Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani - ADVISABLE

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani, 272 pages. Dial (Penguin), 2018. $17.

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG; 



Nisha and her twin brother Amil are caught in the middle. Their mother was Muslim, the father Hindu - but they can't be both. When Britain ceased to control India, three religious groups, the Hindus, the Muslim, and the Sikhs began to fight for control. The children are living in a part of India that is not welcome to Hindus, so, as their mother is dead, their father must move the family to Pakistan, primarily by foot. But the trek across the desert isn't the only danger. 

Nisha tells the story in a series of diary entries addressed to her mother, who died when Nisha and her brother were born. This is a good format as it breaks up both the monotony of everyday life as well as tells the dangerous or scary parts in chunks, making it easier to follow. Hiranandani does a good job of explaining the politics and time period, so not a lot of background knowledge is required. This would work well in a classroom studying refugees.

Lisa Librarian

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