The Partition Project
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.
Praise for The Partition Project
"Replete with food-related memories, heart-wrenching stories, and warm tales of friendship, this is a riveting read. Maha confronts her own prejudices about the value of stories and what constitutes newsworthiness. In the process, she personally unravels her history and heritage (in ways that resonate with her American classmates who are also made to feel that they look like they’re “‘from somewhere else’”) and forges a new understanding of herself and her relationships. Powerful and timely." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"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. A heartwarming exploration of history through personal stories perfect for middle grade readers." — School Library Journal (starred review)
"A fast-paced page-turner of a novel." — Booklist
"In this vivid rendering of how growing cultural awareness and identity exploration can shape one’s adolescence, Faruqi presents an empowering story of family that will bolster tweens negotiating blended identities." — Publishers Weekly
"Readers are rewarded with a deeply immersive and moving story as Maha experiences a shift in understanding of her hyphenated identities and connects her family’s history to other immigrant experiences." — Horn Book Magazine
"Maha’s conflicts with friends, a nascent crush and Dadi’s brief disappearance are swiftly resolved. But it’s Rafia Raheem’s journey that will keep readers riveted. Transcripts of Maha’s raw footage punctuate the text, their tone in stark contrast to Maha’s first-person, contemporary narrative. These interludes are full of love, pathos and unforgettable memories." — New York Times