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Author: Mitali Perkins

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Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.,

Material: paperback

Summary: This teen novel depicts the life of Sunita Sena, a 13 year-old girl of Indian heritage whose grandparents come from India to visit for the year. The reader witnesses Sunita's transformation from a shy, angry youth to a mature teenager. The theme of feeling different is at the core of this young adult novel. This has potential as a high interest / low readability title for teens struggling with reading.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 13; read yourself: 10 and up

Interest Level: 9 and up

Reading Level: 5.1

Young Reader Reaction: None available from this reviewer.

Adult Reader Reaction: Ms. Perkins’ gives the reader the sense that she has lived the story herself, Ms. Perkins handles the topic of multicultural identity with great alacrity. The reader feels compassion towards Sunita as she struggles to gain her personal freedom amidst rumor mills, peer pressure and the aromas of a distant land.

Pros: The story is well written and artfully describes a contemporary teen dilemma. It is an enjoyable read.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: I highly recommend this book.

If You Liked This Book, Try: SAVING FRANCESCA   WEB OF LIES  

Educational Themes: Because of the way it introduces the themes, it may prove to be a valuable book for beginning cross-cultural, multi-generational discussions.

Notes: Christine Louise Hohlbaum, American expat author of Diary of a Mother (2003) and SAHM I Am (forthcoming), currently resides with her family near Munich, Germany.

Literary Categories: Fiction - young adult, cultures and tradition, growing up, multicultural

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2005, July 2006

Other Reviews:


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