Bookseller Sophie Pitches is one of the runners on our 21-strong #TeamActionFoundation this Sunday for the nation’s favourite half-marathon, The Great North Run.

And as Sophie works at Whitley Bay’s ‘the bound’ bookshop, part of Forum Books, we thought she’d be well-placed to offer some reading recommendations for those interested in learning more about migration.

Sophie (pictured above with bookshop manager, James Routledge) agreed to take time out from her work and hectic training schedule to select a few of the books they have in store at the moment.

Good luck to Sophie and all our other runners. Here is a link to her fundraising page if you would like to spur her on with some sponsorship.

And there are links to everyone else’s fundraising pages at the end of this article.

Books for Adults

This is Europe by Ben Judah

Judah gives voice to the exploited and marginalised in these stories of ordinary Europeans, immigrants and refugees, who are on the margins of society but striving for a better life.

Wander Women: Tales of Transgression in a Bordered World by Alexandra Blanchard and Alex Howlett

Governments’ decisions usually impact most on the lives of women and people of marginalised genders–yet their stories often go unheard. Wander Women unites tales of different journeys around the world and shines light on the boundaries and constraints–both physical and invisible, political and social–that mould the lives of cis women, trans people and gender-nonconforming individuals.

Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong.

Vuong is a Vietnamese American poet, essayist, novelist and Tik Tok sensation. His latest poetry collection has been described as a ‘testament to tenderness in the face of violence’.

Wandering Souls by Cecile Pin. 

A debut novel portraying the Vietnamese refugee experience and the toll assimilation can take. In the wake of the Vietnam war between 200,000 and 400,000 refugees died at sea, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Wandering Souls examines this human tragedy through the eyes of 16-year-old Anh, her 13-year-old brother Minh and their 10-year-old brother Thanh, who are separated from their parents and four younger siblings when the family attempts to make the perilous journey to Hong Kong on two separate boats.

Inklings #8: No Man’s Land by Anne East.

Anne explores how it feels to be caught in a culture limbo – being a Brit but from a different heritage, the emotions felt within this limbo, and why culture truly matters. She also considers how this has manifested through history, and the British Empire, with focus on the often unheard or ignored impacts on those of East and Southeast Asian heritage.

Who Are We Now? Stories of Modern England by Jason Cowley

The editor-in-chief of the New Statesman examines contemporary England through some of the key news stories from recent times to reveal what they tell us about the divisive nature of the country today. In case you fear it’s too depressing a read, Cowley does show us the many ways in which there is genuine hope for the future.

All Walls Collapse Edited by Will Forrester and Sarah Cleave. Featuring writing by Muyesser Abdul’ehed Hendan, Maya Abu Al-Hayat, Larissa Boehning, Zahra El-Hasnaui, Rezuwan Khan, Paulo Scott, Kyung-Sook Shin, Geetanjali Shree, Constantia Soteriou, Krisztina Tóth & Juan Pablo Villalobos.

In an era in which more walls are being built than are being brought down, All Walls Collapse brings together writing from across national and linguistic borders, and reflects upon our relationship to walls, both real and metaphorical.

Introducing children to the concept of migration

The Journey by Francesca Sanna 

“Almost every day on the news we hear the terms ‘migrants’ and ‘refugees’ but we rarely ever speak to or hear the personal journeys that they have had to take. This book is a collage of all those personal stories and the incredible strength of the people within them.” – Francesca Sanna. Aimed at Reception to Yr 2 children.

What is a Refugee? by Elise Gravel 

Aimed at three-seven year olds, this is a simple picture book that explains why people are forced to flee their homes.

You Don’t Know What War Is: the Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine  by Yeva Skalietska

The diary of young Ukrainian refugee Yeva Skalietska following 12 days in Ukraine that changed 12-year-old Yeva’s life forever. She was woken in the early hours to the terrifying sounds of shelling. Russia had invaded Ukraine, and her beloved Kharkiv home was no longer the safe haven it should have been…

Suitable for readers 11+