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Veera Hiranandani

Teoksen The Night Diary tekijä

13+ teosta 1,759 jäsentä 74 arvostelua


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In this stand-alone companion volume to Hiranandani’s Newbery Honor title, The Night Diary (2018), a boy in post-partition Bombay grapples with the bitter realities of surviving trauma.

After leaving their beloved home in Mirpur Khas, which is now part of the newly created Pakistan, 12-year-old twins Amil and Nisha are living in Bombay with their doctor father, paternal grandmother, and beloved family cook. While Amil (whose late mother was Muslim and father is Hindu) is grateful for their newfound safety, he’s haunted by memories of their flight. Nisha kept a diary during their journey, and when she suggests Amil should draw to express his feelings, he begins sketching the family’s new life. In addition to harboring complicated, painful feelings around his mother’s death in childbirth, a result of complications from his breech positioning, Amil realizes while engaging in his art that his emotions are more intense and complicated than ever. These feelings come to a head when a classmate who was orphaned during the religious violence desperately needs his help, and Amil must decide what to do. This book is a masterpiece of nuance, vulnerability, and emotional complexity. Readers with ancestral connections to the Partition will especially appreciate its layered exploration of the lives of survivors, but Hiranandani provides enough context, skillfully woven throughout, that readers of all backgrounds will find it accessible and absorbing. Final art not seen.

A quietly brilliant, deeply insightful story of living in uncertain times. (glossary, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 8-12)

-Kirkus Review
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CDJLibrary | 1 muu arvostelu | Apr 4, 2024 |
From Kirkus: "A gripping, nuanced story of the human cost of conflict appropriate for both children and adults."
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BackstoryBooks | 38 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 3, 2024 |
Twins Nisha and Amil, their Papa, their Dadi, and family friend Kazi survived the Partition and have settled in Bombay (now Mumbai), where Papa is working as a doctor in the hospital and the twins are going to school. However, conflict still flares up, many people didn't survive or are stuck in refugee camps - including Amil's new friend and classmate, Vishal - and Gandhi threatens another hunger strike for peace. Amil misses when his only cares were about having fun; he longs for a friend and a bicycle. Unlike academic Nisha, who now writes stories instead of letters to Mama, Amil struggles in school, though he loves to draw and is very observant.

From the Author's Note:
...The Night Diary...is a story of survival. This book is about what happens after - after we survive and experience something life-changing and traumatic...
...how do we heal after a traumatic experience as individuals and as a society? How are we forever changed in both good and bad ways? It depends on the amount of support we have. It depends on the privilege we have. It also often depends on just plain luck. And...if we're lucky enough to survive, then how do we support the survivors who've had less support, less privilege, and less luck?


"Different religions, same reasons." (Kazi to Amil, 23)

He wondered what else people saw in him that he couldn't see. (30)

...that blank and unfocused expression of someone hiding all the bad stuff inside. (59)

"What are we even worth?"
"I think the reason that a person feels like they're worth something is usually that someone else helps them believe it." (Vishal and Amil, 143)

Why did it seem that everywhere he turned, he discovered a new line - its only purpose to divide people even more? (168)

"Imagine if every person who wasn't suffering helped one person who was." (Kazi, 182)
… (lisätietoja)
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JennyArch | 1 muu arvostelu | Mar 13, 2024 |
I was very impressed with the writing on this middle grade historical fiction about the 1947 Partition of India. The children Hiranandani wrote felt absolutely real to me. We often think about childhood as this simple, blissful time, and while that is sometimes the case, being a child is utterly bewildering. So much that happens to you is completely outside of your control, and the world moves according to rules you are not remotely equipped to understand, especially in times of conflict. Hiranandani captures this so well. Nisha has many thoughts and many actions that seem crazy through adult eyes, but Nisha doesn't have those. Everything she knows about the world is unraveling, and adults are behaving in dangerous ways that would have been crazy the month before, and she is being taxed in physical and emotional ways that the even the adults around her are failing to cope with. She is carrying trauma, and the writing felt like the way a child would try to make sense of it.

I adored Nishi's imperfect but loving family, and appreciate the way this book helped me take the bare facts I already knew about partition and feel it in my bones.
… (lisätietoja)
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sloth852 | 38 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 12, 2024 |



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