Amil and the After

Listening Library. Jan. 2024. 605p. $18. ISBN 9780593820520.
Gr 4-6–Sagar is a sigh-inducing, aural gift to Hiranandani’s companion title to 2019’s Newbery Award-winning The Night Diary. Hiranandani’s family history inspires both titles; while Diary follows Nisha's perspective of the horrors of partition, this novel shifts focus to Nisha's twin, Amil, and the remaking of their lives after barely surviving the grim journey from Pakistan to India. Papa is doctoring again after cousin Ashok helped him get hired at the hospital. Dadi (paternal grandmother) almost died, but she’s better—for now. Beloved Kazi remains part of the family. Nisha still isn’t talking very much, and Amil is having trouble at school, wishing for a friend—and maybe a bike. Nisha writes, Amil draws: both twins poignantly channel a longing for their mother who died giving birth. Sagar ensures each character is instantly recognizable: inquisitive, hopeful Amil; observant Nisha; serious Papa; gently wise Kazi; effusive Ashok; fading Dadi; desperately posturing Vishal.
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