The next author in my Asian American Children’s Author blog series is Veera Hiranandani, author of the middle grade novel, The Whole Story of Half a Girl. She has two books coming out today (!) in her brand new Phoebe G. Green series, Lunch Will Never Be the Same and Farm Fresh Fun.
1) Which of your characters do you most identify with and why?
Veera Hiranandani: I definitely identify with Phoebe in my new chapter book series, Phoebe G. Green. I was a bit of a young gourmet like Phoebe discovers herself to be, so that was part of the inspiration for the series. I always loved trying new foods, even foods my friends thought were gross like chicken liver, spinach, and mushrooms. I also really liked spicy foods at a young age like lamb vindaloo.
But I identify most with Sonia from The Whole Story of Half a Girl. My mother is Jewish American and my father is from India. I also grew up in a similar place as Sonia and had to change schools like Sonia, but for different reasons. Many of the social and identity issues that Sonia struggles with are very close to what I experienced back then.
2) If you could give your Asian American kid readers one piece of advice, what would it be?
VH: Well, I think this advice could apply to any young person–if you ever feel different, remember we’re all different in some way. Anything that makes you feel different is usually what will make you stronger and will probably turn out to be one of your best qualities.
3) Who is your favorite Asian American children’s author right now (other than yourself)?
VH: I have many favorites, but Mitali Perkins is at the top of the list. I also love Sheela Chari and Uma Krishnaswami. I’m a big fan of Jhumpa Lahiri, but she’s an adult author. Something to look forward too!
About the Author:
Veera Hiranandani is the author of several works for children including the novel, The Whole Story of Half a Girl (Delacorte Press), which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a South Asian Book Award Finalist. She is also the author of the new chapter book series, Phoebe G. Green (Grosset & Dunlap). She received her MFA in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College. A former book editor at Simon & Schuster and Montessori teacher, Veera is now focused on writing, teaching, and family life. You can learn more about Veera at www.veerahiranandani.com.