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KALPANA’S DREAM by Judith Clarke


by Judith Clarke

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: April 15th, 2005
ISBN: 1-932425-22-5

When Neema’s Indian great-grandmother Kalpana comes to visit her in Australia, she brings with her a dream of flying just a few inches above the ground. At the end of her flight, Kalpana thought, she would see the face of her husband who had died when he was only 20. Seventh-grader Neema dreams of Gull, the good-looking boy who seems oddly familiar, while her best friend Kate dreams of a room of her own. These dreams intersect in unexpected ways during Kalpana’s visit. At school, English teacher Ms. Dallimore, aka the bride of Dracula, has assigned an essay, “Who am I?” Like her classmates, Neema struggles to figure that out. This complex narrative is told from the point of view of various family members, friends, the teacher and even the school cleaning woman, in a way that might be confusing to readers unaccustomed to a fully omniscient narrator. Nevertheless, the humor in this intricate blend of fairy tale elements, Indian culture, school story, friendship and family tensions should carry them through to the warmly satisfying ending. (Fiction. 10-14)