know if Azzami can read or write, but soon discovers he has his own way of storytelling. When Mina looks closely at Azzami's detailed drawing she sees his life in Afghanistan through his eyes. Azzami's story opens her heart and an unexpected friendship begins.

Mina and the Whole Wide World by Sherryl Clark is a gentle verse novel about friendship and kindness. The world comes to Mina’s house not just in the world globe she finds, but also through Azzami. Mina discovers that even though the world is wide, we are all connected and there is room for us all.

The story is told from Mina's point of view using simple poems and imagery complemented by Briony Stewart's black and white illustrations that beautifully capture feelings and moments as they weave through the text adding another layer of meaning.

Mina and the Whole Wide World is a heartwarming reminder of the power of story to connect us.

Thank you for the copy of this book to review UQP.

Happy reading!





Mary was a quiet girl.
She thought quiet thoughts,
stepped quiet steps,
and whispered quiet words.

Mary enjoys exploring the world in her own gentle and quiet way, but her loud and busy family don't always hear what Mary has to share.

Because Mary was quiet, she heard things nobody else heard...

When Mary decides to be quieter than ever before it takes a while for her family to even notice Mary isn't around. Soon the neighbourhood is filled with the sound of Mary's family calling her name. Finally her Mum and Dad stop calling Mary's name and listen....

Mary reminds us to look out for our quiet family members and friends who have things to say in their own quiet way. Quiet people need to be heard too.

It's a busy and noisy world, going to school, doing after school activities, playing sport, watching TV and spending time on devices. Mary shows both her family and us the gift of being quiet. When we stop and listen we can discover and appreciate the world around us and the magic of nature.

As you read A Quiet Girl, look for the little details Peter Carnavas has added to his whimsical water colour illustrations. What are some of the things Mary noticed when she was quiet? Why do you think Peter chose the dove that Mary befriends and appears on the endpapers and in many of the illustrations?

Peter Carnavas had originally planned to illustrate this book with his left hand (instead of his right). Click HERE to see Peter's illustration of Mary with his left hand and how she became the Mary you see in the book.

I enjoy quiet walks around my neighbourhood and often take a photo of something in nature that I discover along the way.

Flower Chandelier - by Kim Yeomans

I wonder what you will discover when you make time to be quiet...

Happy reading!

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