Books, Current Events, Reviews

The Magic of Many Worlds: Being a Part of Something More

I moved to the US from India almost a quarter of a century ago now (sounds longer this way, right!?) and while being between two worlds can be challenging, there is always another side to it, the magic of many worlds, of being a part of something more. On the one hand, you are striving to blend in, while on the other, you are wanting to make sure you hold on to the familiar. You are on a tightrope of sorts so very often, balancing yourself between the different worlds.

And as I mentioned already, it is not easy, this balancing act – between the cultures and traditions you grew up with, and those of your new home (be it just another house, town, state, country, or continent); the language barriers you might have to deal with sometimes; speaking in one language while thinking in another; the inevitable questions from others (like the question I was often asked about my bindi!); between celebrations here and there; and so much more.

But then, there is the other side of it; that pleasure of being a part of something more, of being Indian and American, of celebrating Navaratri and Christmas, of being able to answer the questions of those who are genuinely curious about, well, anything I have the answers to, among so many other things.

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All of these ‘other-side’ things add to …..

The Magic of Many Worlds: Books

The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything

The Magic of Many Worlds: Of Earth and Space

Title: The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything: The Story of Maria Mitchell
Author: Laura Alary
Illustrator: Ellen Rooney
Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction/Biographies (4 – 8 years, and up)
Publisher: Kids Can Press (May 3rd, 2022)

Perfect for fans of STEM, this inspiring picture book biography tells the extraordinary story of pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell

My Thoughts

I hadn’t heard of Maria Mitchell before reading this book (and that is no longer embarrassing to admit after having done so with so many picture book biographies over the past few years here on this blog!). But I am glad I did, and you will be too.

This is an engaging and inspiring biography about Maria Mitchell. She was, as the author’s note states at the end of the book, ‘a woman of firsts!’ Ellen Rooney’s whimsical and beautiful illustrations are a perfect complement to Laura Alary’s narrative in this biography. The costumes, colors, tones, and other details of the artwork are in sync with the topic – astronomy, and the time period the book is set in (or rather, the time Mitchell lived in). I loved looking through the details in the art as well as in the many scattered text boxes (to add emphasis to the narrative) as much as I enjoyed reading the story of Mitchell told in simple, straight-forward language while keeping the words and language needed for a book about an astronomer (like chronometer).

Everything from the stunning cover to the author’s note and list of resources at the back of the book make this a must-read biography of a woman who needs to be more well-known than she is currently.

Get it here

Thanks to Netgalley for making the digital review copy available for an honest review

Ameya’s Two Worlds

The land of her ancestors and her current home

Magic of Many Worlds: Ameya's Two Worlds

Title: Ameya’s Two Worlds
Author: Aditi Wardhan Singh
Illustrator: Noor Alshalabi
Genre: Children’s Fiction/Multicultural (5 – 10 years)
Publisher: Raising World Children LLC (Sept 3rd, 2022)

Ameya is excited about attending her cousin Vaishali’s wedding! She is also worried about how she will communicate with her extended family. As an Indian American girl Ameya stands on the borders of India and America constantly struggling with her identity. Will Ameya feel Indian enough to cross the barrier of language?

My Thoughts

Raising children who are in a similar situation as the protagonist meant I could relate to and identify with Ameya (not as or for myself, but for my teens). And yes, I identified with Ameya’s mom totally!

This book is a sweet read that has many lessons within it without being preachy; of accepting ourselves as we are and appreciating all the different things that make us so; understanding the value of the diversity of the rich cultures and traditions when you are balancing a few in your life (and even when not); of embracing your heritage while adopting other customs with the same pasion and eageness; and so much more.

Adithi Wardhan Singh’s narrative touches the right emotions, takes readers to India with Ameya, and to the heart of the Indian wedding Ameya attends. Noor Alshalabi’s vibrant illustrations lend the perfect touch to Ameya’s story and her two worlds! And before I forget, I especially identified with the language barrier (of sorts) that Ameya faces in the book.

Don’t miss the glossary at the end that explains more about the Hindi terms and wedding traditions sprinkled throughout the book. In addition, there are suggested activities that are sure to enrich the reading experience!

Get it here

Thanks to Netgalley for making the digital review copy available for an honest review

Then Some More Magic of Being a Part of Many Worlds

  • The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next series)
  • Chronicles of Narnia
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians
  • Lobizona (my review is here)
  • When Stars Are Scattered (Read my review here)
  • Unsettled
  • Counting Down With You
  • Looking for Bapu

The Magic of Many Worlds: With Festivities

As I have mentioned everyday these past few days, celebrating the Navaratri Golu is one of my favorite things to do. It means I include a little bit of where I am into the age-old tradition of the Golu, always, each and every time. Be it in those dolls I picked up at a dollar-store here who stand in for Krishna’s Gopikas, or the time I portrayed the wall that Trump built for the socio-political theme of the year, there is my adopted home embedded within the traditions of the home I grew up in.

Granted, these are all just little things; but they add up to be a lot more, and make it all worth it. When I clear up the Golu, pack up the dolls, dismantle the steps for the Golu, I am thinking about the candies I need to buy for Halloween (now my kids don’t dress up as they are older teens). And yes, also thinking about what we are doing for Diwali and Thanksgiving and Christmas too. So yes, being able to be a part of all these worlds is magical indeed.

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, hope you enjoyed this post. Do let me know if you have read any of the featured/listed books, and your thoughts on them. I would also love to hear your recommendations for similar reads, and as always, I welcome any and all comments and thoughts.

 This is for Day three of UBC; also known as Ultimate Blog Challenge. This post also goes towards IMWAYR over at TeachMentorTexts

2 thoughts on “The Magic of Many Worlds: Being a Part of Something More

  1. very interesting input. I am very curious about your experience. I moved to completely different culture myself and it always fascinates me how many similarities and drastic differences there always are between people and their story

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