A few days ago I saw Book Love's new post about The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani. I refused to let myself read her review since I still had the book sitting in my library stack but I did get the general idea that Katie totally loved this book. I would also agree. I love realistic fiction for middle grade and I loved the exploration Sonia goes through as she tries to determine who she is.
As half Jewish American and half Indian, Sonia is encountering the public school system for the first time. She had attended a private school, but after her father loses his job she and her sister are forced from their insular world into public school. Sonia begins to notice the way she is different from her peers. She isn't sure exactly where she fits in and goes between the popular crowd and trying out for cheerleading and another friend who is not part of the "in" crowd.
Aside from friendship issues, Sonia is also dealing with a father who is being treated for depression and is out of work.
Hiranandani does a good job of portraying Sonia realistically, allowing her to think and act like a true tween. I might not be quite as in love with this as Katie at Book Love, but I can't think of anything that I would change about this novel, either. For my oldest daughter who gravitates toward realistic fiction, The Whole Story of Half a Girl is one she will fall in love with. I have many readers in whose hands I can place this book.