The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

April Indie Books of the Month announced

01/04/2022
The Booksellers Association has today announced The Return of Faraz Ali by Aamina Ahmad as Fiction Book of the Month for April, and We Sang Across the Sea: The Empire Windrush and Me by Benjamin Zephaniah, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu, as Children’s Book of the Month.  
 
The Return of Faraz Ali by Aamina Ahmad takes readers back to 1960s Pakistan, where Inspector Faraz Ali returns to his birthplace of Lahore as riots break out on the streets. Years after his influential father plucked him from his childhood home, Faraz is ordered back to investigate the murder of a young girl, but he finds it hard to obey orders and resist searching for the mother and sister he left behind. The Return of Faraz Ali is published by Sceptre on 31st March 2022.
 
Aamina Ahmad said, “The passion for books, for connecting readers to the right books, and for community, is no greater anywhere than at an indie bookshop. I've made friends at book events, discovered hidden gems thanks to the expertise and enthusiasm of booksellers, and no matter the shop, I've always been welcomed as a fellow reader. So for my book to get this kind of welcome from the indie bookseller community is an absolute thrill.
 
Helen Tamblyn-Saville, Neverland Bookshop and member of the Selection Panel commented: “There is so much detail in the characters and it is captivating, particularly with the exploration of the journey of each character. I loved how the author intertwined the stories of the characters with the politics of Pakistan.
 
The Fiction Book of the Month submissions from publishers are read by a panel of booksellers who vote on each title. The BA then collates the votes and the title with the most votes becomes the Book of the Month. The panel this time comprised members of Red Lion Books, City Books, Hewson Books and Neverland Bookshop.
 
 
We Sang Across the Sea: The Empire Windrush and Me written by Benjamin Zephaniah and illustrated by Onyinye Iwu provides a powerful and moving account of the voyage of HMT Empire Windrush in the form of a brand-new poem by national treasure Zephaniah. The hopes, dreams and bravery of the Windrush generation are expressed through the real-life experiences of Trinidadian musician, Mona Baptiste, accompanied by vivid illustrations. We Sang Across the Sea: The Empire Windrush and Me is published by Scholastic on 7th April 2022 and is available to pre-order in bookshops now.
 
Benjamin Zephaniah said, “When I first started writing it was only the independent booksellers that would stock my books. I get the sense that they are not in it just for the money, (although we all have to eat), they have a real passion for books and readers. I just can’t pass an independent bookshop without popping in. They’re family.”
 
Illustrator Onyinye Iwu commented, “Too many independent bookstores have closed over the last few years, many have really struggled over the pandemic. I have benefited as a reader and a creative from their knowledge of books, their amazing events and friendly atmosphere! It really is time to support, rebuild and connect with independent booksellers to improve our local economy, to reduce our carbon footprint and to further grow a community of book lovers!
 
The Children’s Book of the Month submissions from publishers are read by a panel of booksellers who vote on each title. The BA then collates the votes and the title with the most votes becomes the Book of the Month. The panel for April’s books comprised members of Moon Lane Books, The Bookshop, Bridport, Steyning Bookshop, Owl & Pyramid and Four Bears Bookshop.
 
Independent bookshops around the UK and Ireland will be promoting The Return of Faraz Ali and We Sang Across the Sea: The Empire Windrush and Me throughout April on social media and instore. The Booksellers Association will be supporting the promotion of the Indie Books of the Month through social media and promotional material.
 
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