February 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins | SLJ Audio Review

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redstarPERKINS, Mitali. You Bring the Distant Near. 6 CDs. 6:17 hrs. Listening Library. Sept. 2017. $50. ISBN 9780525530855. digital download.

Gr 9 Up –An immigration story spanning three generations of women is told in moving ways through multiple perspectives. Ranee considers her home to be in India, even as she moves to New York City from London with her husband and daughters. She has mixed success in imposing strict Indian traditions on her rebellious daughters, strong-willed Sonia and beautiful Tara who longs to be an actress. The story continues with her granddaughters: Sonia’s daughter, easygoing and athletic Chantal, and intense Anna, who is Tara’s daughter. Family relationships, particularly those among grandmother Ranee and her two granddaughters, play paramount roles as they all acclimate to American life while trying to hold on to Indian culture. The use of multiple narrators adds interest; Sneha Mathan, Shivali Bhammer, Priya Ayyar, N’Jameh Camara, and Zehra Jane Naqvi take on the roles of the individual women. All read expressively and clearly with varying Indian accents, giving listeners an immersive experience. VERDICT This is a wonderful addition to audiobook collections. Recommend it to students interested in immigrant experiences, Indian culture, and being torn between parental expectations and the heady promises of a free new life.–Julie Paladino, formerly at East Chapel Hill High School, NC

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2017 issue.

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