By Naveeya, Age 10
The book that makes me finally feel seen is American As Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar. The book is about a shy Indian-American girl named Lehka, who is the only Desi girl in her town. She feels embarrassed by her culture outside and thinks of herself as having two sides, home Lehka and school Lehka. One loves her culture’s food and dances, and the other is always hiding it and not showing the world who she is. She soon gets stuck in a world of Bollywood and singing. Until she can embrace her culture, she is stuck in this twisted reality. This book makes me feel seen because I identify as Indian-American, and this book shows me that I am not alone because though I have met people like me, it felt different to read a book about people like me. Reading this book, I felt heard because that was the first book I had ever read about an Indian/Indian-American girl and I felt overjoyed to read this for the first time around a year ago. Books are like clay, they are all similar until you make them different, that’s why American As Paneer Pie made me feel seen.