Sita’s career spans writing novels, plays and short stories including a celebrated adaptation of Shaun Tan’s ‘The Arrival’. She has an MA in Arts Education. In 2011 she won The Waterstones Children’s book Prize for her debut novel ‘Artichoke Hearts.’ Her subsequent novels for Macmillan Children’s Books ‘Jasmine Skies,’ and ‘ Kite Spirit’ have been nominated for the Carnegie Prize and UKLA Book Awards and ‘ Red Leaves’ and ‘ Tender Earth’ have been endorsed by Amnesty International UK.
She was online Writer in Residence for Book Trust (2015) and is currently Writer In Residence at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants. Sita is an Amnesty Ambassador championing the universal human rights of young people.
Tender Earth: Laila Levenson has always been the baby of the family, but now with her older siblings, Mira and Krish, leaving home just as she starts secondary school, everything feels like it’s changing… can the reappearance of Nana Josie’s Protest Book and the spirit it releases in Laila, her friends and her local community, help her find her own voice and discover what she truly believes in? A powerful chime rings through Laila’s mind, guiding her to walk the footsteps of the past on her way to discover her own future.
Jasmine Skies: Mira Levenson is bursting with excitement as she flies to India to stay with her aunt and cousin for the first time. As soon as she lands Mira is hurled into the sweltering heat and a place full of new sights, sounds, and deeply buried family secrets . . . From the moment Mira meets Janu she feels an instant connection. He becomes her guide, showing her both the beauty and the chaos of Kolkata. Nothing is as she imagined it – and suddenly home feels a long way away. Before Mira leaves India she is determined to uncover the truth about her family, whatever it takes, and she must also make a decision that will break someone’s heart.
Artichoke Hearts: Twelve-year-old Mira comes from a chaotic, artistic and outspoken family where it’s not always easy to be heard. As her beloved Nana Josie’s health declines, Mira begins to discover the secrets of those around her, and also starts to keep some of her own. She is drawn to mysterious Jide, a boy who is clearly hiding a troubled past and has grown hardened layers – like those of an artichoke – around his heart. As Mira is experiencing grief for the first time, she is also discovering the wondrous and often mystical world around her.
Red Leaves: Aisha is a thirteen-year-old refugee living in London. Happy for the first time since leaving her war-torn home, she is devastated when her foster mother announces that a new family has been found for her and she will be moving on. Feeling rejected and abandoned, Aisha packs her bags and runs away, seeking shelter in the nearby woods. Meanwhile, a few doors down, twelve-year-old Zak is trying to cope with his parents’ divorce. Living in a near-building site while the new house is being refurbished, he feels unsettled and alone. Discovering a piece of rubble with the original builder’s signature set into it, he starts researching the history behind his home – and in doing so finds a connection with a young soldier from the past, which leads him to an old air-raid shelter in the same woods. Both children, previously unknown to each other, meet in the heart of the ancient city woodland as they come into the orbit of Elder, a strange homeless woman who lives amongst the trees – and, as helicopters hover overhead and newspapers fill with pictures of the two lost children, unexpected bonds are formed and lives changed forever.