Book Club: The Girl Who Smiled Beads

An open book lying on a blue surface with a pile of books behind it.

Booking information

To join the Book Club, please subscribe to the mailing list (which uses JISC-mail) using the link below. You can also join the Book Club on Microsoft Teams.

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Contact information

Sharon Reid

Join staff from Pilkington Library for the University Book Club's discussion of Clemantine Wamariya’s memoir about her experience as a childhood refugee from Rwanda, written alongside Elizabeth Weil.

About the book

When Clemantine Wamariya was six years old, her world was torn apart. She didn’t know why her parents began talking in whispers, or why her neighbours started disappearing, or why she could hear distant thunder even when the skies were clear.

As the Rwandan civil war raged, Clemantine and her sister Claire were forced to flee their home. They ran for hours, then walked for days, not towards anything, just away. They sought refuge where they could find it, and escaped when refuge became imprisonment. Together, they experienced the best and the worst of humanity. After spending six years seeking refuge in eight different countries, Clemantine and Claire were granted refugee status in America and began a new journey.

Honest, life-affirming and searingly profound, this is the story of a girl’s struggle to remake her life and create new stories – without forgetting the old ones.

This book has been chosen ahead of Refugee Week 2024. Refugee Week is the world’s largest arts and culture festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. This year it takes place from 17-23 June.

Content note: this book contains themes of war, violence and trauma.  
Please note that content notes are based on information available online. 

Access to the book

The Library has a subscription to Libby, the leisure reading app widely used by public libraries. Libby enables the Library to support the wellbeing of all its users by providing access to leisure reading, wellbeing, and audiobook titles. Content includes ebooks, emagazines, and much more. To get started, simply download the Libby app and sign in. The app can be downloaded from the app store, or from a link on the Libby homepage

Through Libby, the Library have purchased an ebook of 'The Girl Who Smiled Beads', though, unfortunately due to licencing restrictions, it’s one-user at a time only. An audiobook copy has also been purchased, which is also available one user at a time only.  

About Book Club

The University Book Club is run by staff from Pilkington Library and is open to all current and former students and staff of Loughborough University. It meets in person in the Library but the meetings can also be accessed remotely via Teams.

To join the Book Club, please subscribe to the mailing list (which uses JISC-mail). You can also join the Book Club on Microsoft Teams. Please see 'Booking information' on the left for details.

Once you have signed up to the mailing list you will receive email confirmation of your subscription with further information. From then on you will receive all emails sent to the group, including dates of future meetings, book choices and login details if you wish to join via Teams. Please join the mailing list at least 48 hours prior to the meeting date to make sure you receive the login details in time.


There is step-free access into the Library and lift access to Level 3.

View the Access Guide for Pilkinton Library on AccessAble