Review of The Night Diary audiobook

The Night Diary
by Veera Hiranandani; read by Priya Ayyar
Intermediate, Middle School    Listening Library    Rev. 7/18
5 CDs    5.92 hrs.    978-0-525-53044-2    $45.00

Twelve-year-old Nisha, whose mother was Muslim and father is Hindu, begins writing a diary in the form of letters to her mother, who died when Nisha and her twin Amil were born. The time is 1947; India has been partitioned into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan; and Nisha and her family (considered Hindu) must leave their now-Muslim area and make the long journey to their new home. The perilous trip is suffused with the protagonist’s earnest attempts to understand what is happening and why. Each of her letters is its own audio track, making it easy to stop and start, and the epistolary form is appealing because many of the letters have mini-arcs of their own, with a beginning, middle, and end. Ayyar narrates the book with a crisp British Indian accent; Hiranandani reads her author’s note at the end, explaining that the fictional story is based on her father’s experience.

From the November/December 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Susan Dove Lempke
Susan Dove Lempke
Susan Dove Lempke is a Horn Book reviewer and director of the Niles Public Library District in Illinois.

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