The Whole Story of Half a Girl
Every once in a while we do something a little different at HTE. Today we have a book giveaway about a book that’s been making news for its great reviews … and a chance for you to interview the author!
The book is called The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani (pronounced: Hee-ra-nan-dan-ee) and it’s great summer reading.
It’s about a half-Jewish, half-Indian middle school student named Sonia who is dealing with all the normal things a middle-schooler does. But when her father loses his job and she has to transfer from a private school to a public school –her life gets a whole lot more complicated. Her family situation gets tougher, she has to adapt to a new school, and she has to figure out who her real friends are. That’s a lot to deal with all at once! And as all of these situations are in flux, she has to find out who she is and where she fits in … fast.
It’s a beautifully written book. Kirkus Reviews calls her “a Judy Blume for this generation.” That’s a huge compliment!
The Whole Story of Half a Girl is geared toward 9 – 12 year olds.
HTE has 5 (five) books to give away, autographed especially for you by Veera! They’ll go to the first five people who email HTE (though it’ll take us a few days to confirm with you). We’ll happily mail it to you anywhere in the world.
If you’re under 13 years old, you must have your parent or caregiver send us your information on your behalf. Please don’t submit your private information (full name and address) in the comment box below. An adult can send that on your behalf to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, even if you haven’t read the book but have questions for Veera, about the book or writing or something about the story that connects with you, please feel free to submit those in the comment box below! She’s looking forward to taking your questions!
HTE started it off with 3 questions for Veera:
HTE: What made you want to write this book?
Veera: One of the reasons I wanted to write this book was because when I was Sonia’s age (the main character of the book), reading was so important to me. Whenever I felt lonely or just wanted to be somewhere else, I could go on a journey with a book. The characters would inspire me or just make me feel like I wasn’t the only person in the world feeling what I was feeling. I wanted to write a story about someone who felt different in the particular way I did growing up, but I also wanted to write it for anyone who feels different. Hopefully the reader would feel less alone and maybe even be inspired to accept and celebrate what makes us unique.
HTE: How much of this story is about events in your own life?
Veera: Sonia is very similar to what I was like when I was that age. I have a Jewish American mother and an Indian father and often felt confused about my identity growing up. I also switched schools like Sonia did in the book, but for different reasons. My father did not go through what Sonia’s father did. Sonia’s sister, mother, and friends are also made up characters, but there are many details that are true to my life, like what people wore, what things looked like, or habits that certain characters had, and certainly how Sonia felt much of the time.
HTE: What advice would you give to kids who might want to write stories?
Veera: If you like to write stories and want to become good at writing, the best advice I can give you is to keep writing and read a lot. Grammar and spelling are important to know, but for your first draft, don’t think about those things so much. Just let your mind flow and get it all down on the page. Then you can go back and edit your work. I wrote seriously for twenty years before I published a novel, but I never gave up. I did many other things, but I was always writing. I write because I love to do it. With every story I write, and every book I read, I learn something new about writing.