{Review/Giveaway} PASHMINA by Nidhi Chanani

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Week One:
9/25/2017- BookHounds YAExcerpt
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10/5/2017- A Backwards StoryReview

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

©Nidhi Chanani / First Second Books

(Page 1, US digital edition)

There aren't enough books in the world like PASHMINA by Nidhi Chanani, and its message is spectacular. The story follows Priyanka, a first generation Indian-American girl curious to learn more about her culture.

Pri doesn't know much about the country she came from, and her mother never talks about it. She immigrated to the USA while pregnant, and Pri has never known another life. She has an ordinary life until the day she finds a pashmina shawl in a suitcase and slips it on...only to be transported to India. Everything is glittery and perfect, and Pri begins coveting a life she never knew. She convinces her mother to let her visit India and meet her amuse, but will the country answer her questions or leave her with more of them?

PASHMINA explores identity: Who we are, where we come from. Pri is so curious about her past and wants to find answers for herself. Going to India changes her in ways she never expects. The trip also changes her upon her return and helps her grow up in unexpected ways.

At its heart, PASHMINA is a family story. Pri has a lot of conflict with her mom. India is a very different country for girls to grow up in than the USA, which leads to strife. The first panel (see above) with Pri's mom freaking out as she learns to drive is something any teen can relate to. Pri is also exceptionally close to her uncle, whom she views as the father-figure in her life. When he finds out that his wife is pregnant, the new baby changes the relationship between them. Pri experiences what one might if getting a sibling for the first time. She no longer has all his attention, and it's a struggle to adjust. I really liked this element, especially since it's a topic so infrequently explored at an older age.

One of my favorite elements of PASHMINA was the way it transitioned from black and white to color. The magical and spiritual elements are all in vibrant color, whereas day-to-day life is in black and white. It's easy to tell when the story turns into its various paths based on the color and is a creative way to capture a reader's attention. I really liked this transition!

I also really liked all of the culture infused into the graphic novel, from clothing to food to expressions used in daily life. It added authenticity to the story and really helped immerse me in the culture it was introducing me to. It dealt with the struggle to fit in, to discover yourself, to discover your past, to learn about your family. There were so many great themes, and the story finished too soon for my liking. I would have loved to continue visiting with Pri and her family and falling into the magical world of the pashmina shawl.

PASHMINA was so much fun to read, and I look forward to more works from Nidhi Chanani in the future. This debut graphic novel is definitely one worthy of being in classroom libraries and taught in schools across the country. It's so relatable and will appeal to readers, even reluctant ones, due to its fun visual format and compelling characters.


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

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Language: --
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C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I love how it's a little mystical, but also tells you that this is going to be a diverse read. Nidhi Chanani's art style is so compelling, and this cover is what made me want to read the book in the first place!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Nidhi Chanani 
Release Date: Oct. 3, 2017
Publisher: First Second Books / Macmillan
Received: For Review



PASHMINA tells the story of an Indian-American girl who struggles to fit in at high school, then discovers more about her family's history with the help of her mother's magical pashmina.  


Nidhi Chanani is a freelance illustrator, cartoonist and writer. She is the owner of Everyday Love Art. Her debut graphic novel, Pashmina, will be released by First Second Books in October 2017. She recently illustrated Misty – The Proud Cloud, a children’s book by Hugh Howey. She is an instructor in the Master of Fine Arts, Comics program at the California College of Arts.
Nidhi was born in Calcutta and raised in suburban southern California. She holds a degree in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She creates because it makes her happy – with the hope that it can make others happy, too. In April of 2012 she was honored by the Obama Administration as a Champion of Change.
Her media appearances include CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and BBC Radio. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, the Women’s March, My Modern Met, Bored Panda and India Times. Nidhi has worked with Disney, ABC, Airbnb, Sony, Microsoft, State Farm Insurance and a variety of other clients. Her non-fiction comics have appeared in the Nib. Everyday Love Art products are sold in retail shops across the country, including the San Francisco International Airport, Books Inc., and Therapy stores.

Nidhi draws and dreams every day with her husband, daughter and their two cats in the San Francisco Bay Area.



 3 winners will receive a finished copy of PASHMINA

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