Asha & the Spirit Bird

Jasbinder Bilan

Asha & the Spirit Bird
Chicken House Ltd
United Kingdom
7 February 2019

Asha & the Spirit Bird

Jasbinder Bilan

Winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2019

Asha lives on the family farm with her mother in rural India.

Her father is away working in the city, and when the money he sends stops suddenly, a wicked debt collector arrives. She’s determined to seize the property - and the treasure rumoured to be hidden on the land.

Guided by a majestic bird which Asha believes to be the spirit of her grandmother, she and her best friend Jeevan embark on a journey to the city, across the Himalayas, to find her father and save her home …


One of the great gifts of fiction for children is that it offers them the challenge and adventure of other worlds within the safety and comfort of a book. Asha and the Spirit Bird is a mystical and magical yet believable tale set in contemporary India, where desperate circumstances drive young Asha to leave her home in the Himalayan foothills in search of her father.

Together with her best friend Jeevan, she embarks on a long and dangerous journey across the world’s highest mountains to a distant city. Along the way, they face unbelievable dangers – hazardous mountain terrain, unforgiving blizzards, and ravenous wolves. When they finally arrive at their destination further perils await them. But Asha’s unshakable faith in her magical spirit guide, combined with her own courage and quick-witted resourcefulness, is enough to save both her and Jeevan.

This is a captivating adventure with lovable protagonists and a perfectly happy ending, celebrating friendship and tenacity, and allowing human kindness to prevail. Highly recommended for anyone aged 9+.

Athina Clarke is the children’s book buyer at Readings Malvern.

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