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American as Paneer Pie — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“That which is dreamed can never be lost, can never be undreamed.”
~ Neil Gaiman ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Writing good description takes a very deft hand. Amy Holland has a great post HERE from the Good Story Company that will help you with your descriptive writing.

I don’t see a lot of discussion about interior dialogue, so the post HERE by Connie J. Jasperson at Life in the Realm of Fantasy caught my eye. There is a lot to think about in this one.

My WIP has a LOT of characters. K. M. Weiland has a terrific post HERE with 10 Rules of Writing Large Casts of Characters.

Fencing memeIt was nice to have some good excitement in the news this week with the first woman of color to be part of a major party ticket in the presidential race. Whether one is for her or not, Kamala Harris is smart as a whip and will energize things going forward. On the not so good side of the news is the escalating assault on the post office. Louis DeJoy, recently appointed Postermaster General, has more than $30 million invested in a company in direct competition with the post office, and he also sold a big block of Amazon stock short (Amazon would lose a lot of value if they couldn’t use the post office). He now seems to be dismantling the post office — taking out sorting machines, removing many drop boxes, cutting hours, and more. I said a couple weeks ago, buy stamps and use the postal service to support them. We all need to do what we can. HERE is a link to a petition you can sign in support of removing DeJoy.

American as Paneer PieI’ve been saving my review of American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar for the perfect moment. It seems to me with the nomination of Kamala Harris, who is half Indian American and half Black, this is the perfect moment. I knew little about Indian culture before reading this terrific book. I am no expert now, but I do know more and think this book might well help young people be more comfortable with and accepting of their Indian American classmates. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.

Lekha, an Indian sixth-grader at a nearly all-white Michigan school, has been bullied as long as she has been there. Her parents and her only friend, Noah, are supportive but can do nothing. A new Indian girl, Avantika, moves to the neighborhood, and when she is bullied she stands up for herself. Lekha is shocked and uncomfortable but wishes she could do that. When Lekha makes the swim team, she hopes for acceptance but finds her teammates are cruel and xenophobic. Trying to fit in with the team, Lekha lies to friends and family, making her feel worse. A local politician bases her campaign on xenophobia, opening the door to a stunning act of cruelty. At the same time, a teacher makes an assignment that helps Lekha find her voice.

S. Kalkar
Supriya Kelkar

Author Supriya Kelkar has written an important and compelling story of middle-grade life and what kids face daily while introducing young readers to a rich and fascinating culture. It even has recipes for the Paneer Pie in the title. A good glossary and pronunciation guide, perhaps with some drawings, would be a welcome addition. Readers may derailed by so many unfamiliar words, but otherwise this is a beautifully written, terrific story deserving wide readership.

I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. All you need do is be a follower or subscriber (it’s free!), have a U.S. address, and leave a comment below. If you would like extra chances, please share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet and let me know you have done that. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

26 thoughts on “American as Paneer Pie — Review & Giveaway”

  1. What a wonderful time to have a book that can help anyone (but especially young people) learn understanding of any other culture. I’d love to read and share this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bought a signed copy of this novel from my favorite indie book store Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor, MI. This author lives in my home town and I enjoy supporting my Michigan authors (and this book sounds too good to miss out on reading).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had this one on my reading radar for some time. Thanks for your insightful thoughts. I hope to read this one soon. I don’t know much about Kamala Harris, but I’m sure that will change in the coming weeks. Very useful set of links (as was last weeks). I have one story with a dozen characters so Weiland’s post was beyond helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed your meme. I’ve always wanted to learn to fence. Now would be a good time I guess. 🙂 This book sounds intriguing. I am a huge fan of Mitali Perkins, and her books are often set in India or have Indian characters. I really like that the swim team is part of this book as it’s not something I see a lot. (I was a swimmer myself.) I’m also intrigued by how she finds her voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This sounds like a great and important story! (And I love the cover.) I imagine many kids can relate to Lekha’s situation. I love the week’s quote, and the meme is excellent! I’ll pass on the giveaway, but thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, I really love the book you shared todday. We adopted a 12-year-old son from India in 1985. So I enjoy reading everything I can about the culture. He had a rough time in middle school, like Supriya. He’s from Pondicherry, India, and is very dark, so he deals with a lot of profiling. He’s 48 now and is a truck driver. He’s made many trips back to India over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I CANNOT wait to read this book. I heard the author talk at NERDCAMPCT at the start of summer and have been excited to read American as Paneer Pie since then! Love seeing it spotlighted here today. So glad to hear you enjoyed it. I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the chance! Have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have been seeing this title on various blogs. It sounds like a terrific book. (We have an Indian niece who grew up in the south and really endured a lot of bias.) On another note, thanks for the link to the PO Board of Governors. I posted that link earlier on FB. It’s so important to save the PO for all the people who depend on it for the reasons you listed above. Also (on FB) I left the email addresses of the 6 board members. They have the power to remove De Joy and to reverse his policies. Let me know if you want that link.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This book has been on my radar so long it’s embarrassing I haven’t read it yet. Thank you for the timely review (and general insights), and for the chance to win! I’ll be checking out the writing links as well.

    I’ve tweeted about the giveaway, and have all my fingers crossed!

    Like

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