Jasbinder Bilan | 'There’s so much inequality in this country for children; magical stories can give them real hope and open up possibilities'

Jasbinder Bilan | 'There’s so much inequality in this country for children; magical stories can give them real hope and open up possibilities'

It is six months since Jasbinder Bilan won the costa Children’s Book of the Year Award for her début children’s book Asha and the Spirit Bird, a thrilling Indian mountain adventure infused with the mystical and inspired by her relationship with her grandmother. “This past year has been extraordinary,” she laughs, speaking to me from her home near Bath.

She draws on her family history once more in her second novel, Tamarind and the Star of Ishta, which will be published by Chicken House in September. “The heart of this story is inspired by my mum, who grew up in India without her mother,” s...

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