Simi is sent to stay with her grandmother in a remote village deep in the forests of Nigeria. Witch-like and tight-lipped about the past, her grandmother hints at a tragic family secret – but won’t tell Simi the truth. Simi is desperate to discover it for herself, but it’s only when she’s caught in the red quicksand of a forbidden lake that her adventure truly begins. Along with new friends, Jay and Bubu, Simi must bring her family back together and restore peace to the village …

Praise for Children of the Quicksands

‘I was swept away by this fast-paced magical-realist debut, which won the Times/ChickenHouse Children’s Fiction Competition’
Fiona Noble – The Bookseller

A joy of a book: rich, warm, powerful storytelling. A superb debut.’
Katherine Rundell – Author of Roof Toppers

A thrilling adventure bright with the gorgeous colours of Nigeria – glorious!’
Jasbinder Bilan – Author of Asha and the Spirit Bird

I couldn’t put this down! Completely immersive & beautiful – I was with Simi every step of her journey. Daughters, mothers, grandmothers & Yoruba goddesses.
And I loved contrasting worlds of Lagos & Ajao!’ 
Nicola Penfold – Author of Where the World Turns Wild

‘A magical adventure in a beautiful setting’ 
Sophie Anderson – Author of The House with Chicken Legs

‘A dynamic conjuring of Nigerian village life with its characters, food, fragrances and customs…intricately imagined. I was transported and transfixed from start to finish!
A brilliant debut!’
Patience Agbabi – Author of The Infinite

An incredible mix of history, mythology and the supernatural. Totally gripping.’
Charlotte Eyre – The Bookseller

Available at your favourite bookseller. For example:


For the audio book click here:

Teaching resources

On the Chicken House Schools’ Hub you’ll find teaching resources created by Adamma Okonkwo.

For the lovely book cover design & illustrations for Children of the Quicksands I thank Studio H, Helen Crawford-White

Children of the Quicksands just got a captivating additional cover, designed by Raymond Sebastien for Scholastic!