Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book List: Desi Kidlit Part 2!

I forgot so many wonderful books on my "South Asian Kidlit" books list on Holi, that I thought I'd do a follow-up post. So here's Desi Kidlit Part 2 - even more wonderful MG and YA books by and about South Asian diasporic folks. Keep adding more please readers - we're making a great list!:

1. Salman Rushdie: Haroun and the Sea of Stories 

Many thanks to Sheela Chari for reminding me how much I love this magical, lyrical book, written by Rushdie for his son. It's hard not to read into the novel in light of the fatwa the author long lived under; the evil chupwallahs (silence sellers) want to silence the land of gup (talk) and dry up the magical stream of stories, from which all tales originate. He wrote another kidlit book, Luka and the Fire of Life for his other son - it looks wonderful, though I'm yet to read it!

2. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: The Conch Bearer

Action, adventure and magic combine in this quest fantasy by the author of The Mistress of Spices, One Amazing Thing and Arranged Marriage.

3. Tanuja Desai Hidier: Born Confused

This bhangra-club scene coming of age story is the winner of numerous awards, including the American Library Association BBYA book of the year and the New York Public Library 2003 Book for the Teen Age. Sections of Desai-Hidier's book were also, famously, plagiarized by Kaavya Viswanathan in her book Opal Mehta.

4. Narindher Dhami: Bend it Like Bekham

The book that inspired the fantastic Gurinder Chadha movie! Dhami is also the author of the Bindi Babes series and Sunita's Secret. Her books just got put on my ever-growing to be read pile!

5. Swati Avasthi: Split

This winner of several recent awards - including the 2011 ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults List, and the Cybils 2010 Best Fiction for Young Adults (winner). On my TBR list as well!

6. Mahtab Narsimhan: The Third Eye

This Indian Canadian author's novel is the winner of the 2009 Silver Birch Fiction award. This Indian mythology infused story about loss was followed up by The Deadly Conch.  

7. Sheela Chari: Vanished

I couldn't resist listing my fellow Mixed Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors' forthcoming August 2011 book. Full of Mystery! Intercontinental Intrigue! and Music! It's sure to be as charming as it's author.

I'm sure I'm leaving off plenty of titles still - please, add away in the comments!


  1. I loved Born Confused! It's one of my favorite YA books of all time.

  2. I'm really looking forward to reading Sheela's book. For the record, my middle grade, The Grand Plan to Fix Everything, will be out this May from Atheneum.

  3. Thanks for your comment Anjali! And thanks for visiting the blog Uma - I'm of course aware of your picture books - excited that you're also coming out with a Middle Grade soon! Looking forward to reading it!

  4. @Sayantani - thanks for the mention, and for list #2. This would be a great list to maintain moving forward. :)

    @Uma - thanks for your kind words. And wow, I wasn't aware you had a MG out this May. That's very exciting - I look forward to reading it!

  5. Thank you...what a great list! I've only read a few of these.
    And BTW, boarding schools confuse me too--didn't know about them until after entering an Ivy, as well--but for the record, I wouldn't mind hanging out with Harry and the gang at Hogwarts! :-)

  6. @Natasha - see the previous list also and Neesha's comment there - she has a link to many more Desi Kidlit authors there! :) And I know, isn't the boarding school thing confusing (but I too wouldn't mind going to Hogwarts - or honestly, many of the schools I read about... maybe not the one for vampires, but then again...) :)