Shenaaz Nanji

Shenaaz G. Nanji was born in Mombasa, Kenya and now lives in Calgary, Alberta. She has a Bachelor of Commerce degree in business administration and an M.F.A. in writing for children from Vermont College.

Fiction, Juvenile (Picture Book)

An Alien in my House

Illustrated by Chum McLeod.
Toronto, Ont.: Second Story Press, 2003.
9th floor PZ7 .N356 A54 2004

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

This imaginative full-color picture book will delight readers aged eight and under as it explores the problems that different generations have in understanding each other. As Ben and the Alien [aka his grandfather] learn more about each other, they discover that they have more in common than they ever would have thought.

Awards and Honours

2004 Blue Spruce Award–Ontario Library Association (Finalist)
2005 R. Ross Annet Award for Children’s Literature-Alberta Literary Awards (Writers’ Guild of Alberta) (Finalist)

Fiction (Young Adult)

Child of Dandelions

Toronto: Second Story Press, 2008.
9th floor PS8577 .A573 C44 2008

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

It is 1972, and fifteen-year-old Sabine enjoys a comfortable life as the daughter of Indian parents living in Uganda. But her world is turned upside down when the country’s military President, General Idi Amin, declares Indians must be “weeded out” of the country in ninety days. …

Awards and Honours

2009 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People (Canadian Children’s Book Centre) (Finalist)
2008 Governor General’s Literary Awards–Children’s Text (English) (Finalist)

 

Fiction (Young Adult)

Ghost Boys

Toronto: Mawenzi House, 2017.
9th floor PS8577 .A573 G46 2017

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Fifteen-year-old Munna lives with his Ma and sisters in a small town in India. Determined to end his family’s misfortunes, he is lured into a dream job in the Middle East, only to be sold. He must work at the Sheikh’s camel farm in the desert and train young boys as jockeys in camel races. The boys, smuggled from poor countries, have lost their families and homes. Munna must starve these boys so that they remain light on the camels’ backs, and he must win the Gold Sword race for the Sheikh. In despair, he realizes that he is trapped and there is no escape . . .

Fiction, Juvenile (Picture Book)

Grandma’s Heart

Illustrated by Rossitza Skortcheva Penney.
Toronto: TSAR Publications, 1993.

Synopsis (from Nanji’s website)

Shaira is a young girl who wants to spend all of her time with her Nani-ma (grandma), but she encounters difficulties when she discovers her Nani-ma is going to spend some time with her mother, father, brother and cousins as well.
Shaira wonders if there will be room enough in her Nani-ma’s heart for all the people in her life-she wants to be the only one in her Nani-ma’s heart.
As Shaira struggles with her feelings, she learns some important lessons about love and family.

Fiction, Juvenile (Picture Book)

The Old Fisherman of Lamu

Illustrations by Shahd Shaker.
Toronto: TSAR Publications, 1995.

Synopsis (from Nanji’s website)

Set in Lamu, the ancient island town on the east coast of Africa, somewhat north of Mombasa, Kenya.
Mzee, an old fisherman, catches one fish at a time, sells half of what he catches, and appears to be lazy.
Mzungu, a smooth-talking “foreigner”, tries to change his ways – and by his smooth talk proves Mzee the smarter of the two. Most of the unfamiliar words are used in a self-explanatory manner. The story is rhythmic, and the excellent, imaginative black line drawings support the ideas beautifully.

Fiction, Juvenile (Picture Book)

Teeny Weeny Penny

Illustrated by Rossitza Skortcheva Penney.
Toronto: TSAR Publications, 1993.

Synopsis (from Nanji’s website)

One day, young Shaira finds a teeny weeny penny in the garden. It becomes her lucky penny, which, she soon discovers, everyone seems to want. But only her father knows how special her penny is.
After playing some games, Shaira ends up with three more pennies. Her teeny weeny penny did bring her luck. Now she is able to give the others the penny they wanted and they think it’s the one she found.
Only Shaira knows she still has her own lucky penny.

Fiction, Juvenile (Picture Book)

Treasure for Lunch

Illustrated by Yvonne Cathcart
Toronto: Second Story Press, 2000.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Shaira loves her grandmother and the wonderful Indian foods that she prepares. But the young girl is afraid that her school friends will think them strange. Not wanting to seem weird or different, Shaira attempts to hide the unusual foods her immigrant grandmother sends with her each day.

Non-fiction (Folklore)

Indian Tales

Illustrated by Christopher Corr.
Cambridge, MA: Barefoot Books, 2007.

Publisher’s synopsis (from its website)

From magical spirits in the northeastern mountains to sneaky robbers and brave heroines in the Indus Valley, these stories, each taken from a different state, are full of action and adventure. Cultural notes introduce every tale, giving readers a taste of India’s rich and diverse heritage.

Awards and Honours

2009 R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature-Alberta Literary Awards (Writer’s Guild of Alberta)(Finalist)

Links

Shenaaz Nanji’s personal website 

Publisher Mawenzi House (formerly TSAR)

Publisher Second Story Press

Publisher Barefoot Books USA