South Asian Kidlit 2019 – Fall

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Today’s post covers Picture Books thru Young Adult that have a release date from the end of August through the end of the year. If you would like to check-out past round-ups click on this link which will take you to my past South Asian Kidlit posts. The books listed below are traditionally published and are either by a South Asian author or illustrator, contains a South Asian main character, or involves South Asian culture. The books are organized by Category and then Publication Date.

Title: Shubh Diwali!
Author: Chitra Soundar
Illustrator: Charlene Chua
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Publication Date: September 1, 2019
ISBN: 978-0807573556
Category-Genre: Picture Book – Holidays
Community Represented: Indian
Synopsis: 
Diwali has arrived! Rangoli art decorates the floor and strings of flowers hang around the doors. Now it’s time to ring the bells, light the lamps, and welcome the new year with family and friends. A sweet introduction to the Hindu festival of lights.

Title: The Many Colors Of Harpreet Singh
Author: Supriya Kelkar
Illustrator: Alea Marley
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
ISBN: 978-1454931843
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Community Represented: Indian-American
Synopsis:
Harpreet Singh has a different color for every mood and occasion, from pink for dancing to bhangra beats to red for courage. He especially takes care with his patka—his turban—smoothing it out and making sure it always matches his outfit. But when Harpreet’s mom finds a new job in a snowy city and they have to move, all he wants is to be invisible. Will he ever feel a happy sunny yellow again?

Title: The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family
Author: Ibtihaj Muhammad and S.K. Ali
Illustrator: Hatem Aly
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
ISBN: 978-0316519007
Category-Genre: Picture Book – Non-Fiction
Community Represented: Muslim-American
Synopsis: 
With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.

Title: You’re Strong With Me
Author: Chitra Soundar
Illustrator: Poonam Mistry
Publisher: Lantana Publishing
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
ISBN: 978-1911373759
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Synopsis: 
The rain clouds are long gone and the dry season scorches the land. Everything is new for the baby giraffe. As she bounds ahead and lags behind, her mother patiently explains the ways of the grasslands. And until she grows a little taller, older, and wiser, her mother reminds her: “You’re strong with me.

Title: Brave with Beauty: A Story of Afghanistan
Author: Schur Rose Maxine
Illustrator: Dewitt-Grush Patricia and Dewill Robin
Publisher: Yali Publishing
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
ISBN: 978-1949528978
Category-Genre: Picture Book – Non-Fiction
Community Represented: Afghanistani
Synopsis: 
This is the extraordinary story of Queen Goharshad, a 15th century monarch, who many historians now believe was the most powerful woman in world history. Ruling from the Timurid artistic and cultural center of Herat in western Afghanistan, Queen Goharshad ushered in a remarkable, rare period when poetry, music, calligraphy, painting and the sciences flourished as never before. A poet and an architect, she designed a complex of buildings that were considered to be some of the most beautiful structures ever built on earth.

Title: Muslim Girls Rise: Inspirational Champions of Our Time
Author: Saira Mir
Illustrator: Aaliya Jaleel
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
ISBN: 978-1534418882
Category-Genre: Picture Book – Non-Fiction
Community Represented: Muslim Women
Synopsis: 
Discover the true stories of nineteen unstoppable Muslim women of the twenty-first century who have risen above challenges, doubts, and sometimes outright hostility to blaze trails in a wide range of fields. Whether it was the culinary arts, fashion, sports, government, science, entertainment, education, or activism, these women never took “no” for an answer or allowed themselves to be silenced. Instead, they worked to rise above and not only achieve their dreams, but become influential leaders.

Title: I Am Perfectly Designed
Author: Karamo Brown and Jason “Rachel” Brown
Illustrator: Anoosha Syed
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
ISBN: 978-1250232212
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Synopsis: 
In this empowering ode to modern families, a boy and his father take a joyful walk through the city, discovering all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other.

Title: Let’s Eat!: Mealtime Around the World
Author: Lynne Marie
Illustrator: Parwinder Singh
Publisher: Beaming Books
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
ISBN: 978-1506451947
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Synopsis: 
Dig into this fun and informational book that explores foods from 13 countries around the world. Meet characters from countries including Sweden, Peru, Pakistan, Nigeria, and more as they enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Be inspired to try something new and learn about other cultures. Let’s eat!

