American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar

  American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar, Aladdin, 9781534439382, 2020

Format: First Edition Hardcover

Rating:  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Realistic fiction

What did you like about the book?  American as Paneer Pie explores the struggles and triumphs of a first generation Indian American middle schooler. Lekha, who lives in a Michigan suburb, is subjected to a variety of micro-aggressions and racism both in her school and in her community.  Wanting to fit in, she pushes down her negative thoughts and upset feelings to try to act more like her peers. Even though she feels hurt and bothered inside, she is too afraid to speak up for herself. 

Throughout the story, you see how Lekha evolves with the help of a new friend Avantika. She realizes that the stereotypes and judgments she has been facing are not something that anyone should endure. The realistic characters and transparent writing really hooks you as a reader. It feels very relatable and I think middle schoolers will connect to the struggles that Lekha faces. This is a book about finding yourself and realizing that whomever you find is enough and I think this is a strong message for all young adults. 

Anything you didn’t like about it? No. 

To whom would you recommend this book? I would recommend this book to any middle school students who are feeling alone or misunderstood. I would also recommend this to students who feel like their culture is not represented in their schools. This book would also be a great read aloud book for middle school teachers. I think it could encourage great discussions. 

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries, Middle schools

Where would you shelve it?  Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Marisa Marion, Locke Middle School, Billerica MA

Date of review: 11/10/2020

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