The Sunshine Blogger Award: Filled With Light

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When someone says The Sunshine Blogger Award, what words spring to mind? For me it’s Light. Hope. Happiness. Laughter. Fun. I want this blog to be filled with all of those things and I hope that I already create a sense of some of them here on A Light In The Darkness.

So I want to begin by saying a big thank you to the wonderful May for nominating me for this award and giving me the opportunity to share with you one of my passions besides writing and trying to change the world: Books!

So let’s start with the rules:

  • Thank the person/persons that nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions your nominator has given you.
  • Nominate 11 other people and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  • List the rules and display the award.

If you could be an author, who would you be?

Probably Sita Brahmachari, not only does she pen the most incredible books about subjects like grief, war, bullying, friendship, poverty and love, she is also a full-time campaigner for Amnesty International, a human rights organisation. She works with refugees and allows them how to express themselves through writing. She blogs at this blog here. She is an extremely down-to-earth and inspirational person and I’d love to be like her. To read my book review of three of Sita’s books, click here.

If I could be another author, it would be Michael Morpurgo, he writes with such strong feeling and emotion about real things that happen in the world. He is a master storyteller and he really wants to make a difference. The way he gets inspiration for his books is amazing, it’s all through experiences he has and chance conversations with random people. He inspires me a lot.

What book(s) do you wish you wrote?

Moon Bear by Gill Lewis, the story line is so complex and touching. A girl sacrifices her life for the sake of doing the right thing. The author creates beautiful characters that you feel so connected with. The dialog is convincing and realistic (something I struggle with when writing my own novels). Her art of describing is also incredible. I highly recommend it.

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdshall. The main reason I wish I wrote this book is the way the author is so clever with the characters. It is a sort of modern version of Little Women, following the crazy lives of four sisters, but Jeanne makes it totally her own. She manages to keep up the unique personalities of each sister throughout the whole series.

Here are each of their profiles, starting with the oldest, I thought you might find it fun to read:

Rosalind: The responsible and sensible, kind and caring eldest sister. She is practical and loves to bake, but can sometimes be taken to romantic notions! She is looked up to by all her younger siblings. 

Sky: Stubborn, smart and out-spoken Sky is the second Penderwick sister. She wants to be an astrophysicist when she grows up and believes in science and fact. She finds her sisters extremely annoying, but is never afraid to be brave and stand up for them in an emergency. 

Jane: Jane is the crazy, dreamy third sister who spends each and every moment of her day with her head stuck in one of her books. She hopes to become an author one day and practices writing poetry and stories all the time. She has a habit of using long words.

Batty: Her name is short for Elizabeth, she’s named after her late Mother. She is quiet and sensitive and loves to try and help others. She also seems to understand animals in a way none of her sisters can. 

How fast of a reader are you?

Um, very very fast. I literally DEVOUR books! I read the average book in two days.

Which book character would you totally want to meet, but fear might kill you?

The fearsome Nancy Blackett from Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. She is my absolute idol. I have walked around in a red bobble hat and black cowboy boots since I first read the book aged about seven. I want to meet her and be her so much!  She is a young female pirate, who resides over Lake Coniston in The Lake district, UK.  She’s captain of a boat called Amazon whom she sails with her sister, Peggy. They live off grog (ginger beer) and great hunks of fruitcake.  It’s just good old-fashioned adventure and some of it is actually quite exciting.

What books have you cried over (if any)?

The Child’s Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston. It is quite a serious book about child soldiers in Rwanda and it really shocked me. I had no idea that this sort of thing went on in the world and I found it deeply moving. To read my book review that I wrote two years ago click here.

What do you do besides reading?

Well, obviously writing. And blogging. I really enjoy to swim too. I am a total water baby and rejoice in the freedom that being in the water grants me. Out of the pool, I am not agile at all, so it’s liberating for me. I also love baking and creating new recipes to share with my family and friends. I am learning about foraging, wild food and herbal medicine too, I find that so interesting. My other hobbies include skiing, sailing and hanging out with friends.

How would you react if all the books suddenly disappeared from the world?

I cannot possibly imagine that and I’d rather not, if you don’t mind. Ha ha!

Book-to-movie adaptations: Like or hate?

It depends. I guess some are great and others aren’t. I don’t like it when they change the story too much,

What book have you been dying to read, but haven’t gotten the chance to?

One by Sarah Crossan. It’s about conjoined twins who’ve been home educated all their lives and then go to school. I find the concept of being physically joined to your twin incredible and being home schooled myself, I am curious as to how the author writes about their experiences. It’s also written in poetry form, which I feel would enhance the story.

Would you rather get paid to read books, review books, or blog about books?

