Recently there have been various blog posts talking about the importance of seeing yourself within the pages of a book. I've taken a step back this year and have really taken a look at first, my readers. Can my readers find themselves within books that are in my collection? Do I have just a book or two, or many that they can choose from? Are they quality, rich and diverse choices?
I'm happy to have found this new graphic novel:
About the Book:
Author: Nidhi Chanani
Pub. Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: First Second
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook
Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions―the topic of India is permanently closed.
For Pri, her mother's homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she’s ever dared and find the family she never knew.
In this heartwarming graphic novel debut, Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale about the hardship and self-discovery that is born from juggling two cultures and two worlds.
My quick thoughts
Priyanka is an American teenager who is trying to figure out and balance two cultures. How many students today will find this to be a similar situation? When we look around our classrooms, we see many students who view themselves as Americans, yet have many traditions from other cultures at home. So often, these traditions can be lost. Travel may be not be possible for everyone to visit homeland countries. Other families may have a home rich in the celebration of traditions in their culture. While some students thrive in this situation, others may be trying to figure out the balance of multiple traditions.
Books like this give readers a sense of understanding and belonging. They can help others gain new understanding. We need more books like Pashmina.
When I look at my library, I don't have a lot of books that feature characters that feature characters from India. I know it's an area of need, not only for me to have these books, but also for authors to keep writing and featuring characters of color, of different religions, of different cultures. I will continue to look for these books. I want my readers to have mirrors for themselves and windows to help them grow. This is a book that should definitely be added to middle grade libraries.
Nidhi Chanani is a freelance illustrator, cartoonist and writer. She is the owner of Everyday Love Art. Her debut graphic novel, Pashmina, will be released by First Second Books in October 2017. She recently illustrated Misty – The Proud Cloud, a children’s book by Hugh Howey. She is an instructor in the Master of Fine Arts, Comics program at the California College of Arts.
Nidhi was born in Calcutta and raised in suburban southern California. She holds a degree in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She creates because it makes her happy – with the hope that it can make others happy, too. In April of 2012 she was honored by the Obama Administration as a Champion of Change.
Her media appearances include CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and BBC Radio. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, the Women’s March, My Modern Met, Bored Panda and India Times. Nidhi has worked with Disney, ABC, Airbnb, Sony, Microsoft, State Farm Insurance and a variety of other clients. Her non-fiction comics have appeared in the Nib. Everyday Love Art products are sold in retail shops across the country, including the San Francisco International Airport, Books Inc., and Therapy stores.
Nidhi draws and dreams every day with her husband, daughter and their two cats in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Don't miss the other stops on the Pashmina blog tour!
9/25/2017- BookHounds YA- Excerpt
9/26/2017- Here's to Happy Endings- Review
9/27/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Review
9/28/2017- Novel Novice- Excerpt
9/29/2017- Adventures Thru Wonderland- Review
10/2/2017- Cindy's Love of Books- Review
10/3/2017- Ex Libris- Review
10/4/2017- Wandering Bark Books- Excerpt
A Backwards Story- Review-
Mrs. Knott's Book Nook- Review-
The generous folks at Rockstar Book Tours are giving away 3 copies of Pashmina. Be sure to enter for your chance to win this must read (well, and must have!). (US only)
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