I seriously fell in love with this book.
Sonia Nadhamuni, half Indian and half Jewish American, learns at the end of 5th grade that her father has lost his job. Because of this she will start 6th grade next year in public school instead of the private one she’s always attended.
She wishes summer would never end, but inevitably it does.
Along with the usual challenges of being the new kid at a new school, Sonia faces disturbing changes in her home life as her father slips into clinical depression and her mother work longer and longer hours to make ends meet.
Sonia discovers things taken for granted at her old school, are questioned in her new one. She struggles to figure out where she belongs; with Kate and the in crowd, who all dress the same way; or with Alisha who is writing a love story and thinks Sonia is cool the way she is. And what of her relationship with her best friend, Sam, who still goes to the old school?
Sonia throws herself into her new social situation while trying to ignore the worrying changes at home. When her father disappears, she is forced to confront all these thoughts and fears to figure out who she is as a friend, a daughter, and a person.
The story, written in first person, pulled me into Sonia’s world almost immediately. I really cared about what was happening to her, and was rooting for her to find her balance at each new challenge and identity search.
A great book for preteens.
Note: I received The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani as an ARC from NetGalley.