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Home Is in Between



by
Mitali Perkins
illustrated by
Lavanya Naidu

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Macmillan
Imprint
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
ISBN
9780374303679
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$21.06   $17.55
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY
Out of stock

From National Book Award nominee Mitali Perkins comes a sweet and innovative picture book about a first-generation immigrant child living in America.

Shanti and her parents say goodbye to the monsoon rains in their Indian village. They move to a snowy town on the other side of the world. At first, it isn't easy for Shanti to be new. Back and forth she trudges between her family's Bengali traditions and her new country's culture. Again and again, in between.

She feasts on biryani rice while kids in town eat hot dogs and PB&J sandwiches. She watches Bollywood movies at home and Hollywood movies with new friends. Is she still Indian? Is she becoming American? How should she define home?

In this timely yet timeless picture book, critically-acclaimed author Mitali Perkins uses her own childhood to describe the experience of navigating multiple cultures and embracing the spacethe hyphenin between them.Author’s note. Glossary. Full-color illustrations. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

8 1/2" x 11"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

May 2021

Book Genres

Picture Book

Topics

Emigration and immigration. Immigrants. Bengali Americans. Home. Family life. 

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

K-Gr 4–Perkins explores a child’s experience of immigration in a sweet and child-friendly story presented in a beautifully illustrated package. Readers meet young Shanti, a girl with brown skin and black pigtails, as she and her parents leave their village in India and relocate to a “town” in the United States. Shanti moves back and forth between cultures, first skipping, then running, then trudging. These changing action words are a metaphor for the labor of navigating between two sides of one’s self. Perkins shows cultural examples: the familiarities of the village carried over in food, music, and household habits, along with the new sports, language, and holidays of the town. A refrain repeats: “Remembering the village. Learning the town. Again and again. In between.” There are endearing moments. Shanti makes a new friend quickly and enjoys learning with her about town life. But she also struggles with school, misses family, and is the target of microaggressions. The range of emotions shows on her face: excitement, longing, frustration, comfort, and defeat. Naidu’s animated style, with bright popping colors, expands on what Perkins leaves untold in her short poetic stanzas and careful words. As the harshness and unfamiliarity of the winter melt away, Shanti feels the warmth of the spring and determines to make her home in a space between cultures. The book ends with a glossary of Bangla words, and an author’s note about her own immigrant experience, and her framing of code switching and biculturalism as a gift and a superpower. VERDICT This book can serve as either a validating mirror or an illuminating window. A warm read-aloud, it is a must-purchase for all ­picture book collections.–Clara Hendricks, Cambridge P.L., MA

Horn Book

Shanti says goodbye to the village that is her home, a place of “warm monsoon rains” and “green palm trees” and extended family; she arrives in a town of “cold rain and orange and yellow leaves.” There is a new language, new currency, new manners, new holidays. It’s a challenge, but the young girl begins to learn a new way of life while still actively preserving the one she knew by continuing traditions at home with her parents. On some spreads, Shanti runs back and forth “remembering the village. Learning the town. Again and again. In Between.” Eventually, Shanti gets tired of the constant push and pull (“Where was she from? Village? Town?”) and decides to make her home right there, in between cultures (“She was good at making anywhere feel like home”). Shanti’s enthusiasm for both her home village and her new town offers a refreshing view of multiculturalism as a source of a rich life. Perkins’s prose is rhythmic and controlled, with just enough detail to immerse readers in Shanti’s experience and follow her satisfying journey. Naidu’s cartoonlike illustrations, in a warm color palette, are energetic and full of emotional expression, adding layers to the story and making Shanti an endearing and memorable character. AUTUMN ALLEN

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

K-Gr 4–Perkins explores a child’s experience of immigration in a sweet and child-friendly story presented in a beautifully illustrated package. Readers meet young Shanti, a girl with brown skin and black pigtails, as she and her parents leave their village in India and relocate to a “town” in the United States. Shanti moves back and forth between cultures, first skipping, then running, then trudging. These changing action words are a metaphor for the labor of navigating between two sides of one’s self. Perkins shows cultural examples: the familiarities of the village carried over in food, music, and household habits, along with the new sports, language, and holidays of the town. A refrain repeats: “Remembering the village. Learning the town. Again and again. In between.” There are endearing moments. Shanti makes a new friend quickly and enjoys learning with her about town life. But she also struggles with school, misses family, and is the target of microaggressions. The range of emotions shows on her face: excitement, longing, frustration, comfort, and defeat. Naidu’s animated style, with bright popping colors, expands on what Perkins leaves untold in her short poetic stanzas and careful words. As the harshness and unfamiliarity of the winter melt away, Shanti feels the warmth of the spring and determines to make her home in a space between cultures. The book ends with a glossary of Bangla words, and an author’s note about her own immigrant experience, and her framing of code switching and biculturalism as a gift and a superpower. VERDICT This book can serve as either a validating mirror or an illuminating window. A warm read-aloud, it is a must-purchase for all ­picture book collections.–Clara Hendricks, Cambridge P.L., MA

Horn Book

Shanti says goodbye to the village that is her home, a place of “warm monsoon rains” and “green palm trees” and extended family; she arrives in a town of “cold rain and orange and yellow leaves.” There is a new language, new currency, new manners, new holidays. It’s a challenge, but the young girl begins to learn a new way of life while still actively preserving the one she knew by continuing traditions at home with her parents. On some spreads, Shanti runs back and forth “remembering the village. Learning the town. Again and again. In Between.” Eventually, Shanti gets tired of the constant push and pull (“Where was she from? Village? Town?”) and decides to make her home right there, in between cultures (“She was good at making anywhere feel like home”). Shanti’s enthusiasm for both her home village and her new town offers a refreshing view of multiculturalism as a source of a rich life. Perkins’s prose is rhythmic and controlled, with just enough detail to immerse readers in Shanti’s experience and follow her satisfying journey. Naidu’s cartoonlike illustrations, in a warm color palette, are energetic and full of emotional expression, adding layers to the story and making Shanti an endearing and memorable character. AUTUMN ALLEN

Grades 2-6
Multicultural Elementary
For Grades 2-6

Receive 12 books that feature plot lines with ethnically and culturally diverse characters that may help foster an awareness and understanding of others.

12 books per Year
$210.60 per Year
Interests
Character/Good Citizenship,Diversity/Multicultural,Fiction,Nonfiction,Picture Books,Storytime/Read Alouds
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