Daswani, Kavita. Lovetorn
17 January 2012, HarperCollins
Shalini's father has a great business opportunity that takes her family to Los Angeles. Shalini isn't thrilled about moving away from her large extended family in Bangalore, but her sister Sangita is thrilled. Her mother, on the other hand, is very upset. Shalini tries her best to fit in to high school life, but learning a new way of dressing and acting is difficult, especially when some of her classmates make fun of her. Even more difficult is being away from her finance, Vikram. Even though their marriage was arranged when Shalini was three, she has always adored Vikram, and Skyping is just not the same as seeing him in person. When she meets Toby and is attracted to him, she's very confused. Her friendship with Renuka, who was born in the US, helps a lot, especially when Shalini's mother becomes clinically depressed and requires medical attention. When Vikram comes to the US to visit, Shalini begins to realize that even though she is still not completely acculturated to the ways of the US, she is no longer the girl she was in Bangalore, either.
Strengths: This was a fascinating look at an immigrant experience and its impact on the personal identity of a teenager. Even better, it has a great romance story, which will encourage girls to pick it up. The idea that Shalini is engaged at such a young age and okay with it is fascinating. I also liked that fitting in was much easier for her younger sister. Definitely purchasing this one.
Weaknesses: The cover is a bit odd. Could have been so much better. Other than that, this was pitch perfect for me.
Thanks for joining us for World Wednesday. If you have a post about a
middle grade book set in another part of the world or with great
multicultural characters, please tell us about it in the comments. Taking a hint from Charlotte's Library's great fantasy round up, here are some titles I found this past week:
Africa for Kids at A Wrung Sponge
A Beautiful Lie at Next Best Book
River: His World and Ours. at Literacious
Dumpling Days at One Great Book
Eleanor and Park at Second Book Shelf on the Right
The Friday Society at Charlotte's Library
Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and The Brain Lair
Ghetto Cowboy at Next Best Book
Girl Meets Boy at The American Indian in Children's Literature
Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow at Guys Read
Love, Amalia at Provo Library Children's Book Reviews
On the Run at Jean Little Library
The Price of Freedom at Provo Library Children's Book Reviews
The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano at Provo Library Children's Book Reviews
Senshi at Geo Librarian
A Splash of Red at A Patchwork of Books
The Starry River of Sky at Sal's Fiction Addiction
The Wild Book at Provo Library Children's Book Reviews
Urban Fiction Book Lists at The Nerdy Book Club
Diversity in Children’s Literature Conference at I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read
With Sayoni Basu at The Saffron Tree
This is just what I could find-- I imagine there are a lot more I missed!