RedReviewStarGr 3–7—On her 12th birthday, Nisha receives her first diary from Kazi, the family's cook, presented with prescient words: "he said it was time to start writing things down…someone needs to make a record of the things that will happen because the grown-ups will be too busy." In 1947, the Partition of India brings independence from British rule but cleaves a nation into Pakistan and India. The divisions along religious lines make little sense to Nisha: her father and grandmother are Hindu, her late mother was Muslim, and Kazi is Muslim. When the family is forced to flee from what becomes Pakistan to "the new India," beloved Kazi must stay behind. Facing a complicated future not of her making, Nisha observes, "It's one thing to understand facts and another thing to understand why those facts are facts." With pitch-perfect youthful delivery, Priya Ayyar is an ideal narrator for Nisha's evolution from reluctant and reticent to bold and brave. The addition of Hiranandani's (The Whole Story of Half a Girl) reading of her author's note—in which she reveals her father's family's 1947 exodus along Nisha's family's route from Mirpur Khas to Jodhpur—proves especially gratifying. VERDICT Recommended for all libraries serving middle grade listeners.—Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones


Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.