 

Title: Count Me In
Author: Varsha Bajaj
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
ISBN: 978-0525517245
Category-Genre: Middle Grade – Contemporary
Community Represented: Indian-American
Synopsis: 
Karina Chopra would have never imagined becoming friends with the boy next door–after all, they’ve avoided each other for years. Then Karina’s grandfather starts tutoring Chris, and she discovers he’s actually a nice, funny kid. But one afternoon something unimaginable happens–the three of them are assaulted by a stranger who targets Indian-American Karina and her grandfather because of how they look. Her grandfather is gravely injured and Karina and Chris vow not to let hate win. When Karina posts a few photos related to the attack on social media, they quickly attract attention, and before long her #CountMeIn post–“What does an American look like? –goes viral. Then, when Papa is finally on the road to recovery, Karina uses her newfound social media reach to help celebrate both his homecoming and a community coming together.

Title: The Battle
Author: Karuna Riazi
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
ISBN: 978-1534428720
Category-Genre: Middle Grade – Fantasy
Synopsis: 
Four years after the events of The Gauntlet, the evil game Architect is back with a new partner-in-crime—The MasterMind—and the pair aim to get revenge on the Mirza clan. When twelve-year-old, Ahmad Mirza and Winnie begin playing a high-tech game, The Battle of Blood and Iron, time freezes over New York City. With time standing still and people frozen, all of humankind is at stake as Ahmad and Winnie face-off with the MasterMind and the Architect, hoping to beat them at their own game before the evil plotters expand Paheli and take over the entire world.

Title: Jumbie God’s Revenge (The Jumbies)
Author: Tracey Baptiste
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
ISBN: 978-1616208912
Category-Genre: Middle Grade – Fantasy
Synopsis: 
When an out-of-season hurricane sweeps through Corinne’s seaside village, Corinne knows it’s not a typical storm. Corinne believes Mama D’Leau—the powerful and cruel jumbie who rules the ocean—has caused the hurricane. But when a second more ferocious storm wrecks the island, Corinne discovers the storms weren’t caused by a jumbie, but by the angry god Huracan. Now Corinne, with the help of her friends and even some of her enemies, must race against time to find out what has angered Huracan and try to fix it before her island home is destroyed forever.

Title: More to the Story
Author: Hena Khan
Publisher: Salam Reads
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
ISBN: 978-1481492096
Category-Genre: Middle Grade – Contemporary
Community Represented: Pakistani-American
Synopsis: 
When Jameela Mirza is picked to be feature editor of her middle school newspaper, she’s one step closer to being an award-winning journalist like her late grandfather. The problem is her editor-in-chief keeps shooting down her article ideas. Jameela’s assigned to write about the new boy in school, who has a cool British accent but doesn’t share much, and wonders how she’ll make his story gripping enough to enter into a national media contest. Jameela, along with her three sisters, is devastated when their father needs to take a job overseas, away from their cozy Georgia home for six months. Missing him makes Jameela determined to write an epic article—one to make her dad extra proud. But when her younger sister gets seriously ill, Jameela’s world turns upside down. And as her hunger for fame looks like it might cost her a blossoming friendship, Jameela questions what matters most, and whether she’s cut out to be a journalist at all…

Title: Pavi Sharma’s Guide to Going Home
Author: Bridget Farr
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
ISBN: 978-0316491068
Category-Genre: Middle Grade – Contemporary
Synopsis: 
Twelve-year-old Pavi Sharma is an expert at the Front Door Face: the perfect mix of puppy dog eyes and a lemonade smile, the exact combination to put foster parents at ease as they open their front door to welcome you in. After being bounced around between foster families and shelter stays, Pavi is a foster care expert, and she runs a “business” teaching other foster kids all she has learned. With a wonderful foster family in mom Marjorie and brother Hamilton, things are looking up for Pavi. Then Pavi meets Meridee: a new five-year-old foster kid, who is getting placed at Pavi’s first horrendous foster home. Pavi knows no one will trust a kid about what happened on Lovely Lane, even one as mature as she is, so it’s up to her to save Meridee. With help from Hamilton, brooding eighth grader Santos, and Hamilton’s somewhat obnoxious BFF Piper, they set off on an important mission with life-changing stakes. Pavi will stop at nothing to keep Meridee safe.

Title: The Best at It
Author: Maulik Pancholy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
ISBN: 978-0062866417
Category-Genre: Middle Grade – Contemporary
Community Represented: Indian-American
Synopsis: 
Rahul Kapoor is heading into seventh grade in a small town in Indiana. The start of middle school is making him feel increasingly anxious, so his favorite person in the whole world, his grandfather, Bhai, gives him some well-meaning advice: Find one thing you’re really good at and become the BEST at it. Those four little words sear themselves into Rahul’s brain. While he’s not quite sure what that special thing is, he is convinced that once he finds it, bullies like Brent Mason will stop torturing him at school. And he won’t be worried about staring too long at his classmate Justin Emery. With his best friend, Chelsea, by his side, Rahul is ready to crush this challenge…. But what if he discovers he isn’t the best at anything?

