Reviews

Veera Hiranandani, The Whole Story of Half a Girl

Sonia Nadhamuni is half Jewish, half Indian and navigating through the rough landscape of 6th grade. When her father loses his job, Sonia and her sister must switch from their private school to a much larger public school. Disconnected from her old friends, she wavers in and out of the popular crowd, trying to figure where she belongs and who really accepts her. She faces a line of questioning about her social allegiances, her culture and identity. Publishers Weekly says:

As in real life, her challenges don’t come neatly compartmentalized; Sonia will have to work out her mixed-heritage identity while contending with stressed-out parents, financial woes and vexing social uncertainties. Multifaceted characters, especially Sonia—astute, observant and original—provide depth. Like Blume, Hiranandani resists simplistic, tidy solutions. Each excels in charting the fluctuating discomfort zones of adolescent identity with affectionate humor.

The Whole Story of Half A Girl is a quick, fun read, certain to please middle grade readers. Check out Veera Hiranandani’s website here.

Quotes:

  • “I don’t know if we even count as a real Jewish family any more than we count as an Indian one” (13).
  • “Every time I say my last name for the first time, people always ask me to say it again or spell it three times, and they still can’t get it right” (33).
  • “I ate my sandwich and tried not to think of Community. Or why the white kids and black kids didn’t sit together here. Or where you were supposed to sit if you were too dark to be white and too light to be black” (43).
  • “For everything that reminds me of who I am, there’s always something reminding me of who I’m not” (84).

 

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