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Fozia and the Quest of Prince Zal

Set in the aftermath of the 2010 floods in Pakistan, Fozia and the Quest of Prince Zal is a sensitive tale of community spirit, kindness and the magic of family.

Themes: Pakistan, Floods, Orphans, Family, Leprosy, bonded labour, brick kilns, love, resilience  and courage.


Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book 2022

Published 2021

Queensland University Press


What people are saying

‘As with Rosanne's other books, the immediacy of the setting is vivid and memorable…A memorable read that will live with readers long after the last page is read, this story recalls people and incidents from the two preceding novels, adding another layer of interest and delight.’ Highly  recommended.

                       Reviewer Fran Knight says: Apr 29 2021

Fozia and the Quest of Prince Zal is a beautiful exploration about times of unfathomable adversity, where loss and tragedy is common, disease prevalent and bonded labour exists. During such a dark time people show kindness, community spirit and resilience which helps people draw strength from one another, lessening the struggles and burdens. This story also celebrates the power of storytelling and illustrates how stories can be a balm for the heart and mind.

                        Elise from Reading Opens Doors blog

This is the third book in a series by multi award winning Australian author, Rosanne Hawke, which began with Kelsey and the Quest of the Porcelain Doll (2014) and its sequel Jehan and the Quest of the Lost Dog (2017).

This heart-warming novel reveals the stories of children in Pakistan whose lives are turned upside down by the worst flood in living memory. Whole towns and villages are swept away and Fozia loses all she loves, but is taken in by a family who, although loving and inviting, are not her real family.

                        Storylinks reviewed by Dajo Finlayson

I enjoyed reading Fozia and the Quest of Prince Zal. Fozia, the main character,

is a courageous, caring girl, and the other characters are fascinating and credible. The plot of the book is remarkably exciting. Fozia’s fairy-tale of Zal includes many fantasy elements, such as a flying carpet, a talking leopard, and the quest itself. Later we find a link between the story and Fozia’s life.

         I also enjoyed learning about Pakistan. Learning about the differences between Fozia’s life and life here is stunning, especially the parts about the

brick kiln and having to carry water from a river. I also really liked how the

Urdu words were placed in the English sentences.

        This book was overall very entertaining and enjoyable. The book indicates that tragedies happen in life. I recommend this book for tweens, or the upper primary level, yet everyone can read this astounding story. This book is about Fozia’s devotion to her family, Zal and Fozia’s strength of character, their refusal to give up, and the power of stories. Rosanne Hawke obviously demonstrates the power of storytelling with this book.

                         Min Kalleske Year 6

Beautifully written, deals with complex themes of life and culture in a way children can engage with them...

                          Megan Daley, podcast, children's books daily episode 1


This is a story of the very best of human nature, filled with kindness, love, compassion and friendship. Readers will love the story that Fozia tells about Prince Zal which is woven throughout Fozia's own story.

                         Michelle at Lamont books

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