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LOOKING FOR BAPU by Anjali Banerjee


by Anjali Banerjee

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 2006
ISBN: 0-385-74657-1
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Anu has always shared his Indian heritage and Hindu religion with his grandfather, Bapu. When Bapu suddenly dies of a massive stroke, eight-year-old Anu has difficulty coping with both his guilt for not reaching help in time and his grief over his loss. Sensing the presence of Bapu’s spirit, Anu is determined to find a way to bring him back through a variety of plans that include superstitious and magical elements with vaguely amusing outcomes. With the help of two friends, Anu first tries to become as devout as a sadhu, shaving his head to become holy. The first-person narrative, told in a much older voice, laces in and out of religious explanations of Indian gods and beliefs as Anu refuses to accept the finality of death. Learning of a magic shop on the island that holds the Mystery Museum, he and his friends visit the great magician Karnak who, Anu believes, will restore Bapu to life. Anu’s father finally steps in to provide comfort and understanding through some realistic quality time, bringing closure to this child’s perception of death by fostering a new beginning with memories of Bapu. A bit drawn out, slightly mysterious and somewhat moving for patient readers. (Fiction. 10-12)