MG Takes on Thursday

This is my new weekly meme celebrating amazing middle-grade books. I hope others will enjoy taking part in this too!

How to take part:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence. 
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

This week, I’m celebrating …

Written by Gill Lewis
Cover Illustration by Paola Escobar
Published by Oxford University Press

Favourite Sentence from Page 11:

The ink had bled into the cloth, but Semira could read the words, The Feather Diaries.

This book in three words:


This is such a powerful story, told through the eyes of two brave girls, Semira and Hen. Semira is a refugee, living in London, who feels trapped, helpless and alone. When buying an old hat, she finds ‘The Feather Diaries’, the diary of a young Victorian girl. Her incredible connection to Hen becomes the catalyst for the changes that Semira is brave, and strong, enough to make in her own life.

Hen is surrounded by some remarkable woman, especially her Aunt Kitty, who is brave, fierce and determined enough to go against the norms of society. Her story is both heart-breaking and uplifting, and, I must admit, led to that ‘lump in throat, eye-watering’ moment when I know the story has ‘got’ me.

As Semira develops her friendship with Hen, so too she bonds with Patrick, Chloe and Holly, who all take her under their wings, although, in the end, it is Semira who frees them. There are lot of powerful messages in this story: having the courage to stand up for, and to, others; the choice to make a positive difference to the lives of others; and, the pivotal importance of dreams, living life and not being trapped by it.

The birds are a metaphor for the journey for both girls of entrapment to freedom. In their shared love of cycling, they experience ‘The Closest Thing to Flying’, both finding their inner strength and escaping their respective ‘cages’. This book really was an emotional rollercoaster, but one I felt very privileged to ride.

I’d love if anyone who wants to give this meme a go would comment in the comments box and include a link to your post so I can visit, comment and find some great middle-grade recommendations. If you do create a post and are on Twitter, and would like to share your post, please use the hashtag  #MGTakesOnThursday so I can find it, read it and share it!

4 thoughts on “MG Takes on Thursday

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