The Grand Plan to Fix Everything

Uma Krishnaswami, Author, Abigail Halpin, Illustrator
Uma Krishnaswami, illus. by Abigail Halpin. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4169-9589-0
Reviewed on: 04/04/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4169-9591-3
Paperback - 266 pages - 978-1-4169-9590-6
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Krishnaswami perfectly captures movie-star infatuation, best-friendship, geographical displacement, and youthful determination in this exuberant blend of American tween life and Indian village culture. When 11-year-old Dini's physician mother gets a grant to work at a clinic in the tiny village of Swapnagiri in India, Dini is plucked out of her contented life in suburban Maryland. Distraught about abandoning her BFF Maddie—who truly understands Dini's passion for Indian movie-star Dolly Singh—and their plans to attend Bollywood dance camp, she nevertheless remains optimistic as she tries to plot her new life, and those of the people she meets, as a screenplay. Krishnaswami (Naming Maya) interlaces Dini's story with lighthearted portrayals of the Indian film industry and postal system; she neatly and satisfactorily resolves every dilemma, suggesting elements of magic ("[W]hen you are moving... to a place whose name means ‘dream mountain,' your mind begins to open up in strange ways") while remaining firmly grounded in reality. An out-of-the-ordinary setting, a distinctive middle-grade character with an unusual passion, and the pace of a lively Bollywood "fillum" make this novel a delight. Ages 8–12. (May)
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