(NOTE: As my schedule grows busier, I won't be able to post much, but please enjoy my past posts. I have years full of entries here chronicling my writing journey starting from my first published book, The Whole Story of Half a Girl! Signing off for now...)
I'm beyond thrilled to announce that among other amazing accolades, including a Walter Dean Myers Honor Award, and The Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children's Literature, The Night Diary, won a 2019 Newbery Honor! Here's my Facebook post that I wrote after I got "the call." I will never forget the morning of January 28, 2019.
"The Night Diary was awarded a Newbery Honor today. I'm so grateful and amazed. When I started writing this book, I wondered if readers, especially young readers in the US, would be interested in a story about the 1947 Partition of India. I struggled with how best to tell this story. I deeply explored and asked hard questions about my own Indian identity, my mixed background, and wondered many times if I could, or if I should attempt it. But my father's story, my aunts and uncles' stories, my grandparents' story, and all the stories I discovered in my research, moved me, inspired me, and kept me going. I wasn't sure if I was a brave enough or a good enough writer to do it justice, to honor all those who survived partition and those who did not, and to pursue my own questions.
I also grew up a reader. I've read many Newbery award winning and honor winning books, running my fingers over the shiny stickers. Now these two things things are joined. I really can't believe it. But I'm so proud, happy, and also completely stunned. I'm thankful to my dad for sharing his story with me, and my mom, because she's always been there for me, and my whole family, friends (Sarah Hinawi gets a special mention for those brownies this morning!), crit partners Sheela Chari, Sayantani DasGupta, and Heather Tomlinson and my ever supportive hubby David Beinstein, who is, at this very moment, taking my car in to get fixed and to my amazing agent Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties, who always believed in this story and to my brilliant editor Namrata Tripathi at Penguin/Kokila who helped me be brave (because she is one of the bravest people I know) and made the book better. You may not have wanted a whole speech, but I can't help it! It's an emotional day! A huge congrats to winner Meg Medina and fellow honor winner Catherine Gilbert Murdock! Forever thankful to the Newbery Committee! Now, popping open the champagne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
And if you'd like to read more about how I felt on the winning day, check out Mr. Schu's interview: