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THIRST by Varsha Bajaj


by Varsha Bajaj

Pub Date: July 19th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-35439-1
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

A girl from a Mumbai slum defends the right to water.

Minni may only be 12, but she’s already well aware of how water issues in her neighborhood affect the health and safety of the people around her. While her brother, Sanjay, left school after 10th grade in order to work in a restaurant, Minni dreams of finishing school and getting a good job. But when Minni, Sanjay, and two of their friends witness water being stolen from their community, their families are terrified that the thieves will retaliate against the children. After Minni’s mother comes down with an illness that leaves her unable to go to work as a servant in one of the city’s high-rise buildings, she suggests Minni take her place while she recovers. Minni is thrust into a world of wealth and privilege and develops an uneasy friendship with the daughter of the house. It comes as a shock when she discovers the source of the water thefts is closer than she could have imagined. In this poignant, relatable work, Bajaj expertly depicts class and wealth differences; Minni’s worries for her mother and anger at the injustices inflicted on her community are especially moving.

A valiant call for justice.

(author's note) (Realistic fiction. 8-12)