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“Where the River Runs Gold” Sita Brahmachari

Kairos City was beautiful once, before the storm. Now the flowerbeds are built over with brick, the bees are long gone and children are sent to Freedom Fields to pollinate crops by hand for the good of the nation. Eleven-year-old Shifa knows that her twin brother won’t survive this life for long: they have to escape. Then she uncovers a secret. If she can protect it on their perilous journey, Shifa could change everything…

This is a beautifully written book that could be set in the not too distant future! Climate changing storms are destroying cities and crops and have wiped out the bees needed to pollinate those crops that are left. Instead children are sent from their homes to do the job by hand, but it is not an easy life. Living in Big Brother-style communities, where your every move is watched and then rewarded or punished, the Freedom Fields are not all that they were promised to be. The characters have real depth and you can really feel what they are going through at every stage of their journey. The world they inhabit can be harsh and cruel but also offers glimmers of hope that they must hold on to in order to survive. The story is full of warnings about climate change and is one that should be read by everybody.


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