Sunita Experiment

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW applauded the ``fresh, unaffected prose'' of this ``disarming first novel'' about an eighth-grader trying to balance Indian traditions with an all-American social life. Ages 10-14. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-- When her (Eastern) Indian grandparents arrive for a year-long visit, outgoing eighth grader Sunita Sen feels caught between two cultures. Her Westernized upbringing is threatened when her parents discourage visits from boys; her cosmopolitan mother dons traditional dress and takes a sabbatical from her college teaching job; and the aroma of curry fills the house each day. Embarrassed by her heritage, Sunita withdraws from her classmates. But her friends are admirably patient and tolerate her rebuffs, and gradually she begins to appreciate her grandparents' wisdom and values. In a cathartic moment, she discovers that her mother has been under pressure, too, and is also unhappy with the family's altered lifestyle. This novel realistically addresses numerous issues, including Sunita's temporary rejection of an African-American classmate when both girls are referred to as ``colored.'' Her adolescent angst over social acceptance, family discord, and personal identity will be familiar to readers; positive solutions and role models are presented for dealing with cultural differences, peer relationships, and domestic problems. --Gerry Larson, Chewning Junior High School, Durham, NC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781562826710
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 179
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.72 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

    Please read, especially middle school Indians in the US

    This book really touched me because I happen to be half-Indian. This book really teaches outsiders (none-Indians) about the culture of Indians, with the references to Indian cooking, clothing, and speech. The story is very compelling, and told in an authentic tone for a teenager. You can empathize with the characters, for the most part (except for the evil girl who tries to steal Sunita's boyfriend of course). I recommend this for anyone who likes stories of cultural and mental growth, and a chance to explore different cultures. Being half-Indian, like Sunita, I really can't understand why she hates her Indian self so much, I personally embrace the culture. But regardless this is a great book.

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