Bridget Hodder: The things we share unite us and our differences should excite us

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series International Women's Day

This year’s International Women’s Day podcast is an interview with Bridget Hodder who co-wrote a cross-cultural novel with Fawzia Gilani Williams.

Cross-cultural novel

Bridget Hodder and Fawzia Gilani-Williams wrote an unforgettable tale of cross-cultural interfaith friendship for kids. The Button Box is a middle grade time-travel novel following Ava, a Sephardic Jewish girl, and Nadeem, her Muslim cousin and best friend. Children bully Ava and Nadeem at school. Then a mysterious button helps them travel back in time to medieval Morocco. They learn more about their roots and begin to take pride in their unique identities.

Co-written by Sephardic Jewish author Bridget Hodder and Muslim author Fawzia Gilani-Williams, the Button Box is contemporary and historical. It’s based on real historical events surrounding the convivencia period in medieval Spain. During this era, Muslims, Jews and Christians lived together without persecution. The Button Box is an unforgettable tale of peace and heroism for all kids. I enjoyed it and learnt a bit along the way too!

Bridget HodderBridget Hodder

Bridget Hodder has decades of experience as a reading and communication specialist. She works primarily with young people with learning disabilities. Additionally, as an author she speaks and presents workshops for children and teachers, tailoring her message for the audience. The Button Box is her first collaboration and her second novel.

Bridget is a Sephardic Jew. This means she is a descendant of Spanish Jews from the convivencia period in medieval Spain. Apparently they’re a very small minority of Jews. And Jews generally are a minority in the United States and in many other countries.

Fawzia Gilani-Williams

Fawzia is a Muslim educator and librarian living and working in the United Emirates. Passionate about representation, Fawzia has quite the collection of solo-authored books for children. Unfortunately she didn’t join us for this podcast but I hope to talk to her sometime in the future. Perhaps when she publishes her next book.

Related books:

The Button Box is for fans of The Wolf’s Curse and The Tower of Shadows.

The Button Box: two children of color and a cat explore 

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