Title: Just Feel: How to Be Stronger, Happier, Healthier, and More
Author: Mallika Chopra
Illustrator: Brenna Vaughan
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Publication Date: Oct 22, 2019
ISBN: 978-0762494743
Category-Genre: Middle Grade – Self-Help Guide
Synopsis: 
An engaging and easy-to-read guide that introduces kids to the building blocks of resilience and grit. The U.S. and other nations are quickly becoming aware of the importance of children’s ability to be independent and meet challenges head on; parents are eager for resources that help kids learn how to navigate life on their own. Just Feel is one of the very few books on social and emotional health that speaks directly to kids. Designed specifically with kids ages 8-12 in mind, the book clearly addresses important topics such as flexibility, responsibility, communication, creativity, and self-knowledge. Written by the respected writer and wellness expert Mallika Chopra, Just Feel will effectively teach kids how they can balance their emotions and make positive choices for themselves.

Title: Hamlet
Author: William Shakespeare
Adapted By: Malini Roy
Illustrator: Naresh Kumar
Publisher: Campfire
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
ISBN: 978-9381182512
Category-Genre: Young Adult – Graphic Novel
Synopsis: 
Once upon a time on a dark winter night, a ghost appears on the ramparts of Castle Elsinore in Denmark. It closely resembles the recently deceased king of Denmark. The guards see it first, and then the scholar Horatio confronts it. But it doesn’t speak to them. Impatient to know what the ghost’s appearance means, they summon Hamlet, the prince of Denmark. Hamlet has returned to Denmark to attend his father’s funeral. Yet, he finds himself also attending his mother Gertrude’s wedding to his uncle Claudius, who has inherited the throne. What will the ghost tell Hamlet?
One of the most intense and intriguing tragedies of all time is built upon the answer to this question. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is not just a story of a mad prince out to avenge his father’s death. It is also the story of the struggle of a nation against Fate. It is the story of human willpower battling the odds. It is not only the story of a man at war with the world around him, but also the story of a man in conflict with his own mind. It is the story of a time when something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Title: A Match Made in Mehendi
Author: Nandini Bajpai
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
ISBN: 978-0316522588
Category-Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Community Represented: Indian-American
Synopsis: 
Fifteen-year-old Simran “Simi” Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole — matchmakers — with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the “gift.” But Simi is an artist, and she doesn’t want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah’s social status. Armed with her family’s ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course. But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys’ soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.

Title: House of Rage and Sorrow (Book 2 in the Celestial Trilogy)
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
ISBN: 978-1510733794
Category-Genre: Young Adult – Space Opera
Synopsis: 
Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail? As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole. The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.

 

Title: The Taj Mahal: An Incredible Love Story
Author:  Rik Hoskin
Illustrator: Aadil Khan
Publisher: Campfire
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
ISBN: 978-9381182598
Category-Genre: Young Adult – Graphic Novel
Community Represented: Indian
Synopsis: 
This is the story behind the Taj Mahal – of the incredible love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, how they met and fell in love, and how Shah Jahan was to lose her as she died while giving birth. This is also the story of how the Taj Mahal was built, and how the great Mughal emperor spent his last days imprisoned in his fort, pining for his beloved Mumtaz, as he gazed over the river for a view of the magnificent edifice, a monumental reminder of his love and loss.

Title: The Light at the Bottom of the World
Author: London Shah
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
ISBN:  978-1368036887
Category-Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy
Synopsis: 
In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures swim through the ruins of London. Trapped in the abyss, humankind wavers between fear and hope–fear of what lurks in the depths around them, and hope that they might one day find a way back to the surface. When sixteen-year-old submersible racer Leyla McQueen is chosen to participate in the prestigious annual marathon, she sees an opportunity to save her father, who has been arrested on false charges. The Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. But the race takes an unexpected turn, forcing Leyla to make an impossible choice. Now she must brave unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a guarded, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If Leyla fails to discover the truths at the heart of her world, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture–or worse. And her father will be lost to her forever.

Title: Color outside the Lines: Stories about Love
Editor: Sangu Mandanna
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication Date: November 12, 2019
ISBN: 978-1641290463
Category-Genre: Young Adult – Anthology
Synopsis: 
When people ask me what this anthology is about, I’m often tempted to give them the complicated answer: it’s about race, and about how being different from the person you love can matter but how it can also not matter, and it’s about Chinese pirate ghosts, black girl vigilantes, colonial India, a flower festival, a garden of poisons, and so, so much else. Honestly, though? I think the answer’s much simpler than that. Color outside the Lines is a collection of stories about young, fierce, brilliantly hopeful people in love.—Sangu Mandanna, editor of Color Outside the Lines

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