Book: Chloe in India (2014)
Author: Kate Darnton
Genre: MG, Contemporary
Basic plot: Chloe and her family have moved from their home in Boston to the subcontinent of India. As Chloe attends school, she tries to impress Anvi and Prisha. And then there’s Lakshmi, a girl who is pretty much an outcast at school. While Chloe becomes friends with outside of school, at school they remain apart, until they decide to audition for a traditional dance. Now Chloe must figure out if she really wants to remain friends with Lakshmi, or continue to try to impress Anvi.
1) I loved reading about Chloe’s experience of living in such a different part of the world from where she grew up. Kate Darnton was able to bring Delhi, India alive for the reader. I love experiencing Chloe’s discoveries (like Humayun’s Tomb), especially with how she begins to open her eyes and embrace these experiences.
2) The struggle to be accepted by the “ruling cliques” at school is so important to kids. At times I wanted to yell at Chloe to get her priorities straight! And yet, it’s not like Anvi was pure evil. She’s a complicated character. And this book shows the complications very nicely.
3) I loved how the relationship with Anna (Chloe’s older sister) develops, especially at the end of the book.
4) There’s something about origami that is appealing. In the book, Chloe teaches Lakshmi how to fold cranes (after reading a book about a girl who wanted to fold 1000 cranes).
5) The climax with the dance is definitely a fun sequence in this book. Everything comes together in these last scenes, including the fact that the mom is an investigative reporter!
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) The language in this book gets a little PG-13 in places. Not something I usually expect in a middle-grade book! And I don’t think it was really necessary to the story. I think it was to show how the mom’s hard-nose investigative reporter or something. But, storywise, it wasn’t needed in my opinion. And to be honest, it was a turnoff for me…
I completely enjoyed reading about Chloe in India! It’s a story about complicated friendships and finding out who your friends really are.
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…