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We are thrilled to welcome Michigan author Supriya Kelkar to the library this spring and feature her book American as Paneer Pie as the 2022 Family Read. Lekha, the main character in the book, is the only Indian American child in the small Michigan town where she lives. She is torn between Home Lekha, who enjoys Indian food and movies with her parents, and School Lekha, who hides a birthmark on her forehead and tries to not call attention to being different. When a new girl, Avantika, moves in across the street, Lekha is excited that she won’t be the only Desi, but Avantika turns out to be very different from Lekha. She is proud of her culture and doesn’t tolerate bullying about it. But after a racist incident, Lekha realizes she can no longer keep quiet. Read the inspiring story to find out what happens next! We have plenty of copies available to check out, and you can listen to it on Hoopla if you prefer audiobooks.

Each Family Read includes events to help readers dive into the book’s themes and bring it to life.

  • Come to YDL-Whittaker or YDL-Michigan to make rangoli art on Saturday, March 19, 2pm. Artist Riya Aggarwal will be offering a demonstration and how-to instructions in front of YDL-Whittaker.
  • Lekha likes to eat and food is described in detail, including a recipe for paneer pie at the back of the book! Make it at YDL-Whittaker on Saturday, March 26, 2pm. Find links to recipes for other food mention in the book on our website. Try them at home.
  • Deepa Jain will teach Madhubani art at YDL-Michigan on Saturday, April 2, 2pm. Make a bookmark and/or small wall hanging.
  • Lekha teaches her neighbor to dance with dandiya sticks. You can learn from Nandita Bajaj from the Wixom Center for Performing Arts and Learning at YDL-Whittaker on Saturday, April 16, 2pm.
  • Interested in talking with others about the book? Contact Pat mitchell@ypsilibrary.org for more information about the April session of the Tween Book Group.

You’ll find a webquest, conversation starters and more on our webpage. Then hear Supriya Kelkar talk about moments from her life that inspired the book at our Family Read Celebration on April 23, 1:30-3:30pm where you can make Gujarat tile inspired art and sample sweets you read about in the book!

Contact Jodi Krahnke, jodi@ypsilibrary.org for more information.