front cover of From 'Howdy Modi' to 'Modi ki Godi'
From 'Howdy Modi' to 'Modi ki Godi'
An Imaginary Guide to Cosmic Realities
Ashis Gupta
Bayeux Arts, 2020
The story, told in the manner of a graphic novel, is a parable on HOPE, against a depressing backdrop of pessimism, cynicism, violence, and racism engulfing two great nations - the USA and India. Some of the socio-political undercurrents rocking the two nations are remarkably similar.

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Ghady & Rawan
By Fatima Sharafeddine and Samar Mahfouz Barraj, translated by M. Lynx Qualey and Sawad Hussain
University of Texas Press, 2019

Ghady and Rawan is a heartfelt and timely novel by the award-winning author Fatima Sharafeddine (The Servant, Cappuccino) and Samar Mahfouz Barraj. The novel follows the close-knit friendship of two Lebanese teenagers, Ghady, who lives with his family in Belgium, and Rawan, who lives in Lebanon. Ghady’s family travels every summer to Beirut, where Ghady gets to spend all his time with Rawan and their other friends, enjoying their freedom from school. During the rest of the year, he and Rawan keep in touch by email. Through this correspondence, we learn about the daily ups and downs of their lives in Brussels and Beirut, including Ghady’s homesickness and his struggles with racism at school, as well as Rawan’s changing relationship to her family. The novel offers a glimpse into the lives of Lebanese adolescents while exploring a range of topics relevant to young people everywhere: bullying, parental conflicts, racism, belonging and identity, and peer pressure. Through the connection between the two main characters, Sharafeddine and Mahfouz Barraj show how the love and support of a good friend can help you through difficulties as well as sweeten life’s triumphs and good times.


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More Than Brothers
Peter Razor
Michigan State University Press
Niizh Eshkanag is a member of the first generation of Anishinaabe children required to attend a U.S. government boarding school—schools infamously intended to “kill the Indian and save the man,” or forcibly assimilate Native students into white culture. At the Yardley Indian Boarding School in northern Minnesota, far from his family, Niizh Eshkanag endures abuse from the school staff and is punished for speaking his native language. After his family moves him to a school that is marginally better, he meets Roger Poznanski, the principal’s white nephew, who arrives to live with his uncle’s family and attend the school. Though Roger is frightened of his Indian classmates at first, Niizh Eshkanag befriends him, and they come to appreciate and respect one another’s differences. When a younger Anishinaabe student runs away into a winter storm after being beaten by a school employee, Niizh Eshkanag and Roger join forces to rescue him, beginning an adventure that change their lives and the way settlers, immigrants and the Anishinaabe people of the Great Lakes think about each other and their shared future.

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The Civil War, a Love Triangle, and the Steamboat Sultana
Lila Jeanne Elliott Sybesma
Indiana Historical Society Press, 2019
Sarah Sutton and the Elliott brothers, Gabe and Joseph, grew up together, and, as teenagers, the brothers vie for Sarah's attention. When the Civil War starts, Gabe and Joseph enlist in the Union army. Sarah accompanies her father, a surgeon, and serves as a nurse in battlefield hospitals. They reunite on the Sultana, a steamboat returning thousands of soldiers, many former prisoners of war, home. Tragedy strikes when the boilers explode and the ship sinks in the Mississippi River. What will happen next?

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