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2018 South Asian Book Releases

KitaabWorld Favorites New releases

Ask and ye shall receive. 2018 promises to be a bumper year for multicultural diverse books. Here is a list of books that we are most excited to hold, see and of course, read!

Board Books

Holi Colors: Holi is the festival of colors that both young and old look forward to! This book combines a rainbow of colors through photographs and rhyme to showcase the fun and frolic of Holi. 

Ramadan (Celebrate the World): A new board-book series that highlights celebrations from the world over. This one showcases Ramadan traditions from around the world in lively illustrations. 

Picture Books

Always Anjali: Excited about getting the bike of her dreams, Anjali and her pals want to get matching license plates. But when Anjali doesn't find her name among the Amys and Bettys she demands to change her name. Her parents refuse so what is Anjali to do? And how does she learn to value her name and herself?

Bhimrao Ambedkar: The Boy Who Asked WhyA real life hero who wanted to change the world. Amdedkar began to question the inequalities he saw around him at an early age which inspired him to work to change the laws and uplift the Dalit community in India. A great picture book biography for classroom discussions!

Crescent Moon and Pointed Minarets Gorgeous illustrations make the pictures spring to life in this book on shapes. By highlighting shapes in ordinary objects, the book wonderfully meshes faith in the everyday. 

Festival of ColorsA world full of color and the excitement in the lead up to Holi with two friends gathering flowers to make powdered dyes for Holi. A playful and colorful take on Holi, family and friends. 

Iqbal and his Ingenious IdeaIqbal worries about his mother and baby sister's health from the indoor fire they use for cooking in their home in Bangladesh. With the inspired idea to create a smokeless stove, Iqbal gets to work, but will he come up with a good enough idea to wow the judges at the school science fair?

Little Sid: The Tiny Prince Who Became the BuddhaLittle Prince Siddhartha had everything at his beck and call, and then he asked for happiness. Looking to discover happiness himself, he sets off on a journey and encounters a cast of characters all of whom lead him to find the truth within himself. 

Room In Your HeartA charming tale about a heart-warming hospitality tradition from Bhutan. People keep coming to an old woman's house looking for food and shelter, but can she makes room in her home to accommodate everyone?

The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, A Changing India and a Hidden World of ArtA secret garden built from odds and ends. Nek Chand created a beautiful rock garden using broken glass, river rocks and cracked pots and turned cast offs into a thing of beauty. But can his secret rock garden be saved from the people who want to destroy it? 

Water: A beautifully illustrated story inspired from a Gond fable about water. Water is essential for both the villages and cities, the rich and poor, but whose needs can take precedence over the other? How can we all respect Mother Earth and take only what's due from her? 

Middle Grade Books

Aru Shah and the End of Time: Aru Shah's tendency to tell tall tales lands in her in tailspin adventure! Spending her autumn break at home and in the corridors of her mother's office at the Museum of Ancient Indian culture, she unwittingly lights a cursed lamp,  freezes her friends and mother in time and now she must save them! Combining ancient legend and Hindu mythology, this one is a must read!


Ramayana: An Illustrated RetellingOne of India's most famous epic is retold as in this beautifully illustrated book. Prince Rama is exiled to the forest with his wife, where Sita is abducted by the ten-headed demon Ravana. Can Rama  fight to win her back?  

Ramadan: The Holy Month of Fasting This book looks at Ramadan traditions from around the world. By focusing on spiritual growth and positive  actions throughout the month, Muslims all over the world try to better themselves. Personal stories and beautiful pictures enliven our learning about Ramadan. 

The Night Diary: This much awaited book examines the scars of the Partition of the South Asian subcontinent. This story of a young girl who must leave her home for a new land, is poignant yet hopeful. Through the difficult journey, Nisha comes to an understanding of herself and hopes for a better future. 

See our collection of books on Partition here

The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala & the Kingdom Beyond)Kiranmala learns that she is a demon slayer in the most unconventional way possible! She is quickly swept away into another world of princes, moving maps, winged horses while solving riddles and battling demons to find her parents. A thrilling adventure into the underworld and its repercussions in our own. 

The Sky At Our FeetJason learns a secret  than makes him fear for his mother. As an illegal alien, his Afghan mother is at risk for deportation, and Jason's greatest fear comes true. Desperately seeking his aunt in New York, a series of mishaps lands him in the hospital. With a newly minted friend, they make a daring escape but how long can they run? Nadia Hashimi's affecting story reflects immigrant realities of today. 

Young Adult Novels

Tales of India An exquisite collection of folktales from India that encompass everything from the whimsical to the magical. These traditional stories of wit and wisdom, shape-shifting tigers and powerful demons come alive with plot twists and detailed illustrations. 

A Girl Like That: A heartbreaking tale about a Parsi teenager in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The unconventional beginning story and the unveiling of intertwined lives of teenagers in Saudi Arabia is an honest account of all the pains and pleasures of growing up. 

A Reaper at the Gates The tension in this third book in the Ember series by Sabaa Tahir, is electric with the threat of war.  The main protagonists are all fighting elements of darkness and betrayal. Helene feels trapped, the Emperor is haunted by his own madness, Laia seeks to hunt the Nightbringer while Elias finds himself in between the land of the living and dead. What does all this portend of the Empire? We are itching to find out! 

DamselflyA group of teenagers are the only survivors of the plane crash as they were making their way back from a fencing tournament. With the passing days, they oscillate between hope and despair. They need to survive both the jungle and themselves. Inspired from the Lord of the Flies, this novel has the feel of a thriller! Not to be missed!

From Twinkle With Love: Twinkle Mehra is all over the opportunity to co-direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival. Also it doesn't hurt that this gives her the chance to interact with her longtime crush. Fate, as they say has other plans and she finds herself being irresistibly drawn to her fellow director. A light, breezy romantic comedy with all the makings of a Bollywood film!

Love, Hate and Other Filters: A brave book that takes on the issues of Islamophobia and how the political as well as society's biases impact the personal. Maya Aziz is torn between trying to appease her parents wishes with her own aspirations. A crime hundreds of miles away shakes the foundations of her life, and forces her to forge her own path. 

Mariam Sharma Hits the Road:  Road trip books always make for a fun read! Mariam, Ghazala and Umar take a trip from New York to New Orleans. They end up learning a lot more about each other! 

My So-Called Bollywood Life: Winnie Mehta believes in what's written in the stars. She takes the pandit's words about finding the love of her life to heart but when her boyfriend isn't quite as faithful, her script veers off course. Buoyed by her friends, family and one special fellow film geek, Winnie manage to have more than a happily ever after! 

Also see our favorite books from 2017

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