For the month of May, in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I’m sharing some of my favorite reads by/about Asians/Asian Americans.
Today’s featured book is The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I did not know the history behind the Partition of India in 1947. The Night Diary did an amazing job of not only engrossing me in story but educating me.
On her 12th birthday, Nisha receives a diary and she decides to write to her late mother. Nisha writes of her sadness that her twin brother Amil is bullied by the boys at his school, her joy at cooking with Kazi, and as things start to go bad, about her worries. This is 1947 when the British give India their independence, but when the Partition between India and Pakistan is drawn. Now Muslims must live in Pakistan and Hindus and Sikh in the New India. Though Nisha and Amil are half Muslim (on their mother’s side) they must flee their home, leaving behind their beloved Kazi who is Muslim. During their journey, Nisha, Amil, their Papa, and Dadi (grandmother) encounter many heart-breaking hardships and danger. I cried for them. Splendidly written.