Karthik Delivers

Amulet. Apr. 2022. 272p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419755224.
Gr 5 Up–It’s 2009 during the economic downturn, and Karthik is an Indian boy growing up in Boston. He is working this summer at his Dad’s Indian grocery store, and is not thrilled about giving up his summer to deliver groceries on his cousin’s bike in the heat. Karthik has a fantastic memory and makes lists in order to remember everything. One day, he happens to deliver items to a woman in grad school working on a play about Leonard Bernstein. She begs him to be Lenny in her play and he agrees, as long as it doesn’t get him in trouble with his parents. This is the start of a wonderful journey for Karthik, where he learns about music, love, and how to decide your own future. Clocking in at over 200 pages, this longer middle grade book moves surprisingly fast and will hold readers’ attention; it could easily be added to hi-lo collections. The text is occasionally broken up with lists and play dialogue. Chari’s prose has a very conversational tone, which adds to the book’s authenticity and ease of reading.
VERDICT A wonderful realistic fiction title about a young Indian boy following his heart; a solid addition to young readers’ collections.

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