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Ahimsa Spiral-Bound |

Supriya Kelkar

★★★★☆+ from 1,001 to 10,000 ratings

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In this historical middle-grade novel, Gandhi asks for one member of each family to join the fight for independence from the British, and when Anjali's mother is jailed for doing so, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother's work.

New Visions Award Winner, Tu Books
Amelia Bloomer Project - Feminist Task Force, American Library Association (ALA)
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, National Council for the Social Studies / Children's Book Council

In this historical middle-grade novel, Gandhi asks for one member of each family to join the fight for independence from the British, and when Anjali's mother is jailed for doing so, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother's work.

In 1942, when Mahatma Gandhi asks Indians to give one family member to the freedom movement, ten-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life for the freedom struggle.

But it turns out he isn't the one joining. Anjali's mother is. And with this change comes many more adjustments designed to improve their country and use "ahimsa"--non-violent resistance--to stand up to the British government. First the family must trade in their fine foreign-made clothes for homespun cotton, so Anjali has to give up her prettiest belongings. Then her mother decides to reach out to the Dalit community, the "untouchables" of society. Anjali is forced to get over her past prejudices as her family becomes increasingly involved in the movement.

When Anjali's mother is jailed, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother's work, ensuring that her little part of the independence movement is completed.

Inspired by her great-grandmother's experience working with Gandhi, New Visions Award winner Supriya Kelkar shines a light on the Indian freedom movement in this poignant debut.

Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Original Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1620143569
Item Weight: 1.0 lbs
Dimensions: 5.0 x 0.96 x 7.5 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 1,001 to 10,000 ratings

* "A historical, timely, and informative story that is full of heart." -- School Library Journal, starred review

* "Readers will empathize with this heartbreakingly charming debut about the universal struggle of overcoming fears and biases in order to make the world a better place." -- Booklist, starred review

"Sprinkled with action as this story is, it is also packed with a wealth of interesting information and teachers and librarians will find much in this book to spur thoughtful discussions. Readers are also sure to discover parallels between the desegregation of schools in our nation and the attempt to integrate lower-caste children into the Indian education system. . . . A welcome addition to the growing body of South Asian literature for children in the United States." -- Padma Venkatraman, award-winning author of The Bridge Home

"A poignant look at India’s independence through the eyes of a ten-year-old, AHIMSA is a well crafted tale of resistance." -- Rajkumar Hirani, director of the films 3 Idiots, PK, and Lage Raho Munnabhai

"As the world around us is getting more divided, Supriya has written a simple and yet compelling story about love and tolerance. Both her protagonists are strong women who take the lead in changing the world, even though one of them is only 10. Read out AHIMSA to your children. Its an important lesson delivered through a delightful story." -- Vidhu Vinod Chopra, director of the films 1942: A Love Story and Eklavya: The Royal Guard

"Kelkar gives us a front row seat at a critical moment in history with skill and emotion as we journey through India with Anjali, a feisty, inquisitive daughter of a freedom fighter who strives to stay true to Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence, ahimsa, while tackling issues of colonialism, caste, women's rights and communal violence at the eve of the country's independence." -- N. H. Senzai, author of Ticket to India

"Young Anjali’s journey of awakening opens windows upon the complex history of India’s independence struggle. With simple text and dramatic action, we are drawn into one girl’s life and the steps she must take in her swiftly changing world. Here is a compelling character—impetuous, intelligent, and brimming with heart. At the same time, Kelkar’s novel reveals the power of compassion, as Anjali grows to be a clear-eyed witness to her time and a hero for our own." -- Uma Krishnaswami, author of Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

"Enriched by the author's proximity to the subject matter and access to primary sources. . . Offers a complex narrative and inspires readers to check their privilege to address ongoing injustices." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Smoothly and realistically depicts the complex segregated world of India in those years, including characters from different castes. . . Kelkar builds compelling tension, which leads to grim outcomes, while highlighting Anjali’s resulting bravery and maturity." -- Publishers Weekly

"This is a story that is both easily enjoyable and hard to put down. Fluid writing and a delightful, realistic point of view make Ahimsa an enjoyable period piece for young adults." -- ForeWord Reviews

New Visions Award Winner, Tu Books
Amelia Bloomer Project - Feminist Task Force, American Library Association (ALA)
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, National Council for the Social Studies / Children's Book Council

Supriya Kelkar grew up in the Midwest, where she learned Hindi as a child by watching three Hindi movies a week. Winner of the New Visions Award for Ahimsa, Supriya is a screenwriter who has worked on the writing teams for several Hindi films and one Hollywood feature. Supriya's books include Ahimsa; Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame; American as Paneer Pie; and That Thing About Bollywood, among others. Visit her online at www.supriyakelkar.com.