Tuesday, 4 June 2013


Scotsman Review

I was delighted to receive this review from Jane E Sandell, The Children's Editor of The Scotsman. As we approach the summer holidays with so many books to choose from it's a real honour to be included in the 'Summer's Best Reads' list. This is what she says about 'Kite Spirit'

'Grounded firmly in the real world is Kite Spirit (Macmillan, £6.99) by Sita Brahmachari. Kite’s life is shattered when her best friend, Dawn, commits suicide. Stunned by grief, and overcome by feelings of guilt, Kite struggles to continue with the everyday routines of her life. When her Dad’s work takes him to the Lake District for the summer, Kite goes with him and there she finds a way to live her life without Dawn. Sita Brahmachari captures the maelstrom of shock, disbelief, anger and pain that is grief without sliding off 
into either hysteria or sentimentality in this difficult, but rewarding, book.'

If you're looking for summer reads for children of all ages, have a look at this lovely list ranging from picture books to YA literature.


Kite Spirit in one window of Children's Bookshop Muswell Hill and Judith Kerr in the other. What an honour!

Kite Spirit flies high

• 11 June 2013
Crowds gathered at the Children's Bookshop in Muswell Hill in the afternoon sunshine to meet Sita Brahmachari, whose latest book KITE SPIRIT was launched in splendid fashion with the unveiling of a hand-made kite created by Sarah Owen.
And it was quite a gathering, lots of children patiently waiting in line to have their book signed and lots of Muswell Hillbillies - friends, poets, actors, musicians with a myriad creative links to each other, and often also with links via their own children, many of whom attend Rhodes Avenue Primary School. Among them was Liliana Newsam-Smith, 11, winner of the Amnesty International Young Writers Award.

Brahmachari, the daughter of an Indian doctor and an English nurse, expressed her delight at the "honour" of being granted a window opposite Judith Kerr, and thanked Kate Agnew, whose family owns the Bookshop, for her support, noting the formative role it had played in the development of so many readers. Brahmachari made her debut with Artichoke Hearts, which won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize in 2011. Kite Spirit (Macmillan) is her third novel, and tells the story of Kite, born to hippy parents and named only on her first birthday, and the recipient of a special kite each year from her mother Ruby.

To mark publication, Owen - who with husband Simon runs Owen's, a much-loved local deli – made Kite's 16th-birthday kite, its colours chosen to reflect those of the Lake District, where Brahmachari grew up and which provides the backdrop to the novel. On each of the bows that form the kite's tail, Owen had embroidered a birthday message.

Adding to the party spirit at the launch was music by Ruth Bolister, who plays First Oboe with English National Opera - in the novel, Kite's friend Dawn wants only to play the instrument. Among those who turned out to launch Kite Spirit on its journey were Cicely Herbert, one of the Barrow Poets, as well as Brahmachari's agent Sophie Gorell Barnes and Diana Tyler, her colleague from MBA.

Photos, from top: Sita Brahmachari (centre) with Sarah Owens (left) and Ruth Bolister;  Brahmachari with (from left) Lily Armah (who plays Kite in a book trailer and short film being made for th Pop Up Festival exhibition), Kate Agnew, Lily Newsam-Smith and Ruth Bolister. Sarah Owen's kite can be seen behind them.
Featured in Book Brunch.

'Kite Spirit' Reviews Update

'An outstandingly beautiful story about a girl coping with her friend’s death. 'Sita Brahmachari’s haunting novel set amidst the rugged beauty of the Lake District promises to be one of 2013’s most powerful and emotionally charged stories in the burgeoning young adult market.Perfectly pitched and written with the utmost sensitivity and truly uplifting charm, this is a book to read and treasure, to gain wisdom and understanding, and to comfort and console. Kite Spirit is a masterclass in wise and sympathetic storytelling and a superbly constructed lesson in the joys of friendship, the human heart’s ability to heal itself and the importance of acceptance and renewal. A moving and unmissable treat for both teens and adults

'Kite Spirit' book event at Children's Bookshop Muswell Hill

'Brahmachari writes with an incredible grace. She is very, very good at getting to the truth inside her work, be that the emotional heartache of Mira or the near-incomprehensible pain of Kite in Kite Spirit. Reading a book by Brahmachari is a very precious thing indeed. And Kite Spirit is a more than fitting tribute to one of the best writers to emerge on the scene in recent years. It's a book that is packed full of truth, sadness and a very quiet humanity.'
Quote from LH Johnson on  Good Reads

The Kite Spirit kite reflected in the shop window

Review by Georgia on World Book Day Reviews
I absolutely loved Kite Spirit! It was emotional, heartbreaking and truthful  and I couldn’t stop reading it. The plot was really great, and beautifully written. I loved the main backdrop for the book, the Lake District- I really enjoyed the authors vivid descriptions. There was a tie-in with the afterlife while Kite was in the Lake District, a little, with the Owls (I won’t explain anymore, because I might drop some spoilers!), and I really liked reading about that and how it drew Kite closer to Garth and his grandmother.
I really loved the character of Kite- Sita Brahmachari has managed to convey so much of her emotions, through a third-person narrative. I really understood Kite, and loved her unique personality so much. She was a really strong protagonist, overall. Her ending to the story was just perfect! It really showed how Kite had changed after the events of the book and that she had said goodbye to Dawn.
I liked how Kite and Dawn’s relationship with each other in the past was clearly illustrated for the reader with frequent flashbacks, and memories. The really showed me what Dawn was like, and gave me clues as to why Dawn might have committed suicide. Dawn’s situation pre-death was very understandable, and the outcome very shocking.
Overall, Kite Spirit was totally amazing, and flawless, in my opinion. It brought tears to my eyes multiple times, but that just shows what an emotional ride this book was. The characters were three-dimensional and realistic, and the setting was really great. I think this book was a great introduction for me to Sita Brahmachari’s award-winning writing- I can’t wait to soon read Artichoke Hearts, Jasmine Skies, and any more from Sita in the future!
Read more reviews by Georgia at www.booksandwritersjnr.wordpress.com and follow her on Twitter@GeeGeeWalters
Sita with Cicely Herbert (Barrow Poet and Poems on the Underground)

Kite Spirit was raw and beautiful, a truly haunting yet uplifting story. Kite’s grief radiated off the page and swirled in the air around me, much like Dawn’s presence did for Kite. 

With the rolling hills of the Lake District as the backdrop of this story, it really set the scene for Kite and her bleak mood. But as anyone who knows this area, when the sun breaks through, it is outstanding. 

Kite and Dawn’s history is cleverly revisited by the author in well timed flashbacks. We get a glimpse of the girl Dawn was, and also of the girl Kite was around her. Though totally different and from totally different methods of upbringing, the girls were inseparable. Kite wanted to swing in the circus, Dawn to play her oboe. Through these flashbacks we also begin to understand why Dawn may have taken her own life. 

It was at times hard to read, the story is very raw. But it was a pleasure to watch as Kite overcame her grief, and learned how to say goodbye and let go of Dawn and look into the future of her own life.

The other intriguing part of this book was Kite’s dad’s back story. As Kite is trying to imagine her future, her dad is trying to discover his past. A very well done secondary plot line.

I am sure first time readers of this author will be racing out to get her other books. 
By Teeny104 book reviewer.

'Kite Spirit' in the shop window of Halesworth Bookshop in Suffolk