Today’s spotlight is firmly shining on a captivating middle grade book, Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found by Aisha Bushby, with illustrations by Rachael Dean. When Amira loses her Jinni she must voyage to a place where lost things can be found. You can go with her to Sahar Peninsula; it is just beyond the horizon. But be warned, it won’t be easy to find…
We first meet 12-year-old Amira during a terrifying storm that badly damages the dhow she lives on with her two sea-witch mothers, Jamila and Dunya. The thunderous waves nearly cause her to lose her beloved Jinni, Namur, her spirit companion who takes the form of a cat, especially when Amira feels angry. Straight away their powerful connection is established, and we see that Amira would go to the ends of the Earth for him. So, when Namir really is lost, you feel all the feels. Rachael Dean’s illustration is so powerful.
At moments like this, of heightened tension, the narrator will pull you out of the drama in page-turn-inducing style. The backstory and colourful world building throughout is fantastic, and creatively woven into the text through engaging narrative styles. Important information about the past, traditional stories and legends, and the magical elements of the book, are recounted as short stories.
Amira’s quest to find Namur, with the help of Leo and his jinni, Semek, becomes a much bigger search to find out the truth about the past and what it means to be a “moonchild”. Packed with adventure, mystery, magic, Moonchild is a voyage of self-discovery, loss and growth. There is heartbreak and hope and the promise of more adventures to come in this captivating series.
Publication date: 6 August
I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. This voluntary review contains my honest opinion.