Groundwood Books

Book Uncle and Me

Written by Uma Krishnaswami • Illustrated by Julianna Swaney

For kids 8 - 11 years old | Published September 01, 2016 | ISBN 9781554988105
JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Asia

Cover of Book Uncle and Me

Regular price $8.95 CAD

152 pages | 7.50 in × 5.00 in
Digital Format

About this book

Book Uncle and Me

Uma Krishnaswami • Julianna Swaney

Every day, nine-year-old Yasmin borrows a book from Book Uncle, a retired teacher who has set up a free lending library next to her apartment building. But when the mayor tries to shut down the rickety bookstand, Yasmin has to take her nose out of her book and do something.

But what can she do? The local elections are coming up but she’s just a kid. She can’t even vote!

Still, Yasmin has friends — her best friend, Reeni, and Anil, who even has a black belt in karate. And she has grownup family and neighbors who, no matter how preoccupied they are, care about what goes on in their community.

Then Yasmin remembers a story that Book Uncle selected for her. It’s an old folktale about a flock of doves trapped in a hunter’s net. The birds realize that if they all flap their wings at the same time, they can lift the net and fly to safety, where they seek the help of a friendly mole who chews a hole in the net and sets them free.

And so the children get to work, launching a campaign to make sure the voices of the community are heard.

An energetic, funny and quirky story that explores the themes of community activism, friendship, and the love of books.

About the Creators

Uma Krishnaswami

Uma Krishnaswami has written many highly acclaimed children’s books, from picture books to middle-grade novels to retellings of classic tales and myths. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults and is an active blogger. She lives in Aztec, New Mexico. Visit Uma Krishnaswami's website:

Julianna Swaney

Julianna Swaney is an artist, designer and printmaker specializing in watercolors. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Awards and Praise
  • Commended Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year, 2017
  • Commended Little Free Library Action Book Club Selection, 2017
  • Commended USBBY's Outstanding International Books List, 2017
  • Commended OLA Best Bets Top Ten, 2016
  • Commended NPR's Guide to 2016's Great Reads, 2016
  • Commended Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices List, 2017
  • Winner International Literacy Association Social Justice Literature Award, 2017