Kiss the Dust
Tara is an ordinary teenager. Although her country, Iraq, is caught up in a war, the fighting seems far away. It hasn't really touched her. Until now.
The secret police are closing in. Tara and her family must flee to the mountains with only the few things they can carry. But their journey is only just beginning. Will anywhere feel like home again?
I lived in Iraq for a while when I was first married. My husband and I visited Kurdistan, travelling up into the Kurdish homeland in the cool green hills, away from the hot sandy plain below. I saw for myself the little fields, the villages clinging to the sides of the hills, the rushing streams and shady trees.
The people were kind and welcoming, but none of them dared to speak out about the harshness of their treatment under Saddam Hussein. Later, when we had returned to Britain, I met many Kurds who had been forced to flee from their homes and make the perilous journey to the West. Many of them told me their amazing stories, and these became the threads from which Kiss the Dust was woven.
Winner of the Children's Book Award, the Sheffield Book Award and the Royal Dutch Geographical Society Glass Globe Award