Tag Archives: Zana Fraillon

20 reasons to celebrate children's books

Growing hope through books & stories

On Thursday 2nd March, World Book Day turns 20! That’s 20 years of celebrating children’s books and the joy that reading can bring.

To mark this special anniversary, we’ve teamed up with 20 top children’s authors, illustrators, publishers and journalists to bring you 20 reasons to celebrate children’s books.

Today, we’re delighted to welcome children’s author,  Zana Fraillon. In 2016, her publisher Orion Children’s Books donated a brand new book for every copy sold of Zana’s most recent novel, The Bone Sparrow, to send to the refugee camp libraries we support in Kenya. Zana is here share her thoughts on why children’s books are so special:


Zana Fraillon


For many children, a book is the first opportunity they will have to step outside their own experience and explore and discover the infinite possibilities that await them. Children’s books express what the world could be, rather than what the world is – they open our minds to dream and imagine that which is beyond us. Children’s books grow hope.


Zana Fraillon is a children’s author based in Melbourne, Australia. She has written two picture books for young children, a series for middle readers, and a fictitious book for older readers based on research and recounts of survivors of the Forgotten Generation. Her most recent book The Bone Sparrow follows a 10-year-old boy called Subhi who has lived his whole life in a refugee detention centre. It has been shortlisted for the Guardian children’s fiction prize 2016.


World Book Day is an annual celebration of authors. illustrators, books and reading. Every year on World Book Day, thousands of school children dress up as their favourite children’s book characters to raise money for us, so we can send more brand new books to libraries and schools in Africa. Last year they raised over £120,000 – enough to send 60,000 books to communities where children would otherwise have extremely limited opportunities to read! Learn more about World Book Day here.

Visit our World Book Day resources page for fundraising ideas, classroom resources and costume guides. Fundraise for us this World Book Day and share the joy of reading with children in communities where books are scarce.


Kakuma learners

A book for a book: bringing more books to children in refugee camps in Kenya

At Book Aid International, we believe all children should have the opportunity to read, to enjoy new, appealing and relevant books regardless of their situation. There is one book which we are particularly excited about at the moment and that is The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon which is published by Orion Children’s Books today.


The Bone Sparrow


The novel follows a 10-year-old boy called Subhi who has lived his whole life in a refugee detention centre. Orion Children’s Books will donate a book from their list to us for every copy of The Bone Sparrow sold. We will send these books to a refugee camp library in Kenya, to bring the joy of books and reading to children like Subhi.

“We are proud to be partnering with Orion Children’s Books, one of our long-term publisher supporters, on this important campaign. We have supported libraries in refugee camps in Kenya for many years and for many of the camps’ inhabitants, these libraries represent the only chance to read, to learn and to progress in education.“ – Alison Tweed, Director, Book Aid International.




The books which Orion Children’s Books donate will be sent to our partner Windle Trust which provides libraries, education facilities and programmes for people in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. Dadaab refugee camp in Garissa Province is estimated to be the largest refugee camp in the world, with a population of around 320,000 people. Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana Province has an estimated population of around 180,000 people.

We have supported Windle Trust’s work in these camps with book donations since 2000. Many people in the camps have no access to books anywhere else and Windle Trust’s facilities provide a rare, reliable and accessible source of reading and learning materials. We are delighted to have this opportunity to send even more inspiring, high quality books for children in these camps to enjoy, thanks to Orion Children’s Books and Zana Fraillon.

Zana Fraillon felt compelled to write this novel because she could not ignore the millions of people who were being forcibly displaced and the millions of children missing out on a childhood. “The Bone Sparrow was written so we remember the people behind the statistics.”

Thanks to Orion Children’s Books and Zana Fraillon, the children of Kakuma and Dadaab will have access to some fantastic children’s books and the chance to experience the joy of reading, even within the camps’ walls.

Find out more about The Bone Sparrow here.