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Saadia Faruqi’s “The Partition Project” Tackles a Tough Topic for Middle Graders
The book tackles the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan, a topic that is beginning to carve out its own space in the children’s literature sphere.
Saadia Faruqi, author of a range of books for children, is publishing a partition story for middle graders this February. “The Partition Project” is a contemporary story about Pakistani American middle schooler Maha who connects with her grandmother about her childhood through a journalism project.
The book tackles the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan, a topic that is beginning to carve out its own space in the children’s literature sphere. It received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews. School Library Journal called “The Partition Project” a “heartwarming exploration of history through personal stories,” saying “readers will discover along with Maha how our separate histories connect to our shared future, and the importance of archiving and protecting the personal stories of collective moments."
You can read our interview with Saadia Faruqi about her work and her journey as an author here.
In this engaging and moving middle grade novel, Saadia Faruqi writes about a contemporary Pakistani American girl whose passion for journalism starts a conversation about her grandmother’s experience of the Partition of India and Pakistan — and the bond that the two form as she helps Dadi tell her story.
When her grandmother comes off the airplane in Houston from Pakistan, Mahnoor knows that having Dadi move in is going to disrupt everything about her life. She doesn’t have time to be Dadi’s unofficial babysitter — her journalism teacher has announced that their big assignment will be to film a documentary, which feels more like storytelling than what Maha would call “journalism.”
As Dadi starts to settle into life in Houston and Maha scrambles for a subject for her documentary, the two of them start talking. About Dadi’s childhood in northern India — and about the Partition that forced her to leave her home and relocate to the newly created Pakistan.
As details of Dadi’s life are revealed, Dadi’s personal story feels a lot more like the breaking news that Maha loves so much. And before she knows it, she has the subject of her documentary.
Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American author and interfaith activist. She writes the popular children’s early reader series “Yasmin” and other books for children, including chapter books, graphic novels and picture books. Her middle grade novels include “A Place At The Table” co-written with Laura Shovan (a Sydney Taylor Notable 2021), "A Thousand Questions" (a South Asia Book Award Honor 2021) and "Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero." Faruqi is editor-in-chief of Blue Minaret, a magazine for Muslim art, poetry and prose, and was featured in Oprah Magazine in 2017 as a woman making a difference in her community. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and children (via Faruqi’s website).
“The Partition Project” will be out Feb. 27, 2024 from Quill Tree Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. Preorder your copy at the link below.