#National Writing Competition

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LEYA'S EXTRA-SECRET SUPER-IMPORTANT BIRTHDAY LIST

Author Name: Varsha Varghese | Format: Paperback | Genre : Children & Young Adult | Other Details

Nine-year-old Leya has a secret list of things to do before her tenth birthday. Items on the list include writing amazing letters as part of a school assignment, baking a cake by herself, overcoming her fear of blood, and walking to school alone. To complete the list, she must take help from her best friends Aman and Diya.

She knows that her family is different from theirs. Living with her Amma in Kerala and her Appa working in Kuwait, she is overjoyed when he returns home unexpectedly. But is Appa hiding something from her? With the new challenges at home, can Leya complete her secret list? 

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Varsha Varghese

Varsha's fondest childhood memories include reading one book a day during summer vacations, attending book fairs, and visiting bookstores with her mom and dad. 

She has a master's degree in development studies and has previously run a volunteer-led reading project working with children from under-resourced communities in Delhi. She has authored two picture books, interned with a children's publishing house and runs a virtual gender reading circle.  

As an adult, she spends a lot of time thinking about how so many books she read as a child had characters that neither looked like her nor had similar life experiences. Her belief that all children deserve to see themselves in the books they read informs her writing.

She can be reached at varshaxvarghese on instagram or at varsha.varghese@graduateinstitute.ch on email. 

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