Acclaimed author Shanthi Sekaran delivers a powerful story about grief, family, dance, and friendship that follows a young girl who accidentally travels back in time to meet her dad as a child that will change her life forever. Perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish and The Ethan I Was Before. A Junior Library Guild Selection!
When Boomi’s dad dies of Covid, the rest of her life topples like a row of dominoes. First her best friend, Bebe, stops talking to her. Then she gets kicked out of her ballet academy. Her mom becomes hyper focused on her weight. Her grandmother sinks further into the shadows of her mind.
Then Boomi is given one last gift from her dad: his old boombox. Inside it, she finds a mix tape and a note: You can change your life. When she presses play on the boombox, her life really does change: she’s magically transported to Thumpton-on-Soar, England, 1986. And her dad’s there!
But he doesn’t know he’s her dad—he’s twelve, just like Boomi. Boomi starts to see what being twelve was like for her dad, growing up Indian in a town that wanted to silence people like him. She starts to understand why he never went back. But why is Boomi sent back to Thumpton? Is she supposed to save her dad? Or change her life?
Shanthi Sekaran is a novelist and television writer who lives in Berkeley, California. Lucky Boy, her most recent book for adults, came out in 2017. The Samosa Rebellion is her first middle grade book. When she’s not writing, she plays soccer and the ukulele. She has two kids and a cat named Frog.
"Boomi’s strong, distinctive narrative voice will sweep readers into her world, and her nuanced relations with a truly colorful supporting cast enhances her tale’s humor and emotional resonance." — Booklist (starred review)
"Sensitively captures the isolation of COVID-19 and loss of a parent. Boomi is a relatable, self-aware character readers will be rooting for as she navigates myriad social, familial and personal issues in both time periods. Highly recommended." — School Library Journal (starred review)
"A warm and empowering story."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Sekaran’s well-crafted prose, sharp sense of humor, and knack for building suspense will keep readers interested until the surprising, time-bending conclusion." — Horn Book Magazine
Praise for The Samosa Rebellion: “Sekaran explains systemic racism and the dangers of demagoguery in clear and age-appropriate ways with evocative prose. Breathtakingly memorable.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Sekaran’s world-building is compelling and distinctive, never overtaken by the story’s clear message about intolerance. The character names (the president answers to ‘Bambi’; Tinley’s dad is ‘Doggy’) bring a touch of the ridiculous to the book’s otherwise sober exploration of prejudice and authoritarianism; and Muki’s vivid enthusiasm makes him a compelling protagonist.” — Horn Book Magazine
“An effective novel-length parable that tracks how microaggressions mask, and then escalate into, political policy and how the fortunes of legal residents can turn on a dime... A useful reading prompt for classroom discussion.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The Samosa Rebellion is a fascinating journey which seamlessly makes inventive parallels to our current issues of immigration, racism, classism, and xenophobia. A thought-provoking, fast-paced, and heartfelt adventure!” — Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor–winning author of The Night Diary
"Sharp, incisive, and layered, The Samosa Rebellion is a deftly written, lovingly realized novel that is at once a page-turner and a call to action. Sekaran’s characters are warm and passionate and impossible not to root for, and their story is urgent and nuanced and relentlessly readable.” — Corey Ann Haydu, acclaimed author of One Jar of Magic
“The Samosa Rebellion is an extraordinary, thoroughly engrossing read. Warm and charming in its exploration of family and friendship, it’s also sharp and clear-eyed in its depiction of a country’s frightening slide toward an anti-immigrant nationalism.” — Trenton Lee Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of the Mysterious Benedict Society series
“A strong commentary on the anti-immigrant sentiment prevalent in our own country.” — Booklist (starred review)