As American as Paneer Pie

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
313 0
As American as Paneer Pie
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
June 09, 2020
ISBN
1534439382
Buy This Book
      
As the only Indian American kid in her small town, Lekha Divekar feels like she has two versions of herself: Home Lekha, who loves watching Bollywood movies and eating Indian food, and School Lekha, who pins her hair over her bindi birthmark and avoids confrontation at all costs, especially when someone teases her for being Indian.

When a girl Lekha’s age moves in across the street, Lekha is excited to hear that her name is Avantika and she’s Desi, too! Finally, there will be someone else around who gets it. But as soon as Avantika speaks, Lekha realizes she has an accent. She’s new to this country, and not at all like Lekha.

To Lekha’s surprise, Avantika does not feel the same way as Lekha about having two separate lives or about the bullying at school. Avantika doesn’t take the bullying quietly. And she proudly displays her culture no matter where she is: at home or at school.

When a racist incident rocks Lekha’s community, Lekha realizes she must make a choice: continue to remain silent or find her voice before it’s too late.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Friends, Moving, and lots of food!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Lehka loves being on the swim team and hanging out with neighbor and friend Noah in her town an hour from Detroit, but she occasionally wishes she weren't the only Desi girl in her school. When new neighbors move in and have a girl her age AND have just come from India, Lehka doesn't quite know what to think. There are a lot of things she has in common with Avantika, but since her new neighbor is a fob (fresh of the boat), she doesn't understand that there are some things you just don't do-- let the other girls know you use coconut oil on your hair, don't bring "smelly" Indian food for lunch, and try to fly beneath the haters' radar instead of challenging them. Things seem to work out for Avantika, but Lehka struggles. She doesn't want to shave her legs even though her swim teammates are pressuring her, but she also doesn't feel at home with her Indian friends in the city. She loves celebrating Hindu holidays with her family and the always understanding Noah, but feels awkward when she is with friends and has to make sure the snacks are gelatin-free because her family is vegetarian. She puts up with constant, daily insults from boys in her class, but when there is a racist incident in her neighborhood and a candidate who is hostile to immigrants is elected, Lehka reexamines her relationships and her level of activism in order to try to make things right for herself and her family.
Good Points
This had lots of great details about Lehka's family dynamics and culture. It was interesting that while her family was unique in their town, they did have access to a larger Indian community in Detroit. Her complicated feelings about Avantika are so typically middle school that it was painful to read about-- but SO true!

I wish that we didn't see the kind of pervasive racism Lehka experiences, but hopefully books like this will make readers aware and help to end it.

This author's Ahimsa has done well for historical fiction in my library, and American as Paneer Pie is a great choice for students who like realistic fiction, especially those who enjoyed other books with culturally connected characters who are interested in social activism like Ramee's A Good Kind of Trouble, Bajaj's Count Me In, and Pancholy's The Best at It.

One warning: don't try to put coconut oil on your poodle's fur. It seemed to work so nicely for Lehka's hair that I tried it on my dog, but she just looked greasy!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen...
You Say It First
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
One conversation can change everything. Meg has her entire...
My High School Royal Boyfriend
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
ALEX A tragedy at Langley Estate puts my family...
The Forgotten World (The World Apart Series Book 3)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Clark thought he knew what grief was. Addie thought...
Tales from the Hinterland
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A gorgeously illustrated collection of twelve “lush and deliciously...
Sisters of Shadow and Light
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson,...
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Willow Figure skating was supposed to be my whole...
Unchosen
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying...
Miracle Girl
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leanne Strong hates June eighth even though it's supposed to...
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twelve-year-old Rosie Singer’s mom is missing whatever it is that...
Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
On October 2nd, 1977, Glenn Burke, outfielder for the Los...
The Elephant in the Room
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's been almost a year since Sila's mother traveled halfway...

Latest Member Reviews

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
 
3.0
""City of Bones" introduces us to the world of Shadowhunters when Clary goes to a club with her best friend..."
The Princess Diaries [Film]
 
5.0
"I loved this movie as a kid and I still love it now. It's really a classic by this point...."
Beautiful Creatures
 
4.8
"While they changed a bit from the book, I still love this movie. It's one I watch often and enjoy..."
Twilight [Film]
 
3.2
"Loved the book, the movie fell a bit for me. "
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
 
4.0
"I actually enjoyed this film and watch it often. Much better than the TV show."
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
 
4.2
"I actually enjoyed this film and watch it often. Much better than the TV show."
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
 
3.8
"I actually saw this movie before I read the book and I liked the book much better but i guess..."
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
 
3.0
"I never wanted to read any of the books to begin with. For some reason, my brother had read..."
Beautiful Creatures
 
3.5
"Now, I have not read this book. I really wanted to get to it before I watched the movie, but..."
Prom
 
3.8
"This movie is cute! I watched it while I was sick and I has skipped class. (I skipped class..."
Olympus Has Fallen
 
4.3
"You know what drives me to watching certain movies? The actors. I will watch any movie that my favorite actors..."
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
 
1.8
"Honestly, might get bashed for this, but I hope there's no sequel. I pray that they decide to..."
The Hunger Games Movie
 
5.0
"I saw the film first and enjoyed it so I then read the book. The lead character is a girl..."
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
 
4.8
"Great adaptation!!!! Must watch! Perfection at it's best!"
Beautiful Creatures
 
3.8
"Give it a chance people! Think of it as a "retelling" of the novel!"
I Am Number Four
 
2.4
"This movie was pretty eh. Didn't do a good job following the book didn't mess up like the Percy Jackson..."
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
 
1.6
"This puts shame to the name Percy Jackson. "
Beautiful Creatures
 
1.7
"Don't watch this. It doesn't matter if you've read the book or not. Just don't see it. Please."
The Hunger Games Movie
 
4.0
"One of those movies, that I can watch over and over, and still plays with my emotions every time!..."