The Girl Who Stitched the Stars

Non-uniform day arrives at Noor’s school. Noor hasn’t ever been to school without her uniform before, and the clothes she loves to wear are different. What will she wear? What will the other children say? When she realises what her clothes mean to her, she must decide if she can be brave enough to share them with her friends.

Malherbe’s second book in the series that follows, The Girl Who Slept Under the Moon, will be published January 2022 by Beacon Books.

Celebrating Differences

Shereen Malherbe’s family live throughout the West Bank. Shereen is inspired to capture their stories and share them with the wider world. All children need to see themselves in the stories they read. A lack of representation filters into society and has a real effect on people’s lives, even more so on the lives of children.

Inspiration for the Books

Shereen’s own move from the Middle East to the UK made her consider how best to keep certain cultural traditions alive for her children. As a writer, she naturally chose to do this through storytelling. When Shereen began researching the effect moving had on children generally, she also discovered we are living in a time of unprecedented change, with the movement of millions of children across the world. “One third of the refugees and migrants who have arrived in Europe are children.” (UNICEF). With this in mind, the theme of holding on to our identity and being confident enough to share it with others became the inspiration to write this children’s book series.

Palestinian Tatreez

The #Palestinian art of #tatreez (Palestinian embroidery) features in The Girl Who Stitched the Stars and tatreez is now a recognised art by UNESCO.

‘The Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Riyad Al-Malki, welcomed the inclusion in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he added that the step “is an affirmation of the Palestinian people’s roots in their land, Palestine, and their continuity of life on it without interruption for tens of thousands of years.”

He added that #embroidery “is a symbol of the Palestinian national identity, and its connection with the land, #history and #nature…”

(Quotation from Middle East in 24 news)


Published by Shereen Malherbe

Shereen Malherbe is a writer & author. Her novel, Jasmine Falling has been voted as one of the top 20 Best Books by Muslim women. Her second contemporary fiction novel, The Tower, is now used as academic set text in a US university. Her migrant children's book series, The Girl Who Slept Under The Moon was followed in 2022 with, The Girl Who Stitched the Stars. Her short story, The Cypress Tree has been published in World Literature Today's landmark edition on Palestine Voices. Her latest novel, a Palestinian reimagining of Jane Eyre, The Land Beneath the Light has been nominated alongside her children's book, for the Palestine Book Awards 2022.

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