Rida & Madiya by Niyla Farook

cover image

A story about family and sibling cooperation that Middle primary children with brothers and sisters will relate to.  Sisters, Rida and Midiya have two very different personalities, so sharing a room and getting on is not so easy for either of them. The older sibling Rida who is a quiet, studious girl, loves going to the library.  So when the Librarian Mx Russell tells her the library is going to close because it needs upgrading after a flood, she is determined to help by joining the fundraising effort by drawing Mehndi designs on people’s hands. Her sister has other plans, in fact, she accidentally raises a great deal more money than her big sister by acting the clown and singing funny songs near her sister’s Mehndi stall. At first, Rida is angry but then she realises that whatever happens, all the money will help the library so they try to put their differences aside, and work together to make their efforts count to save the library.

The book is illustrated using a selection of full-page black-and-white pictures which serve to show the girls in action through the story. The pictures also show a character (the Librarian) who identifies as They, not him or her which is worth noting for teachers wanting a book that has this included. This book is published as part of the Bloomsbury Readers collection, this one being in the Dark Red band.

Themes: Brothers and sisters, Libraries, Fundraising, Cooperation, Gender identity.

Gabrielle Anderson