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COMPLETELY Ignoring My Kids to Binge...a Children's Book

Updated: Jul 4, 2023


One of my favorite things to do is listen to audiobooks, and I always try to have one going with my kids for when we're driving around together, as well. A good book makes for infinitely more interesting and quiet car time. I am forever searching our local library's young adult and juvenile audio options. Sometimes we get really lucky and it's a story we all love sharing.


A few weeks ago, I chose a YA book on Libby called "The Theft of Sunlight" by Intisar Khanani. It is BEAUTIFULLY WRITEN and had us all immediately captivated. It's exciting and the first-person female protagonist is relatable and cool, the narrator, fantastic.




The motto on Intisar Khanani's home page is "Writing Mighty Girls and Diverse Worlds."

I didn't know at the time that the book was part of a much bigger series (The Dauntless Path), but we easily caught up to the magical world that Ms. Khanani built. It's set in what I assume is some version of Middle Eastern/Indian ancient times when there are kings and queens, thieves with swords, and strict gendered expectations. Not only is there compelling fantastical elements (mages, sorceresses, talking horses, etc), but there are very modern, real obstacles that the humans face. Children are being kidnapped and sold into slavery, women aren't safe to walk home alone because of men, practical and empowered women, when they fall in love, have frank discussions about birth control and whether or not they'll choose to have children. AND when the lead characters have violence committed against them or are forced to commit violence themselves, they freaking process the trauma! In real ways! The emotional intelligence here is wild. Also, the romance is HOT without being spicy- as in, I was fully invested and twitterpated by the love stories but there's none sex.


The kids and I loved the story, but as it does get fairly violent and dark, I decided to leave them behind and go it alone. They kept catching me listening to it and getting bent that I wasn't including them- and honestly, it was partly because I want to protect their tender hearts from some of these topics, but it was mostly that I WAS OBSESSED and didn't want to wait for them to be around to keep listening.



When that book ended, I immediately bought the third (A Darkness at the Door) on Audible and am now listening to the first (Thorn) on Scribd. I haven't taken my headphones off in a week- and I'm seeing that she's written some prequels and side trek books to fill in details of stories that were only referenced in the three books- so I'll be happily stuck in this world for a while.


This is SO FREAKING WELL-WRITTEN AND COMPELLING. I'm shocked it hasn't been made into a movie series.


Anyway- PLEASE read this, tell your (big) kids about it, and then we can all chat.




I don't know about you, but when I'm reading great books, I'm just kind of in a better mood- and these put me there. They're hopeful, wise, fun, all the things.


A quick summary of The Theft of Sunlight, the first book that hooked me: "Children have been disappearing from across Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her friend’s sister is snatched, Rae knows she can’t look away any longer—even if that means seeking answers from the royal court, where her country upbringing

and clubfoot will only invite ridicule. Yet the court holds its share of surprises. There she discovers an ally in the foreign princess, who recruits her as an attendant. Armed with the princess’s support, Rae seeks answers in the dark city streets, finding unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges street thief with secrets of his own. But treachery runs deep, and the more Rae uncovers, the more she endangers the kingdom itself.

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