In this juvenile novel loosely based on the author’s family history, 12-year-old Nisha and her family are displaced in 1947 when India is freed from British rule. In order to deal with tensions between religious groups, the country is partitioned into two nations—Pakistan for Muslims and the new India for Hindus, Sikhs, and other religious groups.
Nisha is the child of a Hindu father; her Muslim mother died when giving birth to Nisha and her twin brother. As Nisha and her family flee to the new India, they conceal their mixed religious heritage because it could result in their deaths.
In a diary she received from their Muslim cook, Nisha writes letters to her deceased mother, chronicling the dangers and hardships, as well as the atrocities they witness on their journey—a time of “in-between living.”
In The Night Diary, readers will meet a character with a deep longing for peace, with insights into the common humanity of all people and religious groups, and with a desire to overcome her personal limitations. Ages 8 and up. (Dial Books)