KidsRead: Same Sun Here by Neela Vaswani
Thursday October 30, 2014
For this KidsRead event, we welcomed Neela Vaswani and 70 6th grade students from The Young Women's Leadership School in Brooklyn.
About Same Sun Here (Random House)
Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City’s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner’s son. As Meena’s family studies for citizenship exams and River’s town faces devastating mountaintop removal, this unlikely pair become pen pals, sharing thoughts and, as their camaraderie deepens, discovering common ground in their disparate experiences. With honesty and humor, Meena and River bridge the miles between them, creating a friendship that inspires bravery and defeats cultural misconceptions. Narrated in two voices, each voice distinctly articulated by a separate gifted author, this chronicle of two lives powerfully conveys the great value of having a friend and the joys of opening our lives to others who live beneath the same sun.
Neela Vaswani’s mother used to say, “You and a book, like a fish and water,” when she caught Neela reading during dinner (a tip for other Book-Reading-Bandits: covering a book with a napkin in your lap is not an effective way to hide it). Neela thought for a long time that she would be a doctor or a detective but then she realized if she became a writer, she could pretend to be a doctor and a detective at the same time. Her ideal day includes dancing on the subway, eating pickles with family and friends, and sitting still in the middle of a forest with a good book and a pack of dogs and monkeys. She lives in New York City with her husband (who can stand on his head for a very long time), and travels around teaching, writing, and feeling lucky to do what she loves.