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MAYA RUNNING by Anjali Banerjee


by Anjali Banerjee

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 2005
ISBN: 0-385-74656-3
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

“I’m not sure what I’m made for, and I’m not sure how Indian leftovers got into my lunch box.” Though born in India, Maya has grown up in Manitoba, and loves its landscapes and its snow. She’s the only non-white person at her middle school, which seems to get her pegged for anything “exotic,” and yet she’s also clearly not Indian enough for her relatives. She makes a desperate plea to a statue of Ganesh, who turns the tables on Maya’s world, changing her and her family and friends to what in her imagination should be perfect. Realizing what a nightmare her “perfect” world is, Maya goes on the run to track down Ganesh and get things back to normal. This otherwise engaging first novel takes quite a turn half-way through as it departs into fantasy, which is awkwardly resolved. Most readers will hold on for the ride and will at least enjoy Maya’s humorous voice and her familiar situation of being different. (Fiction. 10-14)