The Night Diary
I loved the food descriptions!
The main characters were lovely and human, especially Nisha and her twin brother Amil
I especially appreciated the depictions of (dis)ability and grief. Hiranandani doesn't use labels like dyslexia, selective mutism, or cleft palate, which felt true for a kid in 1940s India, and it's a credit to her writing that she doesn't need to use labels in order to write clearly and convincingly about those experiences
Another credit to her writing is the way the plot doesn't shrink from the difficulty of Partition but also doesn't turn it into Sorrow Porn or sensationalize Nisha's experiences. The last thing this book does is Other Nisha and her family; much of the plot is very quiet. Often, during times of war, nothing much happens and life is very boring, and this book rings true when it shows the way Nisha and her brother chafe as much from being confined indoors as they do to a long march without water. Twelve year olds have their priorities, and that's pretty lovable
The Night Diary feels like a great choice to pair with heavily educational lessons on the history of India and Pakistan, how to write in a journal, and how to process grief and loss