Sharna Jackson Live Interview

On the 14th November we were lucky enough to have a live interview with author Sharna Jackson. For those who don’t know who Sharna is, she’s the author of High Rise Mystery, a book we included in November’s Happier Every Chapter box. She is also the winner of the Waterstones 2020 Prize for Best Children’s Book!

Sharna Jackson and Mbawa Book Reviewers

We first saw Sharna in Cressida Cowell’s Summer Program for the Book Trust, and again when she did a Zoom talk at our school for Black History Month. Sharna does a lot for promoting literacy and promoting representation and diversity in literature, which is something we are also doing a lot of work on - so this was mega exciting for us and we couldn’t have imagined a better person to have our first exclusive interview with!

High Rise Mystery features the first young, black detectives in a book, which in Sharna’s own words (from our interview) “it’s cool, but it also isn’t very cool because why not?” In 2019 when she wrote the book, for there to not be any other book that includes young, black detectives, it’s quite shocking really! She is working hard to try and promote diversity in not only writing, but all aspects of the arts, which is something we really admire.

High Rise Mystery By Sharna Jackson

A key focus of our subscription box is to include a diverse range of writing - books from people from lots of different backgrounds - to try and open the minds of, and inspire other young people. High Rise Mystery is also based on a council estate. She noticed that most detective novels are set in country estates, which the vast majority of readers can’t relate to. So not only is Sharna promoting diversity between different races, she’s also ensuring that the books she writes are something that children are able to relate to and connect with a little bit more than your average book.

Here’s the blurb for High Rise Mystery:

“The detective duo everyone is dying to meet!

Summer in London is hot, the hottest on record, and there's been a murder in THE TRI:

the high-rise home to resident know-it-alls, Nik and Norva. Who better to solve the case?

Armed with curiosity, home-turf knowledge and unlimited time - until the end of the summer holidays anyway. The first whodunnit in a new mystery series by Sharna Jackson.”

We are really looking forward to reading the next books in the series!

If you’d like to watch our live interview with Sharna, you can watch it on our YouTube channel here:

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