Monday 6 December 2021

Blog Tour When Shadows Fall by Sita Brahmachari Illustrations by Natalie Sirett

 Blog Tour 

When Shadows Fall 


 Sita Brahmachari

 Illustrations by Natalie Sirett

Publisher Little Tiger Press  

When Shadows Fall is a timely, lyrical and impactful story of disaffected youth and the vulnerability of teenage years, the importance of friendship, care and community and of urban green spaces. An empathetic and inspirational tour de force that seamlessly combines art, verse and prose  to portray a powerful message and story. 

I was delighted to be invited on this Fabulous Blog Tour for this wonderful book. Below is this fascinating Interview with Sita talking about  the importance of Art which is an integral part of her story.

Do you think art has the power to heal?
Yes. I have always felt that since childhood. As a member of the refugee centre art and writing class said once 'Art is a good way to tell, a good way to express.' Art can transport and reconnect you to many emotions including awe hope and joy.

Can art give a more powerful message than writing in certain circumstances? Eg Guernica by Picasso "A picture is worth a thousand words
Omid expresses in art what he cannot yet speak in words in the English Language ... but in many ways what he cannot express in any language. He sees in pictures.  A visual, symbolic language appears to me before I write... later the words come. I suppose this is true of being human... we begin with the image and grow into language. It is a struggle to express in words... you see this in Kai's writing. He has many questions and asides, his mind is always in motion. In art the mind can still and settle.  In this story when Kai's world fractures and he can only piece together a few ideas in words Omid fills the gaps with his pictures and imagination. He could not have given Kai a better gift than his art. Natalie Sirett could not have given this story a greater gift either.

Can you discuss the refugee element connected to the art in the story?

Both myself and Natalie have worked with refugee survivor children and families in our work. Natalie as a teacher and myself as Writer in Residence at Islington Centre, and in a mentor role. At the centre I have worked with illustrator Jane Ray for over a decade and we are now joined by Ros Asquith.

From the start we held the writing element of our work in the Art and Writing Room  in communal poetry. Now members are writing their own poems and having their art shown in exhibitions.

You can support the centre with their Christmas cards which are available to buy from this online link: Islington Centre Christmas Cards ( 


Kai, Orla and Zak grew up together, their days spent on the patch of wilderness in between their homes, a small green space in a sprawling grey city. Music, laughter and friendship bind them together and they have big plans for their future – until Kai's family suffers a huge loss.
Trying to cope with his own grief, as well as watching it tear his family apart, Kai is drawn into a new and more dangerous crowd, until his dreams for the future are a distant memory. Excluded from school and retreating from his loved ones, it seems as though his path is set, his story foretold. Orla, Zak and new classmate Om are determined to help him find his way back. But are they too late? 

“How quickly teenagers fall apart – and how fast they can heal. This is the hopeful message from Sita Brahmachari, a writer who mixes verse and prose to tell stories that stick.” – Alex O’Connell, The Times

A heart-breaking and poignant novel from award-winning author Sita Brahmachari, for fans of THE BLACK FLAMINGO, AND THE STARS WERE BURNING BRIGHTLY and POET X.

Sita Brahmachari is an award-winning author. She has been nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal five times, won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize in 2011 and has been bestowed with the IBBY Honour. WHERE THE RIVER RUNS GOLD was Waterstones Children's Book of the Month in 2019 and Sita has a World Book Day title in 2021. An ambassador for Amnesty, Sita is passionate about safeguarding human rights and diverse voices being heard, which comes through in her thoughtful and sensitive storytelling. She is based in North London.

Natalie Sirett is a multimedia artist with a multi-faceted practice exploring us, our icons, our stories.

No comments:

Post a Comment