By Author / Illustrator
Pratima Mitchell, David Dean
Friends and family
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Paperback / softback
A poignant, contemporary family story set in Goa, India, written by Pratima Mitchell. Hari's family make their living from fishing, but with no fish left in the bay, times are really hard. To catch the fish further away they need a better boat, but to get a better boat they need to sell fish... Despite family feuds and village superstitions standing in his way, Hari doesn't give up, and it isn't long before help arrives from the most unlikely source.
This thought-provoking story from Pratima Mitchell has engaging black-and-white illustrations by David Dean and is perfect for children who are developing as readers. The Bloomsbury Readers series is packed with brilliant books to get children reading independently in Key Stage 2, with book-banded stories by award-winning authors like double Carnegie Medal winner Geraldine McCaughrean and Waterstones Prize winner Patrice Lawrence covering a wide range of genres and topics. With charming illustrations, ideas for discussion points and online guided reading notes written by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), this series is ideal for reading both in the classroom and at home.
Book Band: Dark Blue (Ideal for ages 9+). For more information visit www.bloomsburyguidedreading.com.
Bamba Beach is the story of eleven-year old Hari who wants to help his family however he can when he overhears his parents talking about struggling to pay the bills. Lots of the families in the village are fisherfolk but they don't talk to each other because of relatives arguing many years ago. The children of the families long to play together but are forbidden from doing so by their parents. Various events mean the families' paths cross several times - perhaps they can find a way to get along?
This is a perfect introduction to chapter books with a heart-warming story to go with it. With only five chapters in the whole book, it's not off-putting for children who are just starting to read longer books. There are some discussion questions included at the back of the book as well as ideas for activities to do based on the story. These would be great for children to do independently or with an adult. The book also aligns with the coloured book band system.
The children characters in the book are likeable but also relatable through their kindness, optimism and squabbling with their siblings! A lovely story of hope that shows how helpful teamwork can be.
80 pages / Reviewed by Kirsten Hopwood, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+