Mbawa Books


Readers are thinkers. Thinkers are leaders.

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Welcome! We are Kirsten  and Aiyven of Mbawa Books. We live in Northampton with our parents, youngest sister Kaitlyn, pet cat Zaki and pet pigeon Gus. Its fair to say we are voracious readers or book addicts if you like with a bit of a thing for getting others to catch the reading bug☺. Sagas of Anya by Kirsten & Land Of The Nurogons by Aiyven are our debut middle-grade novels. Our books started life as entries to the 2019 BBC 500 Words writing contest. Even though we weren't successful, we turned our entries into middle-grade novels which are now on sale on Amazon & our website.

 You may have watched our reviews of children, middle-grade or young adult books on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. Or you may have seen us on Channel 4, Steph's Packed Lunch, BBC Look East, Northampton Chronicle & Echo, Daily Express, Daily Mirror or even in The WeekJnr magazine. Whichever way, we're sure by now, you get the idea that we are mad about books.

And that is why after having published our books, we decided to launch a book subscription box for kids 8-14 years old. The mission? The vision? To promote literacy and diversity in middle-grade literature. Happier Every Chapter, is the ideal book subscription box for tween or young teen bookworms!

ABOUT OUR BOOKS & Book subscription service

Sagas of Anya by Kirsten Mbawa

What would you do if you had to become a maid at thirteen working for a nasty housekeeper? After her mam dies, 12yr old Anya watches as her once loving tad turns to drink. Things hit a new low the next year and Anya is forced to travel from Victorian Cardiff to London to become a scullery maid at Tippets House, under the watchful eye and cruel hand of Mrs. Axton.

Spirited and bright, Anya makes friends and some enemies too. Will she survive and find a loving place to belong again or will this life of drudgery be forever?

Find out more via the link below. Fans of historical fiction will not be able to put this down.

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Land of the Nurogons by Aiyven Mbawa

I, Hayden Smith, never considered myself to be the ‘chosen one’. I thought I was your average high school kid. But, no, of course I was completely wrong. And I have a sneaking suspicion that however much I tried to avoid my fate, I’d end up in the same place, Nurogonia.

And now a bloke called Sosiri plans to turn the world of Nurogonia into something unimaginable. If he succeeds, we’re all dead. It’s my problem to prevent that. All those deaths would be on my hands. And if I fail? Oh, never mind, I won’t be alive to find out.

Love middle-grade fantasy adventure? You'll be sure to love this!

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Happier Every Chapter

There's nothing quite like getting stuck in a good book or two. Or knowing that, you don't have to fear running out of good books to read.

Meet Happier Every Chapter. The book subscription box every tween or young teen bookworm needs. Created to promote literacy and diversity in middle-grade literature, our boxes have been dubbed as "a monthly box of bookish bliss & treats for kids 8-14."

Boxes come with 2 books, 2 short stories, activity sheets, author goodies, 4-8 bookish treats and lifestyle items and access to a members only community for live author interviews etc.

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From March 2019 when the book reviews started, there's been a steady growth in our social media following telling of the need for literacy promotion & book recommendations. 

The book reviews now happen monthly on Facebook, YouTube & Linkedin and where possible the author(s) whose books have been featured in that month's subscription box will be invited for a Live Author Interview . Check out the blog for updates.

Watch Us On YouTube


Support for the book reviews, our recently published books & upcoming subscription box has been phenomenal. For that, we cannot say enough thanks. 

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments about literacy promotion for children and we will do our best to help. If you have any particularly interesting books you want us to review/have in the box please do not hesitate to let us know. Lets create a community of readers!

Watch Facebook Live Replays


The absolute highlight has been our BBC Look East TV appearance in Jun '20 talking about our books. Since then, we have also been on BBC Three Counties Radio, The WeekJnr, Daily Express/Mirror & a number of blogs.

Charity really did begin at home for us with the Northampton Chronicle & Echo featuring us for World Book Day 2020 during the height of our Kickstarter campaign! We remain always grateful for the support we have received.

Catch Us On BBC

Channel 4 Steph's Packed Lunch Small Business Market

We couldn't have been more thrilled to have been invited to appear on Channel 4's Steph's Packed Lunch Small Business Market. To top it all off, we got to meet people like Alan Johnson and Oti Mabuse. You can read more the day in this blog post or watch the vlog we did for the event.

It was amazing to showcase, Happier Every Chapter, our small business alongside other kidpreneurs who had been invited to the show.

Watch the Video

See what people are saying about our boxes & book reviews

Absolutely amazing!!!

Absolutely Amazing!!!

The idea of having a special little box arrive each month with amazing books to read and goodies, is an inspirational idea! My son has absolutely loved his first box and has already read the first novel. It’s such a lovely way to encourage our youngsters to read! The two young girls should be very proud of themselves! Can’t wait for next month’s box!

Vicky A.

Amazing Christmas Present

My daughters favourite Christmas present this year. It’s lovely to get a parcel in the post and my little bookworm loves discovering new authors. The little extras are also lovely.

Kathleen B.

Empowering & inspiring! 

Fantastic recommendations,
empowering and inspiring girls✌️" Read More

Tamsin W.

A joy to watch

"These young ladies are a joy to listen too! They do a great job with their reviews and have an obvious passion for books! I recommend them highly!"

Jared W.

Interesting, funny & detailed

"These young ladies are amazing. Such a joy to watch and listen to. Interesting, funny and detailed - Very well spoken too. Their reviews are clear, lovely and honest." Read More...

Vese A.

Bubble of joy and positivity

What a bubble of joy and positivity these two reviewers are. As well as reviewing such a terrific variety of books, they give so much time and attention to providing a detailed review, and encourage kids and adults alike to read widely. Big hearts, fantastic vision and avid readers, Mbawa Book Reviewers are highly recommended.

Elena P.

Relatable Reviews kids will love

Hi everyone! I absolutely love these beautiful young ladies and was fortunate enough to receive reviews for my children's book, Go-Cart Gertie. The girls read the book live on their site and discussed what lessons were found within the storyline. In addition, the girls are truly relatable with other children and share their viewpoints on each book they review. I definitely recommend checking them out!

Cindy S.

Amazing, Fantastic and Exciting.

When I received my first parcel, I was very excited to see what was inside the box and to discover what books I was going to receive.
As well as good choices of books I got two short stories written by the Mbawa book reviewers themselves!! I loved the mini notebook that had the motivational inscription at the front. I also received a hot chocolate powder sachet which I really needed at the time along other items such as a magnetic bookmark.

Overall I believe the Mbawa book reviewers 'Happier Every Chapter' is highly recommendable.

Lani-Elsa I.