Publisher: Hyperion; (June 2004)
When twelve-year-old Seema Trivedi learns that she and her family must move from their small Indian town to Iowa City, she realizes she'll have to say good-bye to the purple-jeweled mango trees and sweet-smelling jasmine, to the monsoon rains and the bustling market. More important, she must leave behind her beloved family of aunts, uncles, grandparents and her best friend and cousin, Raju. Everything is different in America, where Seema feels like an outsider to the language and traditions. She doesn't know how to behave in her new classroom; let alone how to handle a bully who has it in for her. But when Seema's grandmother becomes ill, back in India, all of that suddenly seems less important. During a return visit Seema is given a precious gift that helps her understand the meaning of 'home' and 'family'. As she begins to plant roots in the foreign soil, Seema is able to build a bridge between two homes.
Hear how Kashmira pronouces her characters' names
Turkish, Swedish, Korean, Thai
Starred review Publisher’s Weekly: "In this delicate, introspective debut novel, narrator Seema describes her assimilation to America, capturing the distinct flavors of two different cultures [the U.S. and India]."
CCBC Choices: First-time novelist Kashmira Sheth shows remarkable talent for creating credible, well-rounded characters who are able to meet the challenge of living in two cultures without being forced to choose between them. This, coupled with her skillful use of metaphor, raise this novel high above the typical immigrant story for this age level.
Booklist: Filled with details that document an immigrant's observations and experiences, Seema's story, which articulates the ache for distant home and family, will resonate with fellow immigrants and enlighten their classmates.
Kirkus: A realistic emigration story told with empathy and sincerity.
- IRA Notable Books for A Global Society (International Reading Association)
- The Paul Zindel First Novel Award
- Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award: 2005
- CCBC Choices: 2005
- ALA Great Middle School Reads
- The Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Outstanding Book—Wisconsin Library Association 2005
- Selected for "New and Notable Book," AsianWeek 2005
- 2006-2007 Iowa Children's Choice Award Nominee
- Oklahoma's 2007 Children's Sequoyah Award Masterlist
Right now I'm working on two different immigrant stories. They are both set in the United States.