Sharjah – Children of all age groups are flocking to the Sharjah International Book Fair 2021 by the hundreds – a delightful sight symbolic of the evident love of reading and literature the UAE and events like SIBF are successfully instilling in them. A quick walk through the Expo Centre’s halls with a question to these young readers – which genres, and books in particular, will they purchase and also recommend to their peers – was returned with a unanimous response: fantasy fiction!
This is what young SIBF 2021 visitors, from grades 6 – 10, had to say.
Neha Sabin, a Grade 7 student from Amity Private School Sharjah, has chosen Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns. “I like it because it has both mystery and fantasy. There is a twist in the plot which makes it really interesting. I also like Thea Stilton which has mystery and gives information about countries.”
Cyril Garg, a Grade 8 student of DPS Sharjah, has gone for a big haul of Percy Jackson books, Enid Blyton’s Five Findouters and Big Shot, the latest in the Wimpy Kid series.
Samantha Espina, a Grade 3 student who is being homeschooled through the distance learning programme of Lighthouse Christian Academy, USA, has picked up the Dog Man series, the comedic graphic novel of a canine police officer who is part man part dog. She finds the story and the graphics interesting. “I also like Mr Men books,” she asserts.
Cheryl and Carolyn, in Grade 6 and 10 respectively, at Gems Our Own School, have also gone for fantasy and adventure. Cheryl says she really loves adventure books where heroes and villains clash in strange lands. Carolyn has bought Artemis Fowl and The Atlantis Complex as she has read most books in the series. “I was excited to see it here and wanted to finish reading the series,” she said happily.
From Harry Potter to Percy Jackson, it is fantasy and mystery that have a spell-binding influence on youngsters in the UAE.
SIBF 2021, which runs its course in Expo Centre Sharjah until November 13, is offering an exhaustible choice of books and genres represented by 1.3 million unique titles that children and young adults have an opportunity to sift through and buy.