Jeetas family is caught up in the whirlwind of arranging marriages for her two older sisters, but the drama and excitement leave Jeeta cold. She knows that tradition demands the parade of suitors, the marriage negotiations, the elaborate displays, the expensive wedding parties but where is the love and romance that the movies promise? She dreads her turn on the matrimonial circuit, especially since Mummy is always complaining about how difficult it will be to find Jeeta a good husband, with her dark skin and sharp tongue.As Jeeta spends more time with her new friend from school, Sarina, and Sarina’s educated, liberal parents, she begins to question her tradition-bound parents’ expectations. And when she falls in love with Sarina’s cousin, Neel, Jeeta realizes that she must strike a balance between independence and duty and follow her own path.
A Guatemalan story about intergenerational trust, love, and independence, this book introduces children to the culture of Guatemala through the story of a little girl selling her grandmother’s beautiful weaving at the public market. Illustrated throughout with paintings of authentic Guatemalan scenery, giving life to the country’s radiant landscape and bustling city streets.
This collection of six bilingual children’s stories takes a regional and historical emphases. “Sixteen” provides the background of September 16, Mexico’s day of independence from Spain. “The Little General” teaches children about Cinco de Mayo through a young boy who helps save his village from the French army. The remaining four stories are fables that impart important moral themes to young readers. In “Sweetie, the Lion that Thought He Was a Sheep,” children learn to respect different backgrounds and abilities. “A Parrot for Christmas” demonstrates the friendship children can share with animals and “Orlando, the Circus Bear” emphasizes the importance of compassion toward animals. “A Horse Called ‘Miracle’” teaches the value of helping others in need. Each story is followed with discussion questions to help children recall the story’s key details and suggestions for classroom activities designed to stimulate curiosity and expand knowledge of historical events.
A remarkable debut novel set in India that shows one girl’s struggle for independence. During World War II and the last days of British occupation in India, fifteen-year-old Vidya dreams of attending college. But when her forward-thinking father is beaten senseless by the British police, she is forced to live with her grandfather’s large traditional family, where the women live apart from the men and are meant to be married off as soon as possible. Vidya’s only refuge becomes her grandfather’s upstairs library, which is forbidden to women. There she meets Raman, a young man also living in the house who relishes her intellectual curiosity. But when Vidya’s brother decides to fight with the hated British against the Nazis, and when Raman proposes marriage too soon, Vidya must question all she has believed in. Padma Venkatraman’s debut novel shows a girl struggling to find her place in a mixed-up world. Climbing the Stairs is a powerful story about love and loss set against a fascinating historical backdrop.
Being kidnapped is not as thrilling as one plucky girl had hoped. Her big, ugly villain turns out to be an ordinary child cruncher. What a disappointment! Instead of taking her on all sorts of adventures, he only wants to eat her up. Luckily, she knows just what to do.