In 1857, twelve-year old Meera has become a widow before she even moves into her husband’s house. Desperate to escape her husband’s funeral pyre, Meera joins the household of a British commander as a maid and is drawn into a burgeoning soldiers’ rebellion against the British Raj.
When their train makes a 10-minute stop at the Jaipur station, a young girl and her mother dash to get in line for chai. Waiting for her milky spiced tea, she experiences the delicious sights, smells and sounds of the Chaiwala’s cart. Mmmm! (PreK-K)
Bye, Bye, Motabhai
Pavan, an over-worked camel in the city of Ahmedabad, India, hates his job. He often dreams of being a racing camel in Dubai. But hitched to a heavy vegetable cart and with his owner Motabhai around, how is this possible? (Grades pre-K-3)
A Time to Dance
Skillfully told in verse, Veda’s inspirational story reveals an athletic young woman passionate about traditional Indian dance. When she loses a leg in an accident she must fight to determine her identity and future. (Grades 6 and up).
God Loves Hair
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)
Bhimrao Ambedkar: The Boy Who Asked Why
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)
Maharani the Cow
“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)
The Jungle Radio: Bird Songs of India
Delve into an adventure of delightfully woven onomatopoeia, rhyming verse and ornate explosions of color with inquisitive Gul as she explores the sprawling habitat of her Indian jungle searching for the aerial musicians of the symphonic sounds emanating from her radio in a beautiful compilation introducing children to bird-watching. (Grades K-5)