The first one and the last one. But, if I had to choose, I would say ‘get paid to read books’ as I’m not the hugest fan of writing book reviews and I could still blog about other things.

WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT ONE OF YOU FAVORITE AUTHORS IS STANDING ACROSS THE STREET FROM YOU WHAT DO YOU DO???

I’M GOING TO WRITE THIS IN CAPS TOO ‘CAUSE IT’S SO EXCITING!!! Okay, I’ll stop now. I would tell myself that now is no time to be shy and that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Then I would walk across the street and say “Excuse me, can I take a picture with you?” If they said yes, which they would because I only like kind authors, I would be posting it on this blog as soon as I had an internet connection! I would ask them a few questions about writing and then thank them profusely before happily skipping away.

Now for my nominees:

Grace: From The Tip Of Grace’s Pen

Aqsa: Aqsa Says What

MintieFreshie

Elsie L.M.C

Thoughts In Life

RubixCube: Singing To The Sea

Tiana: The Book Raven

Rainbow Girl: Born To Be Me

Loren: Blue Eyes, Grey Eyes

Emma: Book Emma

https://itssimplyme3.wordpress.com/

If I’ve nominated you and you’d rather not do this award, that’s fine! I totally understand. If I haven’t nominated you, please don’t be offended, instead feel free to take part.

My Questions:

What words do you live your life by?

How do you think that you personally can change the world?

What do the words ‘A Light In The Darkness’ mean to you? (How do you interpret them?)

What do you want more than anything else in the world?

Who do you aspire to be like?

What is the story behind your blog name?

What book left you speechless?

Describe one memory that you would never want to lose?

What song could you sing for eternity?

Which blogger in the blogosphere can you relate to the most?

What in life challenges you the most?

Okay, enjoy and let me know how you get on!

Bye for now,

Gracie

 

Sita Brahmachari’s Beautiful Books

 

I love to write, and to use words to weave a web of stories that reveal facts about our world and about what we can do to change it, but I also love to read. I always have. One of my favourite authors is Sita Brahmachari. She writes about real issues and real life whilst still managing to capture a beautiful novel on the paper.

Two of her books are written in diary form, from the point of view of a young girl from London called Mira Levenson. The first, Artichoke Hearts, is about Mira’s Nana, who is an activist and an artist, but is dying of cancer. It is heart-wrenchingly sad, but messages of hope and love are riddled through it and they lift it up and make it one of the best books I’ve ever read. Sita, the author, also talks about bullying and also about Mira’s relationship with a boy in her class who survived the Rwandan Genocide. I learned so much and it really inspired me to try even harder to make a difference.

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The second is called Jasmine Skies and Mira is older in this book. She is of Indian heritage so she decides to fly half way across the world to discover the culture and customs of the country she knows so little about. She is not prepared for the huge amount of poverty, inequality and human rights abuses she will witness, working at her Aunt’s refuge for street kids she realises what she wants to do with her life. This is a quote from the book:

I’ve seen real poverty and homelessness in London, but it’s not on the same scale. When you see it in pictures you don’t appreciate how extreme the difference between rich and poor can be, though they’re living side by side. I feel a heaviness in my gut that I can’t seem to shake off. Every day here someone is tapping on my conscience and saying “Mira Levenson, this is not fair. What are you going to do about it?” and the truth is I don’t know.

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The last book that I have read is Red Leaves, which I was given for my thirteenth birthday just over a week ago. It is a really intriguing and amazing book. It opened my eyes to so much. Homelessness, war, refugees, divorce, religion, journalism, kids who live in care.
Aisha sought refuge in London from war-torn Somalia when she was ten, traumatised and unable to speak, she was alone in the world and missing her family. Now she’s twelve and she lives with her foster carer. She is starting to feel safe and loved again when her carer suggests that she is adopted by a Somalian family. She feels betrayed and runs away to a nearby wood.
Zak is angry and sad and confused. His parents are divorced, his brother won’t speak to him, his Mother is a journalist in conflict zones. When she goes missing, it’s the final straw. He becomes tangled up in a mess of the past and present. Somehow he stumbles into the wood were Aisha is sheltering.
Iona lives on the streets, with her dog. She’s rude and sarcastic and tough, but underneath she’s hurt. She lies about her age and won’t accept help, but she was the victim of a broken family. She too seeks safety and security in the woods.
Elder is seen as a dotty old homeless woman, a free spirit. But she has a story too. She’s not just crazy. She cares about the children and watches over them as they begin to form friendships, forgive and forget, learn about each other.
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I would recommend any of Sita’s books. Not only do they help you understand the world, they fill you with a desire to make it a better place.
Let me know if you’ve read any of these books or if you’d like to! Has there been a book that you’ve read that has really inspired you? If so, why?