I met my original goal of 5 in May (updating my original goal post throughout) and upped it to 7. I read one more in August, and then two in the last two months, making my total EIGHT.
I started off with certain books in mind, and did not get to some of them, although in November and December, I did read some Middle Grade fiction, which was one of my goals.
Both were Cybils nominees, and both gave a great look at Indian culture:
- Seaglass Summer by Anjali Banerjee is about a young girl who spends the summer with her uncle while her parents go visit family in India. He's a vet, and she's always wanted to be, so she learns a lot about him. There are glimpses of the unfair treatment that he received -- enough to make the target age group of 8 - 12 consider how some immigrants are treated, yet not at all contrived or heavy handed. It's really 11-year-old Poppy's story, a younger version of the coming-of-age theme, since she's challenged to fit in in a new place and explore her gifts. I really enjoyed it.
- Boys without Names by Kashmira Sheth is a much heavier story. It takes place in present-day Mumbai, where 11-year-old Gopal's family flees in hopes of finding work, since their farming life in the country is no longer lucrative. He ends up being captured and trafficked as a child laborer. He and the other young boys are not allowed to use each others' names, but as a way to get their minds off things, they end up sharing stories of their pasts. This is a heartbreaking story, but still appropriate to the 10 - 13 year old reader.
For 2011, I would still like to get to the books I originally hoped to read in 2010:
- The Namesake: A Novel by Jhumpa Lampiri
- Revisit Abraham Verghese's memoir My Own Country, which I first read ten years ago (or more!).
- Something by Mitali Perkins. I've read a couple of her novels for young people, and always enjoyed them. Since this year's challenge allows me to read anything by a South Asian author, even if it doesn't have a South Asian setting or theme, this will make it much easier.