New Interview with Award-Winning Author Na’ima B. Robert on PaperTigers Site

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Na'ima B. RobertNew on the PaperTigers site is an interview with Na’ima B. Robert, in which I asked her lots of questions about her latest YA novel Black Sheep (Janetta Otter-Barry Books, Frances Lincoln, 2013).

Black Sheep by Na'ima B. Robert (Janetta Otter-Barry Books, Frances Lincoln, 2013)Set in London, Black Sheep follows the Romeo-and-Juliet-like relationship of teens Misha, a privately-educated “posh” girl, and Dwayne, a gang member living on a housing estate in Brixton.  Na’ima is perceptive in portraying the deep-down vulnerability of teenagers, no matter how much bravado they show in  facing day-to-day challenges – and no matter how much that bravado itself precipitates consequences that risk spiralling out of control.  Black Sheep is a real page-turner and should come with a warning that once started, it’s almost impossible to get anything else done!

When I asked Na’ima about her recent school visits in the UK, it was great to hear the impact Black Sheep has had:

I visited a Catholic school in North London and, apparently, the class that had been assigned the book was so into it, that they told the other classes, who begged to be assigned it as well. They totally identified with the characters and there was a sense of amazement that this life – urban, Black British life – had been portrayed in a book. We had some great re-enactments and readings together and they created portfolios that included illustrations, trailers, letters and character profiles. It was a wonderful experience and it was duplicated in the classes in a different school that read Far from Home.

So do head on over to the PaperTigers site to read the full interview and find out more about Na’ima’s books and her writing, and then visit her website

Week-end Book Review: Going to Mecca by Na’ima B. Robert and Valentina Cavallinni

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Reviewed by Aline Pereira:

Na’ima B. Robert, illustrated by Valentina Cavallinni,
Going to Mecca
Frances Lincoln, 2012.

Ages: 5+

Going to Mecca opens with the image of a family getting ready for a trip to Saudi Arabia, where they will be performing the Hajj, the holy pilgrimage to Mecca that is considered one of the pillars of the Islamic faith. We see the youngest of the three children waving goodbye to his parents and siblings. Still a baby, and not yet ready for the journey his family is about to embark on, he is staying with grandma…

Read the full review