Sat, 10 July 2021

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm GMT


The Week Junior presents… Summer of Reading

With Jasbinder Bilan, Elle McNicoll and Benjamin Zephaniah

Best-selling children’s magazine, The Week Junior, invites you to celebrate the launch of their Summer of Reading challenge at a special live event featuring award-winning authors, Jasbinder Bilan, Elle McNicoll and Benjamin Zephaniah.

In this online event – hosted by The Week Junior’s Features editor, Ben Isaacs – Jasbinder, Elle and Benjamin will share some of their secrets of storytelling. They’ll be talking about what inspires them, how their own experiences have influenced their books and why reading is a superpower. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear from some of the UK’s most exciting children’s authors and discover how you too can harness the power of reading.

Tamarind and the Star of Ishta by Jasbinder Bilan, A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll and Windrush Child by Benjamin Zephaniah, all feature on The Week Junior’s Summer of Reading booklist. To see the full list and find out more about the Summer of Reading challenge, click here.

Jasbinder Bilan


Jasbinder Bilan is an award-winning author. Born in the foothills of the Himalayas, her family moved to Britain when she was a child. Jasbinder’s first novel, Asha & the Spirit Bird, was inspired by her incredible bond with her grandmother. She was awarded the Costa Childrens Book Award in 2019. Her most recent book is Tamarind & The Star of Ishta. She lives with her husband, two teenage boys and dog Enzo and splits her time between teaching and writing.

Elle McNicoll


Elle McNicoll is a children’s author from Scotland, now living in East London. One of the most exciting new voices in children’s publishing, Elle is a Neurodivergent writer and is passionate about disability rights and #OwnVoices representation. Her debut novel A Kind of Spark was published to critical acclaim in June 2020 and won the 2021 Blue Peter Book Award for Best Story. It has also been shortlisted for the 2021 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Her second novel, Show Us Who You Are, was published in March 2021.

Benjamin Zephaniah

Writer and Poet

Dr Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is one of the pioneers of the performance poetry scene in Britain. His poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls ‘street politics’. He contributes to many radio programmes and has presented documentaries on radio and television concerning literature, culture, race and politics.