This teen novel depicts the life of Sunita Sena, a 13 year-old girl of Indian heritage whose grandparents come from India to visit for the year. The reader witnesses Sunita's transformation from a shy, angry youth to a mature teenager.
Ms. Perkins gives the reader the sense that she has lived the story herself, Ms. Perkins handles the topic of multicultural identity with great alacrity. The reader feels compassion towards Sunita as she struggles to gain her personal freedom amidst rumor mills, peer pressure, and the aromas of a distant land.
The story is well written and artfully describes a contemporary teen dilemma. It is an enjoyable read.
The theme of feeling different is at the core of this young adult novel. This has potential as a high interest / low readability title for teens struggling with reading.
Because of the way it introduces the themes, it may prove to be a valuable book for beginning cross-cultural, multi-generational discussions.
10 and Up
9 to 13
I highly recommend this book.