Written by Kate Darnton
This is a new-kid-in-class story with more than a couple of twists. The main character, one of the new kids, is an American girl in a Delhi, India school. Trying to fit into class five as only one of two blondes in the entire school, Chloe is confused by the somewhat subtle caste system still present in India. The Indian students are equally confused by her. Even her name is different. To Indian ears, Chloe sounds like chhole, a chickpea dish in Hindi. Chloe wants to be friends with the most popular girls but finds she has more in common with the EWS (economically weaker section) girl, Lakshmi. Lakshmi is not only a good and loyal friend but is clever and talented in ways Chloe can only guess at. On the other hand, the rich girl, Anvi, is jealous and vindictive. Chloe cannot quite bring herself to make her friendship with Lakshmi public, which causes bad feelings on many sides. Naturally, Chloe and Lakshmi to find a way
Fourth graders and up will get a chance to learn an awful lot about living in India and will learn a few words of Hindi along the way. This fascinating book has a lot to say about interpersonal relations as well as the effect social pressure has on lives. For this reason and for pure fun, we highly recommend it.