The Door Is Open: Stories of Celebration and Community by 11 Desi Voices

Little, Brown. Apr. 2024. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316450638.
Gr 3-7–Maple Grove Community Center: it’s rough around the edges, in desperate need of renovation, and is a hub of activity for the South Asian community of Maple Grove, NJ. It’s where Chaya wins her first chess tournament, and where Maha finally apologizes to her cousins at her aunt’s mehndi ceremony. It’s where Chen flashes a smile at Steven for the seventh time, and Jeevan learns that even though he never wants to eat it, he loves to make sabji. For so many, Maple Grove Community Center has become home. Lately, it’s also become the target for anti-Asian sentiments brewing in town—but the kids of Maple Grove aren’t going to let racism win. They plan to let the town know, once and for all, that they belong here. What begins as a sweet constellation of stories orbiting around a shared community center quickly develops into a fiercely proud, unflinching look at anti-immigrant, anti-Asian vitriol through the lens of South Asian American kids growing up in New Jersey. Midway through the anthology, readers will begin recognizing characters as they appear in other stories, and by the end, they will have laughed, cried, cringed, and celebrated their way into adopting Maple Grove Community Center as a home to them, too, ready to fight for its continued existence.
VERDICT A monumental achievement and exquisite testament to the power of collaboration and community, this novel moves beyond the reality of diversity into the necessity of it.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing