Thursday 7 September 2017


Lovely children's writer CAS LESTER tells us all about her newest book... and it's a total must-read!

Cas says:
Imagine starting at a new school where you don't know anybody. I guess that might seem like a bit of a challenge. Now imagine that you don't even speak any English. Think about it -  standing around at break, being bombarded with questions you can't understand, and then, even worse, everyone abandoning you when they realise you can't actually talk to them. How gutting would that be?

But what if someone stayed, smiled at you, and offered you a piece of chocolate? Ah, well that might just be the start of a brilliant friendship! It's also the starting point for my latest book, DO YOU SPEAK CHOCOLATE? The story is about the friendship between Jaz and Nadima, who is a newly arrived refugee from Syria.

In fact, the story was inspired by a true story about a friendship between two real girls who were determined to become friends even though they didn't speak each other's language. They featured in a children's documentary I was cutting down for the BBC. Their friendship started with a smile.

Somebody once said, 'The language of friendship is not words, but meanings.' But I reckon that the language of friendship is chocolate! So what's your 'language of friendship'? A shared song? Football? Cheese and onion crisps?

Cathy says:
This sounds like my kind of book... well, I'm fluent in chocolate, for starters, and one of my most valued friendships was sealed over a shared slice of hot chocolate fudge cake! DO YOU SPEAK CHOCOLATE is out now... give it a go, and COMMENT BELOW to tell us about any other cool books you've read this summer!


  1. Wow this book seems amazing
    I really want to read it
    I can't imagine how scary it must be for refugees
    Love from Aaliyah xxx

  2. Ohmigosh! Coincidence! A new girl has just started in our class and she's just moved in from Spain so I totally understand! She doesn't speak any English and has difficulty understanding us. She is getting a whole lot better though and we are having so much fun trying to learn each other's language!

  3. Yes, this book was a great read and reminded me of myself in Year 6 -- a beautiful Chinese girl came here for a year, and although she didn't really speak any English and I didn't speak Mandarin Chinese, we managed to have conversations using emojis & drawings (just like the girls in the book!); she was very good at art, and we used sign language too! It was very interesting to have her around. She didn't even know what a sandwich was!!! And every time she brought out her lunchbox, it was always rice, rice, rice every time!! She has gone back to China now and I miss her a lot, but we still email each other as pen pals and are great friends. I love this book, everyone can learn something from it!



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...