Book Uncle and Me

By Uma Krishnaswami, Julianna Swaney (illustrator),

Book cover of Book Uncle and Me

Book description

Winner of the International Literacy Association Social Justice Literature Award
An award-winning middle-grade novel about the power of grassroots activism and how kids can make a difference.

Every day, nine-year-old Yasmin borrows a book from Book Uncle, a retired teacher who has set up a free lending library on the…


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Why read it?

2 authors picked Book Uncle and Me as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Yasmin is a bookworm, so I immediately felt like we had an important bond. Also, I could totally relate to her feeling insignificant in the face of big adult decisions. Yasmin doesn’t stay in that spot, though. She looks around at her resources – dear friends, family, neighbours, and a great idea – and realises that she can have influence in the world around her. This book is a brilliant celebration of community activism, books, and friendship that had me cheering on the characters right to the end. 

From Michelle's list on kids’ stories about speaking up.

I’d read this book a few years ago but was recently reminded of it when I interviewed Uma for a CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors Illustrators and Performers) profile. This is a sweet story about friendship, community, activism, and the main character, Yasmin's, love of books which I could totally identify with!

Set in India, nine-year-old Yasmin, an avid reader, loves to borrow a book from Book Uncle’s outdoor lending library. When the city decides to shut down Book Uncle’s stand, Yasmin gets to work. Drawing inspiration from a folktale about birds working together to free themselves from a…

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