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  • Mia

The Stories Grandma Forgot (and How I Found Them) by Nadine Aisha Jassat

Nyla has always felt a bit out of place. Her dad passed away when she was young, and she doesn’t know much about her family heritage. She is teased at school; meanwhile, she and her mum are busy at home caring for Nyla’s Grandma, who has Alzheimer’s.

Nyla has always tried to remember her dad, even though she was very little when he died. So when Grandma is convinced that she saw him in the supermarket, Nyla promises to find him. With some investigating, Nyla starts to discover family secrets, and wonders whether Grandma is right after all.

Nyla begins to wonder… what happened to her dad? What other secrets have been kept from her? With the help of her friends Jess and Ray, Nyla embarks on a bold mission to find her dad, help her Grandma, and understand herself.

I enjoyed the poetic form of this book. The writing style is beautiful, and all of the words and spaces are carefully arranged on the pages. It reminded me how poetry can tell stories… because this book is really about storytelling. Nyla needs her family’s stories to understand herself - and as readers - we learn that stories are the only way to understand our histories. So what happens when, like for Nyla’s Grandma, stories can’t be remembered? Suited for readers aged around 12 like Nyla, this book raises important conversations about heritage, identity and memory.

“The blue petals of forget-me-nots

blowing towards me,

as if this is all I have,

after everything:

a memory carved in wood,

and blue-tinged promises

scattered on the breeze.”


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