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|Chloe in India|
Author: Darnton, Kate
Though they're divided by class, language, appearance--you name it--Chloe and Lakshmi have a lot in common. Both girls are new to Class Five at Premium Academy in New Delhi, India, and neither seems to fit in. But they soon discover how extraordinary an ordinary friendship can be and how celebrating our individuality can change the world.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 181701
Kirkus Reviews (10/15/15)
School Library Journal (11/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 11/01/2015 Gr 5–7—Chloe is a blonde, middle-class Bostonian who is beginning school at Class Five Premium Academy in New Delhi. In addition to being the new kid at a new school, Chloe must also adjust to a new culture, language, and country. She hates that she is the only girl without long black hair, and she misses terribly her best friend from home. Her journey from typical pre-teen to enlightened young adult takes place over the course of a few months. Though she wants to fit in with Anvi, the daughter of one of the wealthiest families in India, she finds that she has more in common with Lakshmi, the daughter of an extremely poor single father. Torn between her desire for acceptance and her genuine friendship with a less socially acceptable person, Chloe is forced to decide whether it's better to fit in or be true to herself. Darnton takes readers on a descriptive journey to India, having lived there herself with her family for five years. In this friendship story, Chloe learns Bollywood dancing, struggles with her Hindi, and enjoys eating chaat, kati, and dosas. The story flows at a medium pace and would be useful for facilitating conversations about making confident choices as well as understanding socioeconomic disparities and Indian culture. At a key point in the narrative, Chloe's mother uses her media connections to help Lakshmi and her father keep their home. The unfortunate trope of having a white character save the day is somewhat balanced by Darnton's inclusion of a diverse mix of characters and her authentic details in the setting. VERDICT A solid multicultural offering for middle grade collections. Though not as compelling a read, those who enjoyed the emotional themes in R.J. Palacio's Wonder (Knopf, 2012) or Lisa Graff's The Thing About Georgie (HarperCollins, 2008) will find some similarities here.—Pilar Okeson, Severn School, Annapolis, MD - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.