The Marvelous Mirza Girls

HarperCollins/Quill Tree. May 2021. 400p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062845481.
Gr 9 Up–Noreen, a Pakistani American teen, is reeling from the sudden death of her beloved aunt to cancer, although it’s been months. She has to readjust to the world without Sonia Khala, and figure out what her future will look like without her aunt in her life. When her mother discloses that she has the opportunity to work in India for a few months, Noreen sees it as the perfect way to honor her aunt and visit all the places Sonia didn’t get to go. Deferring her college admission for a year, she travels to India to honor Sonia, bond with her mother, and discover herself. Along the way, she and her mother find love and community. Noreen is a strong and instantly likable character, and her quiet journey feels powerful as she struggles through understanding first love and her own family issues, with a timely interstitial about the #MeToo movement in India.
VERDICT A quiet, powerful romance recommended for fans of feminist stories like those by E.K. Johnston.

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