This is a book to mark a shift in time. I never thought I would come across a children's book as powerful as this. With so many themes tucked into it's 18 pages and addressing a range of issues from the consequences of war, bullying and loneliness you couldn't possibly believe that it was a children's book. Ah, but it is, and it's also an adult's book, an educator's book, a student's book, a little boy's book, a little girl's book. And the list goes on. Meera Bala, with her writing style, manages to cross all kinds of barriers - generational, racial, national and even linguistic. The beauty of the book is that anyone can get behind it; it is easily accessible from the way the story is told to the beautiful illustrations that accompany it. Themes of diversity, inclusion, familial bonds and the power of education abound. With the lack of representation that has existed for so long in children's books, Maya's story might appear to be a unique one, but it's one that anyone can relate to and many, like myself, have been waiting for. How I wish we had books like this when I was growing up! Thank you Bala for bringing this gem to us. I look forward to reading more of your works.
This book is about a young girl who lives happily on the island of Sri Lanka and how a war drastically changes her life. You always hear stories about war and the effects, but you rarely see these stories in a children's book. Specifically, how a child feels throughout the events and even when they move to a new country. The illustrations add an extra element to the story, allowing you to feel as if you are there yourself and see the emotions on the character's faces. There are moments when even I, who has only heard of stories, felt touched and hurt as if I was Maya herself.
There are also many meaningful messages in the story. They vary from trying to stay positive through difficult times to working hard to succeed. These are important messages that everyone should learn, and this book teaches them all in one.
I truly enjoyed the book and will be buying and recommending this to all of my family and friends. No matter where you are from, this book will leave a touching message and a long-lasting effect on all readers, adults and kids alike. If you still couldn't tell, after my very long review, I 1000% recommend this book to everyone, and I am sure that you will enjoy it!
My parents are more excited about this book than I am! I just had this book delivered to my door, and as I was downstairs working I couldn't get to my door right away. My mom opened the door, read the book, had my dad read the book and then brought it down to me, as she gives me a synopsis of the whole thing. I can honestly say that my parents are captivated by the story and its representation of their culture, language and heritage. AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ! Thankyou Meera for sharing this story with all of us - it's reaching more people than you could have ever imagined!
We truly love this book! My boys have asked me to read this book on multiple occasions to them for their bedtime story. I am glad to see the message behind this book and share our very own personal experiences with our own kids. The author has done a great job in allowing the children to be in Maya’s shoes and go through her struggles in a new environment with many challenges. The ability to overcome obstacles and stand up against odds is a very inspiring message I am glad to share with my kids.
Reviewed in Canada on March 24, 2021
An inspirational story that embarks on a journey of self-belonging and acceptance in a new country. This book is not only a great children’s book, but a great book that adults like myself can relate back to. While reading this book to my son, I was able to relate to the book as I’ve also faced similar experiences being an immigrant myself! Well written as well as nicely illustrated to spark children’s imaginations and make connections to it!
Great book & would highly recommend it!