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The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera…
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The Whole Story of Half a Girl

by Veera Hiranandani

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  1. 00
    The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen (Originally published as: The Sunita Experiment) by Mitali Perkins (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Also talks about identity of a girl who is of Indian decent living in America.
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After her father loses his job, Sonia Nadhamuni’s world turns upside down. She has to leave her private school and go to the public middle school. At her new school, Sonia finds a whole new experience like trying to explain her half-Indian, half-Jewish heritage and being torn between being friends with a group of popular girls or a group of kids don’t quite fit in. Sonia faces changes at home as well with her father out of work and dealing with depression and her mother working longer hours to make ends meet. Can Sonia discover who her true friends are and fit in while still being herself? Sonia’s story should resonate with middle school students who face the same issues of fitting in and self-identity. The book deals with a number of themes including depression, multiracial families, self-identity, cultural identity, and coming of age. ( )
  robincar | Dec 10, 2013 |
Sonia's dad lost his job at the end of last school year, and the whole family has to make adjustments: her mom is teaching a ton more classes, and to save money, Sonia and her little sister are switched into public school. Public school is really different from her tiny, beloved Community School: Sonia has to navigate the various cliques (including the cheerleaders, who want to recruit her, and the outsiders, who just plain like her) while figuring out how to deal with a school where all the white kids sit together and all the black kids sit together--and where does she, with her half-Indian, half-Jewish heritage, fit in? Her mom doesn't like her new friends and her dad has been really moody and sometimes mean--right up until he disappears.

Issues of identity will resonate with nearly all middle-schoolers, particularly those of mixed ethnicities. Also deals with mental health, unemployment, and shifting social groups. I'm a little disappointed in things that were never addressed (the not-great white girl makes the cheer squad ahead of the more-talented Indian girl, for instance; also curious about the friend's financial situation, where the parents have penty of money without working much) but they're not enough to make me hold back a recommendation. Middle-grade, probably best for 6th grade or so. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is such a well written story of a young girl named Sonia and the turns her life takes after her father loses his job. Sonia and her sister Natasha will have to switch to public school, after years at a Montessori-like private school. Sonia's middle school is different. Not only does Sonia have to take the bus, but for the first time, people trip over her Indian last name and wonder at her place in the order of things. Trying out for cheerleading seems to be the thing to do, and picked as an alternate, she wonders if that will always be the case. I really liked the family dynamic in this book. Her mother and father tell Sonia and Natasha what they need to know about his job loss, and some of the troubles it entails. Her parents are realistically present in the story, not absent or completely befuddled, like in a Disney sit-com. ( )
  ethel55 | Feb 9, 2012 |
Sonia has learned that her father has lost his job and he isn't acting like himself. She wonders what he does in his study that makes him feel better. That's not the only change.

Now that her father has lost his job, she has to go to the public middle school. Everyone at her private school knew how to say her name, Sonia Nadhamuni. Now she has to pronounce it for all the new kids.

Sonia is on a journey to figure out her cultural identity, her status in school, her family's future and her personal well being. By the end of the book I believe she is on her way to figuring it out.

This is a good coming of age novel that hits home for many pre-teens and teens. Adolescence is a formidable time and Sonia tackles it with determination and style. The situations are real and the characters are interesting.

Thank you to Ms. Veera Hiranandani, Random House Children's Books and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book. ( )
  sherton | Aug 11, 2011 |
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I'm in school, sitting with my hair hanging long down the back of my chair, my arm around my best friend, Sam.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385741286, Hardcover)

What greater praise than to be compared to Judy Blume!--"Each [Blume and Hiranandani] excels in charting the fluctuating discomfort zones of adolescent identity with affectionate humor."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred

After her father loses his job, Sonia Nadhamuni, half Indian and half Jewish American, finds herself yanked out of private school and thrown into the unfamiliar world of public education. For the first time, Sonia's mixed heritage makes her classmates ask questions—questions Sonia doesn't always know how to answer—as she navigates between a group of popular girls who want her to try out for the cheerleading squad and other students who aren't part of the "in" crowd.

At the same time that Sonia is trying to make new friends, she's dealing with what it means to have an out-of-work parent—it's hard for her family to adjust to their changed circumstances. And then, one day, Sonia's father goes missing. Now Sonia wonders if she ever really knew him. As she begins to look for answers, she must decide what really matters and who her true friends are—and whether her two halves, no matter how different, can make her a whole.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When Sonia's father loses his job and she must move from her small, supportive private school to a public middle school, the half-Jewish half-Indian sixth-grader experiences culture shock as she tries to navigate the school's unfamiliar social scene, and after her father is diagnosed with clinical depression, she finds herself becoming even more confused about herself and her family.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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