What We’re Reading: The Night Diary

Hello Library Readers! Having trouble picking out our next read?  Why not check out what the staff of the Livingston Public Library is currently reading?

Anna Coats, Head of Youth Services, is currently reading Night Diary by Veera night diaryHiranandani.  Anna was inspired to read The Night Diary when it was chosen as an X-Treme Readers Book Club book, and heard how much all the kids enjoyed it.

Here are her thoughts on the book thus far: The Night Diary is a middle-grade historical fiction novel set in India in 1947, which when the Partition that separated India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh happened. There are several things I like about this book. For starters, it is the first middle-grade historical fiction book written in English that I’ve come across about the Partition. Second, the main character, 12-year-old Nisha, is mixed. Nisha’s father, whom she lives with, is Hindu, and her mother, who passed away when Nisha was young, was Muslim. Nisha’s family is living in what is now present-day Pakistan and since her living parent is Hindu, her family is forced to flee across the Partition.

Nisha tries to make sense of the upheaval going on all around her, and why she is forced to choose one religion — forced into one box — when her identity is more complex than that. I am also mixed; I am half-Hindu and half-Catholic, and while I am fortunate that I have not been forced to flee my home because of my religious or ethnic identity, I too have faced people and institutions who try to force me to pick only one religion or one ethnicity when my identity is more complex than that. When I was growing up I did not see many characters in books or movies who were mixed and I’m happy there are more complex characters in books now.”

Comment below with what you’re reading and what you think about it so far!

-Jessica Bielen, Adult Services Librarian 



Livingston, NJ 07039, USA

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