cover image The Night Diary

The Night Diary

Veera Hiranandani. Dial, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7352-2851-1

After introverted Nisha receives a diary for her 12th birthday, she begins to find her voice as she documents her family’s upheaval amid the 1947 Partition of India. Nisha’s journal entries, which are addressed to her deceased mother, take on new urgency as she witnesses India being “split in half like a log” along religious lines after gaining independence from Britain. As the daughter of a Hindu father and a Muslim mother, Nisha questions which side of the Indian-Pakistani border to call her own. But when her family is no longer safe in their home in the city of Mirpur Khas (which became part of Pakistan), they set out for “the new India.” Hiranandani (The Whole Story of Half a Girl) places Nisha’s coming of age against the violent birth of a nation. The diary format gives her story striking intimacy and immediacy, serving as a window into a fraught historical moment as Nisha grapples with issues of identity and the search for a home that remain quite timely. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (Mar.) [/em]