Synopses & Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Samarand#8212;aka Samand#8212;is an Indian American teenager whose mom has kept her away from her old-fashioned family. Itand#8217;s never bothered Sam, who is busy with school, friends, and a demanding boyfriend. But things change after 9/11. A guy in a turban shows up at Samand#8217;s houseand#8212;and turns out to be her uncle. He wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage. She is eager to learn, but when boys attack her uncle, shouting "Go home Osama!" Sam realizes she could be in dangerand#8212;and just how dangerous ignorance is.
"An important book for young people about coming to terms with identity, prejudice, and family in a post-9/11 world. A touching portrait of a strong-willed daughter and her rebellious mother." -- Marina Budhos, author of andlt;iandgt;Ask Me No Questionsandlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;Tell Us We're Homeandlt;/iandgt;
"Everyone -- teens and adults alike -- should read this wise, warm story of family, friendship, tolerance, and finding out who you really are." -- Anjali Banerjee, author of andlt;iandgt;Maya Runningandlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;Looking for Bapuandlt;/iandgt;
"Neesha Meminger writes with honesty, a big heart, and bold humor. I laughed, cried, learned, and related." -- Tanuja Desai Hidier, author of andlt;iandgt;Born Confusedandlt;/iandgt;
"I want to give this novel to every teen on the hunt for the unvarnished truth about her own story." -- Mitali Perkins, author of andlt;iandgt;Secret Keeperandlt;/iandgt;
In Shine, Coconut Moon, Neesha Meminger explores a girl's search for her identity and the ugliness of prejudice.
Seventeen-year-old Samar -- a.k.a. Sam -- has never known much about her Indian heritage. Her mom has deliberately kept Sam away from her old-fashioned family. It's never bothered Sam, who is busy with school, friends, and a really cute but demanding boyfriend.
But things change after 9/11. A guy in a turban shows up at Sam's house, and he turns out to be her uncle. He wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage. Sam isn't sure what to do, until a girl at school calls her a coconut -- brown on the outside, white on the inside. That decides it: Why shouldn't Sam get to know her family? What is her mom so afraid of? Then some boys attack her uncle, shouting, "Go back home, Osama!" and Sam realizes she could be in danger -- and also discovers how dangerous ignorance can be. Sam will need all her smarts and savvy to try to bridge two worlds and make them both her own.
In the days and weeks following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Samar, who is of Punjabi heritage but has been raised with no knowledge of her past by her single mother, wants to learn about her family's history and to get in touch with the grandparents her mother shuns.
About the Author
Neesha Meminger was born in Punjab, India, at the tail end of the 1960s, and grew up in Toronto, Canada. She currently lives in New York City, where she and her husband spend most days being ignored by a seven-year-old Leo and a four-year-old Aries. This is her first novel. Visit Neesha's website atneeshameminger.com.