Nina and the Travelling Spice Shed by Madhvi Ramani is a lovely book for 6+. Nina's parents are from India, but Nina feels wholly British. She gets a bit fed up with her dad constantly comparing her to Indian children. One day she is late for school, and discovers that all the "good" countries her class are to research for their class project are gone, and she'll have to research India.
Nina is really fed up, and goes to her eccentric aunty's house. There, she is sent to the spice shed in the back garden to get some turmeric, when she discovers that the shed is in fact a travelling shed, which whisks her off to India! Here, Nina learns about the mystic sadhus in the Himalayas, about Bollywood in Mumbai and about the tigers of West Bengal!
This is a delightful book for children developing the stamina to read chapter books. It's funny and enjoyable, and great for dispelling stereotypes about India. I can imagine that children of Indian heritage would really enjoy reading about a girl like them, but also children of other heritages would enjoy it too.
But on Bansi's first night at Granny O'Hara's house, Conn, a boy who can change into a wolf, crashes through the
Exciting and hilarious by turns, this is a brilliant book to read aloud to children 7+. I would also use it for guided reading or have it in my book corner for independent reading in school. I think it would be particularly good in a culturally diverse classroom, particularly one with children of mixed heritage. I have already recommended it to a friend whose little cousin is being excluded by friends due to her mixed heritage. A fantastic read.