The Wheel of Surya by Jamila Gavin

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK.

The dramatic first volume in the Surya Trilogy by Whitbread award-winning author of Coram Boy, Jamila Gavin. This book offers a story about culture, class, faith and family set against the backdrop of Indian independence.


The Wheel of Surya by Jamila Gavin

n 1947 India is rocked by the Independence movement and partition with Pakistan. Their lives disrupted by violence, Jaspal and Marvinder are sent from their Indian village to find their father, who is a student in England. This is a story touching on culture, class, faith and family set against the backdrop of Indian independence. No children's books about India conveys these issues and themes with the effortless ease of Jamila Gavin.

About the Author

Jamila Gavin

Jamila was born in Mussoorie (Bombay), India, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Her Indian father and English mother met as teachers in Iran and by the age of eleven she had lived in an Indian palace in the Punjab, a flat in a bombed out street in Shepherd’s Bush, a bungalow in Poona, near Mumbai and a terraced house in Ealing. She settled into a little town cottage in Stroud, Gloucestershire twenty five years ago but she still loves to travel.

With an Indian father and an English mother, She inherited two rich cultures which ran side by side throughout her life, and which always made her feel she belonged to both countries. Her childhood memoir, "Out Of India" traces her life, illustrating the experiences from which she draws many of the ideas for my books.

Her family settled in England where she completed her schooling and further training as a music student at Trinity College of Music, London. After studies in Paris and Berlin she joined the BBC, first as a Studio Manager in radio, then crossed over to television as a Production Assistant and Director in Music and Arts Programmes. Later, she married Barrie Gavin and they had two children, a son, Rohan and a daughter, Indi. It was then that she began writing children's books, and felt a need to reflect the multi-cultural world in which she and her children lived.

Since her first book, "The Magic Orange Tree" was published in 1979, She has been writing steadily, producing collections of short stories, teenage novels and many books for educational schemes for the whole age range from six to sixteen. Her books have included "Grandpa Chatterji", which was short-listed for the Smarties Award and was dramatised for television on Channel 4 Schools, "Monkey in the Stars" which she then dramatised for a commission by the Polka Theatre, where it was performed in the autumn 2000 and "The Surya Trilogy" of which the first, "The Wheel of Surya", was special runner up for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award in 1992, while the others were subsequently all shortlisted for the same award.

Her novel, "Coram Boy", set in 18th century England, won the 2000 Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award and her first radio play, "The God at the Gate", broadcast as Play for Today on Radio 4 in September 2001, was shortlisted for the Richard Imison Award.

Her latest novel, "The Blood Stone", was published in November 2003. Set in 17th Century India and Venice, it is about a boy who has to take a diamond to India as a ransom to free his father, who is being held hostage in Afghanistan.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


288 pages
Interest Age: From 11


Jamila Gavin
More books by Jamila Gavin

Author's Website


Egmont Books Ltd an imprint of Egmont UK Ltd

Publication date

1st June 2001




It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

Lovereading4kids is great, we get books really early never late. We love to read and review, and think you would like it too. The excitement

Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 12

At @HHSHaringey we love @lovereading4kids because our pupils can practice reviewing & get free upcoming books before anyone else!

Helen Swinyard – Heartlands High

It gives me a chance to read types of books that I would not normally try, and it motivates me to read every night to finish it!

Alice Horncastle, age 14

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

I am so pleased to have signed my kids up as they are reading a much wider range of books and even choosing books out of their comfort zone.

Angela East

Lovereading 4 schools