for Aruna's Journeys by Jyotsna Sreenivasan and Merryl Winstein
This novel is one of only a very few available that deals with Indian-American children--a rapidly growing population, especially in urban areas like New York, Los Angeles (California), San Francisco (California), Chicago (Illinois), and Toronto (Canada). The novel tells the story of an opinionated 11-year-old girl who lives in Ohio, likes to collect rocks and longs for a best friend at her new school; however, as an Indian American she looks "foreign" and hates it. The novel recounts Aruna's journey to self-acceptance. It tells about her summer trip to India and the two aunts she encounters there, one following a traditional path of an arranged marriage and another who is a feminist activist who wants to go to graduate school. The novel teaches the reader about Indian customs and traditions and portrays positive female role models that are often missing in literature for young readers. But it also offers insights into what any child who is different or who comes from two worlds has to go through to fit in, especially in the school milieu. The study guide for the multicultural novel is designed to be used by teachers and/or parents, to help children understand better the themes of the novel. Each of the six lessons is divided into three parts. The "Questions" section makes sure that the children have read the chapters and understand the story line. The "Discussion Items" section offers suggestions for topics to talk about with the class--not focusing on right or wrong answers, but on getting the children to listen to each other's ideas and react to them. The"Activities" section suggests assignments that students can do on their own--mostly writing activities, but also including drawing, interviewing, and library research activities. The guide aims to help children develop a love of reading, as well as a curiosity and thoughtfulness about the world around them. (NKA)
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.