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Fans of Sandhya Menon, Erika Sanchez and Jandy Nelson will identify with this luminous story of a young artist grappling with first love, family boundaries and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship.
Rani Kelkar has never lied to her parents, until she meets Oliver. The same qualities that draw her in--his tattoos, his charisma, his passion for art--make him her mother's worst nightmare.
They begin dating in secret, but when Oliver's troubled home life unravels, he starts to ask more of Rani than she knows how to give, desperately trying to fit into her world, no matter how high the cost. When a twist of fate leads Rani from Evanston, Illinois to Pune, India for a summer, she has a reckoning with herself--and what's really brewing beneath the surface of her first love.
Winner of SCBWI's Emerging Voices award, Anuradha D. Rajurkar takes an honest look at the ways cultures can clash in an interracial relationship. Braiding together themes of sexuality, artistic expression, and appropriation, she gives voice to a girl claiming ownership of her identity, one shattered stereotype at a time.
"A brave, beautiful exploration of identity--those thrust upon us, and those we forge for ourselves." --Elana K. Arnold, award-winning author of What Girls Are Made Of
About the Author
ANURADHA D. RAJURKAR is a teacher by day and a YA writer by night, who holds two degrees from Northwestern University. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband and two sons. American Betiya is her first novel.
Follow her on Twitter @ADRajurkar1
"Laced with poetic and rich writing, American Betiya candidly captures the heartbreaking impetuousness of that all-consuming first love, the tightrope we walk as we seek to navigate cultural tensions, and, most importantly, the risks we must take to spread our wings and find ourselves.” - Gae Polisner, author of The Memory of Things
“I was immediately captivated by Rani’s unique voice, and her raw sincerity kept me hooked through every step of her journey. This book is overflowing with honesty, and stunningly beautiful.” – Akemi Dawn Bowman, award-winning author of Starfish
“American Betiya is a brave, beautiful exploration of identity—those thrust upon us, and those we forge for ourselves.” —Elana K. Arnold, award-winning author of What Girls Are Made Of
"American Betiya thoughtfully examines cross-cultural boundaries, first love, the first steps of independence from family, and the power of art to transform and heal. I loved Rani's fierce, heartfelt, and beautifully told journey." —Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces