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Keeping Corner

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,331 Ratings  ·  253 Reviews
"As in Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet (Hyperion, 2006), Sheth provides a first-person narrative with a strong protagonist and rich sense of place, with the added bonus of an unusual historical perspective," School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Pretty as a peacock, twelve-year-old Leela has been spoiled all her life. She doesn't care for school and barely marks the growing unrest
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Disney-Hyperion
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(showing 1-30 of 2,937)
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May 13, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Amanda
I picked this book up looking for a glimpse into the Indian caste system. It was in the YA section of my library which I believe is incorrect. If this is a YA book, it is a young YA book as it reads more like an older child's book. However, none of that really matters because it was an excellent choice for my first learn-about-the-caste-system book. There is an nice look at the Brahmin caste. The story starts with Leela as a pre-teen engaged to be married to Ramanlal a boy she likes very much. A ...more
Jun 23, 2009 Stephany rated it really liked it
This book is about a girl named Leela who is living in Ghandi-era India. When Leela's husband dies, she is subjected to live the life of a widow, having to shave her head and "keep corner" in her house for a full year, even though she only is 12. Leela learns to appreciate the world around her and find the good in bad situations during her year of keeping corner, and she finds that sometimes tradtion needs to be broken so that new ideas can improve life.
"Keeping Corner" tells the story of a child widow in India in Ghandis' time.

Kashmira Sheth is brilliant in writing the point of view of a rather young person - her protagonist and storyteller Leela is not even 13, and yet the story feels real. No difficult words, no overlong sentences, and as a bonus for non-Indian readers short explanations of customs and traditions that go naturally with the text.

The story itself is about Leela's year of mourning - called keeping corner - after the death of
Anna Ganey
Sep 12, 2014 Anna Ganey rated it it was ok
The concept of the book was fascinating, and I wish we could have heard stories from other widows. I found the multiple Hindu words per page slightly annoying. I get it, it's about Indian culture, but it was disruptive to constantly be looking and back and forth from the glossary. As others have said, it is a slow book, but I enjoyed being inside Leela's head during this time. My favorite line in the book was: I wanted to ask Ba why sometimes I was treated like a child and other times I was expe ...more
Apr 15, 2010 Kim rated it really liked it
Keeping Corner is the story of a young girl in India who is betrothed at age 2, married at age 9, and before she goes to live with her husband (after her "anu") her husband is killed by a snake bite and she becomes a 12 year old widow. Widows in her caste are never allowed to marry again and are forced to live in the shadows of society. It is based on the life of the author's aunt and takes place in 1918. Keeping Corner is the ritual where a widow does not leave her home for a year after her hus ...more
Apr 11, 2013 Crystal rated it it was amazing
Crystal Hansen LS 583. Sheth, K. (2007). Keeping corner. New York: Hyperion Books for Children. Genre: Multicultural. Format: print book. Selected from: Cooperative Children's Book Center 30 Multicultural Books Every Teen Should Know. Highly Recommend

Keeping Corner is set in India in the early twentieth century. It is the story of a twelve-year-old girl named Leelah, who is already married per the customs of the day. She still lives with her doting parents, but is anticipating a time in the nea
Nov 03, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
I loved "Keeping Corner" by Kashmira Sheth. The only thing that kept it from getting a 5 rating was that it was a little flat emotionally. But the author really gets the voice of a twelve year old girl down pat. This is a fictional story that was inspired by the aunt’s life as a widow.

There are contrasts between Leela's life before and after she had to keep corner. Her mother, Ba loved her so much and indulged her in buying bangles and sweets more than her other relatives thought were necessary.
Pooja Dimba
Jul 12, 2009 Pooja Dimba rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cassie ♥
Sep 05, 2012 Cassie ♥ rated it really liked it
"Keeping Corner" is a historical look at the traditions and customs of India during the time of the Gandjii uprising. When the protagonist 11 year old, Leela, from an upper caste, becomes a widow she must learn to accept that she is required to stay in the house for a year and can never remarry. (Apparently, this law was changed in the early 1900's and childhood brides became illegal.) The book really challenged me to think about: our American customs, the importance of continued fighting of wom ...more
Coral Bunny
Mar 06, 2016 Coral Bunny rated it really liked it
Keeping Corner is a great book. It has dramatic parts, sad parts, and really happy parts. It hooks you into the story and makes you want to keep reading. It's also got a great story.
The main character is Leela, she lives in India with her family. She was engaged at 2, married at 9 and was supposed to have her anu at 12, where she has to leave her family and drop out of school, to go move in with her husband and his family, but her husband was suddenly bitten by a very deadly snake. Everyone wa
Nov 05, 2015 Ellie rated it liked it
Keeping Corner is a novel written by Kashmira Sheth and told in the first person by twelve year old Leela. Leela is a young girl living in a rural town in India in 1918. Her life is changed forever when her husband dies, whom she barely even knew. Leela is uneducated but soon becomes intrigued by the world around her. Sheth's story is a clear example of the theme perseverance. Leela persevered when she came upon a hardship in her life but overcame it.

In this inspiring piece of literature, I beg
Apr 08, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it
Despite a tendency to leave a little heavily on history and the book’s lessons, Keeping Corner succeeds because of a strong central narrative and an endearing protagonist.

When she’s unexpectedly widowed at age 12 (before she’s even left home to live with her husband and his family), Leela – the cossetted daughter of an Indian Brahmin family – becomes a child widow, considered unlucky and relegated to a joyless life. Leela’s story is heartbreaking, doubly so because none of what happens to her ha
Adam Donald
Leela is a twelve-year-old girl who had her life completely planned out for her. She had an arranged marriage decided at the age of two and the ceremony at nine. Her life was seemingly effortless and glorious. Unexpectedly Leela’s husband dies, leaving her alone at such a young age to perform the cultural norms of a widow. In line with traditional Indian cultures, Leela was expected to shave her head and stay inside her shunned home to mourn a man she barely knew for a year. Through her year jou ...more
Feb 22, 2008 sarafem rated it it was amazing
It's only February and I have discovered several outstanding children's books this year, I feel very lucky. This is a wonderful introduction to Indian culture (the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly), the teachings of Gandhi, and women's rights. Really an inspiration to girls to better themselves. Another one up there with Stargirl.
Mar 16, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It is about a young girl in India during some revolutionary times, with Ghandi and the war. It is a story about the struggle between tradition and change. Even though it is fiction, it really helped me learn more about Indian people and culture, a thing I know very little about. I recommend this book!
Shannon Cash
This book is about a twelve year old girl named Leela who lives in a small village in India. Her culture is all about keeping and respecting old traditions. Leela experiences these traditions by being an arranged marriage at the age of nine and is starting to prepare to move in with her husband’s family shortly. Leela is also part of a caste system in her village and her family is rather fortunate, she is used to being spoiled by her mother, which is not normal for girls during this time. After ...more
The title refers to the year-long period of mourning for widows in India. At 12, Leela is widowed when her fiance dies from a snake bite, and because of her status, she faces a lifetime of avoidance and shunning by society. But the times are changing: Gandhi is encouraging civil disobedience, or satyagraha, against the British rulers, and is promoting ideas of equality among the sexes and abolishing the caste system. Leela's tutor Saviben represents what Leela longs for: to be educated and to te ...more
Dec 04, 2009 Jumana rated it really liked it
I thought this book was very interesting because I had a chance to learn someone elses culture. I also learned a few Hindi words. But other than that the book was really good.
Sep 12, 2014 Diya rated it really liked it
This book is about Leela, an Indian girl and her life in the early 1900's. She becomes a widow at a young age and has to follow tradition and "keep corner". "To "keep corner" is when a widow stays at home for one year. She also has to shave her head and wear plain clothes. Leela learns a lot during the first year of her widowhood including learning to appreciate the little things in life. This is a great book and I highly recommend this for people who enjoy historical fiction. I really like Kash ...more
Aug 10, 2011 Littlecloud rated it really liked it
I read this book in 6th grade... I was 11, and still am. Anyway, it's pretty good!
Liza Verdon
Aug 29, 2014 Liza Verdon rated it really liked it
Shelves: junior-year
This book was an amazing glimpse into Indian culture. It was fascinating, horrifying, and amazing at the same time. It helped me more fully realize the good and bad that each country, culture, and religion have.

The incredible way they treat women as inferiors and burdens was particularly manifested in this story. It made me angry, but also sad for their lack of understanding and their fear of change in almost any form.

Overall, it was a good read. Not particularly well written, but engaging and
Jan 31, 2009 Marcia rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Subjects: child widows, women’s rights, Gandhi-era India. Historical fiction set in Gujart, India, 1918. Keeping Corner tells the story of 12-year-old Leela, engaged at age two, married at age nine, and widowed shortly before her “anu”, a ceremony performed for a bride before she goes to live with her husband and his family. During the entire year following her husband’s death, Leela will “keep corner”, a custom that will prepare Leela for her life as a widow. She is prohibited from leaving her ...more
Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth
Hyperion, 2007
272 pages
YA; Historical
3.5/5 stars

Source: Library

Read for Book Battle; I was really excited to see that this was about India and it had some cool intersections with the discussions of my class about Indian literature.

Leela is a very spoiled twelve-year old who is about to have her anu, the ceremony that will have her go live with her husband and his family. Before that can happen though, he dies, making her a child-widow who must remain inside for a
Dec 28, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 20, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2010, ls583
Keeping Corner is about a young girl, Leela, who lives in India in the 1940’s. Leela’s family arranged her marriage; she was engaged when she was two and married when she was nine. This was not uncommon in this culture and she is not expected to move in with her husband until she is 13. Anyway, in the story, Leela is now 12 and she is actually quite happy with her marriage, surprisingly enough. She likes her mother in law and has a cute, young husband. She is not overly distressed about leaving ...more
Leela is 13 years old. She is the darling of her high social class (Brahmin) family. She was engaged at the age of two and married at nine. She will soon be moving in with her husband and his family to begin her married life. But fate takes a hand when Ramanlal, her husband, is bitten by a snake and dies. Leela must now adhere to strict Brahmin traditions and "keep corner" for an entire calendar year. She must keep her head shaved, is only allowed to wear one particular outfit in brown, cannot w ...more
Aug 15, 2010 Melisa rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It's very easy to read and perhaps unrealistic, but I still found it compelling. I read an article criticizing the author's participation in defining the "new Indian girl" from a western feminist point of view, especially 2nd wave pov which all but ignores the lower and/or uneducated classes. I can appreciate what the article claims -- that the success of the protagonist depended on her place in the brahman class, so what if she had been a widow in the lower class? Well ...more
May 12, 2009 Clay rated it really liked it
Twelve-year-old Leela (engaged at two, married at nine) becomes a widow when her husband dies from snakebite on their eve of their formal wedding ceremony. Her head is shaved and she is forced to wear a chidri, a widow's sari. For one year, she must "keep corner". She cannot leave her parent's home or go to school. Thereafter, she may come and go but is subject to ostracism, harassment, and rape. She is forever forbidden to wear jewelry or anything other than the plain, brown sari. She may never ...more
May 27, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
A few weeks ago I read Keeping Corner by Rashmira Sheth. It's the story of Leela, a widow, who has to shave her head and give up her bangles according to Indian custom. She must stay in her house for one year and mourn. She is encouraged to learn all she can and is taught by Saviben. She is also helped by her brother and cousin, Jaya, and Shani. Leela struggles to break free from her life as a widow forever, but accepts it for the year. It is a year where she learns much about herself and what s ...more
James Carmichael
Jun 27, 2013 James Carmichael rated it liked it
Shelves: novel, young-reader
This is a warm, engaging book for readers in 4th-8th grade. I put the wide range pretty wide because the themes are mature and interesting enough for an 8th grader, but the prose is generally very accessible. It's actually "accessible" to a fault, I'd argue, in that the storytelling sometimes relies on a tell-don't-show straightforwardness that many books for younger readers seem to deploy, I suppose for clarity, but that I'm not sure is necessary.

That gripe aside, however: Keeping Corner tells
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Kashmira Sheth grew up in Bhavangar, Gujarat, for eight years, when she was three she joined Montessori school. She lived with her grandparents, because her parents lived in Mumbai three hundred miles away from Bhavangar.
At eight years Sheth, left Bhavangar, for Mumbai.
She did her studying there until she was seventeen. She left Mumbai, to go to college, in Ames Iowa to do her BS at Iowa State Un
More about Kashmira Sheth...

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