The Star Outside My Window

Publisher: Orion

Ten-year-old Aniyah and her little brother Noah have been put into the care of firm-but-kind Mrs Iwuchukwu. They're not exactly sure what has happened to Mum, only that she has disappeared and the police have brought them to Oxford, far away their home in London.

Aniyah also doesn't understand where Dad is, though she doesn’t miss having to be quiet to avoid setting off his “triggers”. It's hard being in a new home, even though Mrs Iwuchukwu doesn't mind them being noisy, or even changing Noah's sheets when he wets the bed every night.

Yet when astronomy-mad Aniyah learns about a new star that has been behaving strangely in the sky, she assumes it must be Mum, who has told her that the brightest hearts become stars and stay with us forever. All Aniyah needs to do is convince the people about to name the star that it's her mother. But how will Aniyah and Noah get back to London in time to name the star, and find Mum again?

This sensitively told story of domestic abuse is as heartbreaking as you might expect, but Raúf deftly steers Aniyah's innocent-child point of view through a multi-layered story of loss and friendship.

Despite its topic, it's completely suitable for middle grade readers and will enable an important discussion to be had. An important and beautiful book.

More books like this

Bearmouth

Author: Liz Hyder

Newt has been living and working in the horrendous conditions of Bearmouth mine from an early age.  Any kind of way out isn’t even contemplated until Newt meets Devlin. This story is exciting, ambitious, unpredictable and breathtakingly brilliant. 

Read more about Bearmouth

Kenny Wright: Superhero

Author: James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts Illustrator: Cory Thomas

This entertaining book tackles the serious issues of bullying, poverty and difficult family circumstances with a light-hearted touch. Short chapters and the use of comic strip drawings to illustrate Stainlezz Steel's imaginary escapades make this is an accessible and amusing read.

Read more about Kenny Wright: Superhero

Share this book with your friends

Use our Bookfinder to discover the perfect children's books for every age...