In a remote Nigerian village, thirteen-year-old Simi is desperate to uncover a family secret …
WINNER OF THE TIMES/CHICKEN HOUSE CHILDREN’S FICTION COMPETITION 2019
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WATERSTONES CHILDREN’S BOOK PRIZE 2022
‘A joy of a book: rich, warm, powerful storytelling’ KATHERINE RUNDELL
‘A thrilling adventure bright with the gorgeous colours of Nigeria – glorious!‘ JASBINDER BILAN
‘An excellent book … rich in tradition and realism.’ HANNAH GOLD, AUTHOR OF THE LAST BEAR
‘[A] beautifully evoked story’ THE TELEGRAPH
City girl Simi is sent to stay with her long-lost grandmother in a remote Nigerian village. There’s no TV, internet or phone. Not a single human-made sound can be heard at night, just the noise of birds and animals rustling in the dark forest outside.
Her witchlike grandmother dispenses advice and herbal medicine to the village, but she’s tight lipped about their family history. Something must have happened, but what?
Determined to find out, Simi disobeys her grandmother and goes exploring. Caught in the sinking red quicksand of a forbidden lake, her fantastical journey begins …
- A richly imagined magical fantasy adventure set in West Africa by a prize-winning new voice in children’s writing.
- Introduces readers to Yoruba myths and legends whilst showcasing the wealth of culture, traditions, adventure, fun, joy, celebrations, music, pride and love found in Nigeria.
- Beautifully explores themes of grief and belonging.
- Efua is the winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2018.
More praise for Children of the Quicksands:Â
‘Gorgeous … an enthralling story’ ABI ELPHINSTONE
‘[A] terrific debut novel’ YABA BADOE
‘TraorÃ©’s storytelling feels almost otherworldly … exhilarating’ THE TIMES
‘A stunning debut’Â THE SCOTSMAN
‘Full of secrets and myths’Â THE OBSERVER