A seemingly unconnected collection of beautifully written vignettes, tells the true story of a young Indian teen trying to find his place in the world. Shraya writes with intense honesty and insight about the cutting pain of not only being of a different race and religion, but also discovering that he is gay. Readers will be amazed by the author’s strength and resilience. (Grades 7 and up)
Living in a traditional village in Nepal, young sisters pick and sell flowers at the market to earn money to buy a solar lamp which will help the air quality in their home. Soft complimentary illustrations. Excellent end notes. (Grades K-3)
Hilariously encapturing the frustrations of being a female ruler in the thirteenth century (not as different from today as you might imagine!), this tale bubbles with sly humor, rhythmic rhymes, and a fascinating cast of caricatured characters who are as comical in the exaggerated illustrations as they are in the narrative. (Grades 2-4).
An unnamed boy, obsessed with numbers, must not only navigate war torn Sri Lanka, but also the cast of characters and talking animals occupying the refugee camp where he lives. At the heart of this fantastical and often humorous tale is a story about resistance and dealing with the tragedy of a country ripped apart by civil war. The amazing illustrations are dark and rough, which expertly reflect the horrors of the story. (Grades 8 and up).
Young Bhimaro does not understand why he is not allowed to sit at a school desk or drink from the same water tap as the other children. His search for answers to all his “whys” leads him on a quest that culminates in his becoming the first Law Minister in India and a writer of the country’s Constitution. Beautiful and vibrant illustrations bring to life the story of one of India’s most important social justice fighters. (Grades K-3).
Priyanka Das is perpetually curious about her mother’s homeland of India, why she left, and most importantly, who her father is, but Pri’s mom is close-lipped on these topics. One day, Pri discovers a mysterious pashmina in a suitcase which, when wrapped around herself, transports her to an idealized version of India, but shadows lurking in the background may hold the answers she seeks. (Grades 3-6)
“Maaaaaaaa” “Peen!” “Pawmp!” “Move, move…” Can you hear and see Maharani as she lumbers along her Indian city’s streets? Sudhir and Raj want to be sure that you do as you learn about Maharani’s day. This cow eats, sits, stops, or walks anywhere she pleases! Do you wonder why? (Grades Pre-K-2)
When ten-year old Anjali’s mother is jailed for protesting British rule using non-violent techniques (ahimsa), Anjali must confront her own prejudices and fears to take over her mother’s work. Though she is young, Anjali’s actions become significant in India’s struggle for Independence. (Grades 5-9)
Twelve-year old Nisha is forced to escape her home in 1947 with her Hindu family during the partition of India. Trying to make sense of the world during this treacherous moment in history, she writes letters to her Muslim mother in her journal, who died in childbirth. (Grades 5-8)
What would it be like to use a broken umbrella to win a school science fair? Watch Iqbal help his family find a way to cook their food without using an open fire at their home in Bangladesh. Hear the monsoon rain, the wind, and baby Rupa’s cough from breathing the smoke from the fire. Use the glossary and the do-it-yourself activity, too! (Grades 3-7)