We’re starting our advent recommendations with No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton. A gentle, poignant story that brought us to tears but warmed our hearts. Full of hope and a celebration of the power of dance. Perfect for introducing empathy for, and understanding of refugees and asylum seekers to children 9+. It’s a beauty! Voted as winner of the Children’s Fiction category in the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards 2019 and Independent Booksellers’ Children’s Book of the Month for December. Filled with humanity and heart, we can’t think of a story that more perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Christmas.

You can get your copy here.

Use code ADVENT10 for 10% off our advent book recommendations.

About the book:

Aya is eleven years old and has just arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria. When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship.

But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria.

With beautiful, captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling – filled with warmth, hope and humanity.