Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 14, 2022

Book Giveaway: THE MOON FROM DEHRADUN by Shirin Shamsi

Shirin Shamsi has a new picture book, THE MOON FROM DEHRADUN, illustrated by Tarun Lak and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on September 13th. Shirin has agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Shirin and Tarun.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments by Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!


In time for the 75th anniversary of the Partition of British India, this picture book is a stirring account of the harrowing journey faced by millions of migrants in the aftermath of the division of India and Pakistan.

Azra knows that wherever she goes, her doll Gurya will follow. Even if it’s on a train that will take her far away from the house her family has lived in for generations. Even if there is a new flag flying in Dehradun, and no place left in it for Azra. At least she will be taking a piece of home with her.

But when Abba comes home and says they must leave right now, Gurya gets left behind in the scramble. Will Azra be strong enough to face the long journey alone? And what will happen to Gurya, now hundreds of miles behind them?

Inspired by the author’s family story, this lyrical, moving picture book is a testament to the strength, courage, and perseverance of the over 10 million refugees displaced by the largest forced migration in recorded history, and shares a young girl’s journey from her old home to a new one.


Though THE MOON FROM DEHRADUN is a work of fiction, it was inspired by my mother’s personal experience of the Partition of British India in 1947. I remember hearing this story as a child, several times throughout my childhood.

When I became a mother, I felt compelled to write stories for my children, about their faith, culture and heritage, so they would feel seen and represented.

I often thought of this story, but felt it was too sad to share with children. So I put it out of my mind, thinking I would return to it at some point.

Years passed, and I felt my mother’s story call to me more urgently.  I wanted to share it not only with my children, but with all the children of the world. For this history is little known. So many voices of those who experienced this event, history’s largest forced migration, have now been silenced.

I felt it was time to write it. I began it in 2015. Writing it was hard. Research was more painful. I have wept a great many tears over this manuscript. But I think there is a catharsis in sharing this story.

I write for children with the hope that in some way I’m making the world better. For to be seen, to be represented in books is crucial for every child. And to experience other’s stories surely brings people together with empathy and understanding.

I pitched this story on Twitter’s #DVPit in April 2020. We were in the early weeks of lockdown, and I felt I had nothing to lose. It was because of this story that I signed with my wonderful agent, Saba Sulaiman of Talcott Notch Literary. It has been an amazing writing journey, and I’m so grateful it will be released in just a few weeks.


Shirin has lived on three continents and sees herself as a global citizen. Through sharing stories from her heritage, she hopes to inspire an appreciation for all the diversity of our beautiful planet.

Shirin is a member of SCBWI since 2010, and is now represented by Saba Sulaiman of Talcott Notch Literary Agency.


Tarun Lak is an Indian American animator and illustrator. Born in Miami, Florida, and raised in Chennai, India, he attended Ringling College of Art and Design to study computer animation.

He has since worked as a character animator on commercials and feature films including Spider Man: Into the Spider-VerseSoul, and Luca. Tarun currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys drinking coffee and making art in his spare time. The Moon from Dehradun is his first picture book.

Shirin, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I love that you are telling a story that needs to be shared, but also one that many children can identify with when they have to move, or just misplace or lose something precious to them. It is never too early to learn about strength, courage, and perseverance. Turan’s Illustrations really capture the essence of the book and helps tell the story. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I love everything about this book!


  2. I would love to add this book to my collection. This is another important perspective. Wow!


  3. Congratulations, Shirin. Happy Independence Day!


  4. I think this is one for everyone’s bookshelf. Very enlightening. Congratulations Shirin and Tarun ❤


  5. What a powerful story!


  6. What a gorgeous and important book. I can’t wait to add it to my collection! Best of luck to you both! LM


  7. This is beautiful! And a part of history that I need to learn more about. Congratulations, Shirin and Tarun!

    I follow by email and tweeted this post. 🙂


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