Review Detail

Kids Fiction 575
Summer in Karachi
(Updated: November 04, 2020)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Mimi and her mother like in Houston, Texas, but things have not been going well lately. Her father, a US born reporter, left long ago, and her Pakistani born mother has struggled to make ends meet by teaching and creating art. Mimi has never met her mother's parents, but is unsure about spending six weeks visiting them in Karachi. Nana and Nani are well-to-do and were greatly disappointed in their daughter's choice of husband, but glad to see their family. Sakina works with her Abba in the kitchen, where he cooks and she helps with a variety of chores. Secretly, she hopes to attend school, and has passed the entrance exams except for English. The girls are wary of each other at first; Mimi thinks that Sakina should want to be her friend, but Sakina knows that she is a servant who needs to work and not make Mimi's grandmother angry. Besides, her father's diabetes is not well managed, and he needs her help. Mimi is using a journal her mother gave her to keep track of her trip to write letters to her estranged father, whom she misses. Eventually, the girls warm to each other, and Sakina asks Mimi to help her with her English. The two are given permission to go sightseeing with the family chauffeur as well. Both girls have a lot to learn about the other's culture, and things don't always go smoothly. Mimi learns that her father is in Karachi, and is already angry with her mother for hanging out with a man she knew in college, so the girls try to locate him, finally pinpointing the newspaper employing him. As the visit nears an end, there are some issues that the girls must address, but they are able to treat each other with kindness and help each other out.
Good Points
Faruqi has taken a personal trip back to her hometown and crafted a rather brilliant novel about trying to understand other cultures... even one's own. Sometimes, this sort of examination comes off as a bit negative and whiny, but Mimi and Sakina are both very good natured and really try to understand how their actions look to someone else. There are a few instances of misunderstanding or tension, but they are very realistic, and the girls move past them. The descriptions of daily life in Karachi are well done, and like so many novels involving cultures from the Indian subcontinent, there's a lot of FOOD! I really want a bun kebab now! There's some interesting discussion of local politics, marriage traditions, and the differences between the wealthy and the poor. There's also a very interesting scene where Sakina and Mimi pray even though both are not very religious. The descriptions of Sakina's home life are something that my students really need to read. The fact that she is not able to go to school will shock many of them. I enjoyed this very much!

I love a good travel book that gives some insight into a culture I don't know well, and this is brilliant because it gives opinions on both Pakistani and US culture from two view points. Perfect for Narsimhan's Mission Mumbai Bajaj's Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood. or Krishnaswami's The Grand Plan to Fix Everything.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The King's Daughter: A Girl Lost In Time
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Summary: Wales 1294 A country...
Fiver Finds Home
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet the world’s first blue dwarf giraffe! With five purple...
The Beautiful Ones
 
4.0
 
5.0 (1)
They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites,...
Ember of Night
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
I am a weed. Unloved by my abusive, alcoholic...
Made in Korea
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good...
Perfectly Parvin
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fourteen-year-old Iranian-American Parvin Mohammadi sets out to win the...
Havoc (Haven, #2)
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
For the first time in his life, Rain Ryland...
Finding Junie Kim
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Junie Kim just wants to fit in. So she keeps...
Parachutes
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern...
The Bachmann Family Secret
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jaret Bachmann travels with his family to his beloved...
Sister of the Bollywood Bride
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Morgan Matson's Save the Date comes a...
Nosotros Means Us: Un cuento bilingüe
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving bilingual ode to the unshakeable bond between a...
Awakened Are the Starry-Eyed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A new city and unexpected freedom give Andrea the fresh...
A Brutal Justice
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Protect the weak. Safety for all. Power without virtue is...
A Tale of Ashes
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Across the country, human teens are going missing, and all...
The Captain's Daughters
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
What would you do if you were abducted by aliens,...

Latest Member Reviews

Thomas Edison: Lighting the Way
 
5.0
"'Thomas Edison: Lighting the Way,' an I Can Read book by Lori Haskins Houran, illustrated by Gustavo Mazali, is a..."
Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was a Bison
 
3.7
"'Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was a Bison' by Jennifer Bové tells a lot of interesting facts about what bisons..."
Titan and the Wild Boars: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team
 
4.3
"TITAN AND THE WILD BOARS tells the true story of the trapped soccer team and their rescue in the caves..."
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
 
4.3
"“… with hard work, perseverance, and a love of math, anything was possible.” Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson,..."
Exoplanets
 
4.7
"A beautiful way to learn about some of the lesser known solar system facts. I'm a fully-grown adult and..."
Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was a Lion
 
4.5
"Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was A Lion was a fun, educational, and an interactive book that is perfect for..."
Let's Investigate with Nate #1: The Water Cycle
 
5.0
"In LET'S INVESTIGATE WITH NATE, the doors of the Science Museum become a portal to another world, but only an..."
Heroes for My Son
 
3.3
"True-to-life heroes--real people who've accomplished attainable yet noteworthy things. This book holds a timeless and intriguing premise. (Particularly in a..."
Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History
 
5.0
"The first sentence of this book sets the stage for Douglass' impact on history: "This is the story of how..."
Sunshine Makes the Seasons (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
 
4.3
"This level 2 nonfiction picture book does a good job at introducing the concept of seasons. It discusses (with a..."
One Direction: A Year with One Direction
 
4.3
JenJen
"Lots of entertaining fun for One Direction fans of all ages! You'll learn everything you ever wanted to know..."