Mina's Spring of Colors

( 2 )

Overview

Mina can't wait to celebrate Holi, the high-spirited Hindu spring festival of colour. Every year she and her family have a party and Mina invites all of her classmates. But this year it will be different because Mina's Nanaji (grandfather) is now living with the family. Mina has not adjusted to this addition to the household and is confused by her embarrassment of Nanaji's continuous advice and thick accent. But when Mina overhears a new classmate making fun of the way Nanaji talks, she is horrified and begins ...
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Overview

Mina can't wait to celebrate Holi, the high-spirited Hindu spring festival of colour. Every year she and her family have a party and Mina invites all of her classmates. But this year it will be different because Mina's Nanaji (grandfather) is now living with the family. Mina has not adjusted to this addition to the household and is confused by her embarrassment of Nanaji's continuous advice and thick accent. But when Mina overhears a new classmate making fun of the way Nanaji talks, she is horrified and begins plotting the perfect revenge. The Holi celebration soon loses its carefree, joyful atmosphere as Mina worries about her payback. But before she is able to ruin the party for herself and her classmates, Nanaji reminds her of the true spirit of Holi, allowing Mina to come to terms with her true feelings about her family.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Every year, the Salvi family hosts a Northern Indianstyle Holi celebration, inviting everyone they know to their house for this wild and rambunctious holiday of spring. This year, however, Mina's grandfather is here, newly emigrated from India, and things don't go quite as well as usual. Gilmore writes of intergenerational conflict—and tenderness. Young Mina's narrative voice is not a bit geeky. The reader is pulled into this family story about speaking up, and letting go—the sorts of things that happen in any family, but are set against a cultural backdrop the author sketches with loving familiarity. 2000, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Ages 8 to 12, $14.95. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
VOYA
Each spring, elevenyearold Mina's family hosts a fabulous party to celebrate Holi, the festival of color. Mina's grandfather, Nanaji, has come from India to live with the family, but Mina is not sure if she welcomes his presence at a party that is attended by all her friends and neighbors. Nanaji speaks loudly with a heavy Indian accent, and he often chooses odd topics of conversation. Mina remembers how close she once felt with Nanaji when he would tell her stories of Krishna, the playful blue god, but now those stories, and even Nanaji himself, embarrass her. Her worst anXieties are realized at her school's open house, when Mina overhears classmate Ashley making derisive comments about Nanaji. Believing that she is furious over the injustice to her grandfather, Mina gathers her friends and plots revenge on Ashley. Although the Holi festival is meant to be a time to abandon grudges, Mina chooses the party as the perfect opportunity to thoroughly humiliate Ashley. Mina is an eXcellent eXample of a North American girl with cultural roots that eXtend across the globe. Her Indian heritage, however, is of passing consequence in her life. Although she loves the festival of Holi, which is celebrated by throwing colorful dyes, she avoids understanding the deeper meaning of the festival. Gilmore convincingly portrays the turbulent emotional life of an elevenyearold, with equally violent outbursts of anger and love. Recommend this fine title to younger adolescents, $7.95 Trade pb. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2000, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 143p, $15.95. Ages 12 to 14. Reviewer: Diane Masla

SOURCE: VOYA, December 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 5) <%ISBN%> 1550415492

School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Mina, 11, enjoys playing computer games and watching TV, and has decidedly mixed feelings about her Indian heritage. She loves her Nanaji (grandfather), but is sometimes embarrassed by his old-fashioned ideas and customs. However, when she overhears the most popular girl at school refer to Nanaji as "a stupid old geek who can't even talk right," Mina is hurt and incensed. She vows to get revenge during her family's annual party celebrating Holi, the Indian festival of color. Instead of squirting Ashley with the traditional harmless colored powders that are the hallmark of the celebration, Mina plans to barrage her foe with a concoction that will leave a more permanent impression. In the end, the scheme backfires, and Nanaji helps his granddaughter to see that her stunt is less about revenge than about coming to terms with her own ambivalent feelings toward him. Unfortunately, the pace of the novel is slow, and the writing is pedestrian. The protagonist comes across as petulant, and it's sometimes difficult to empathize with her. Similar themes and issues are more successfully explored in Laurence Yep's Ribbons (Putnam, 1996).-Ronni Krasnow, Arlington County Public Library, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550415346
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in India, Rachna Gilmore has lived in England, Prince Edward Island, and now resides in Ottawa, Ontario. Her most recent books are Fangs and Me, Ellen's Terrible TV Troubles and Mina's Spring of Colors.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2000

    A wonderful book

    Mina's Spring of Colors, a story about a girl with a Hindi heritidge, is well-written. This realistic story talks about revenge, letting go of grudges, and family ties. Rachna Gilmore creates an excellent story that is sure to be a favorite.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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