Keeping Corner
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Keeping Corner

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,043 ratings  ·  231 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 had been spoiled all her life. She doesn't care for school and barely marks the growing unre...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Disney-Hyperion
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,165)
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Katie
I loved this book!! Leela is a 11-year-old widow living in India during the colonial period. In traditional Indian cultures, widows are shunned and have to stay inside for an entire year after their husband's death. After that year, widow's are treated unfairly, ignored, and are symbols of bad luck. In Leela's case, she was lucky enough to have an older brother to look after her, encouraging her to keep up with her studies while she stays inside for a year in the keeping corner. Her mentor and g...more
Judy
May 13, 2013 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Stephany
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.
SilverRaindrops
"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...more
Kim
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
Crystal
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...more
Pooja Dimba
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cassie ♥
"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
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
sarafem
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.
Wendy
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!
Jumana
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.
Littlecloud
I read this book in 6th grade... I was 11, and still am. Anyway, it's pretty good!
Liza Verdon
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...more
Marcia
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
Bookworm1858
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...more
Rachel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather
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
Melanie
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
Melisa
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
Clay
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
Rachel
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
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...more
Danica
This is a good book, but it was too short. I don't mean "oh my god, I never wanted it to end!!!!", I mean that I wanted to see what was going to happen to the protagonist next. It's one of those where the protagonist fights so long to get where she's going to go, and then you get to see her go, but you don't get any of the payoff. I feel the same way about chick lit books where it takes the characters the whole time to realize they like each other, and then the book or series ends - I'm looking...more
Nancy
I really liked this book. The book gives us a glimpse of Indian culture during the rule of Britain on India.The books talks about several practices in India which were discriminant towards women and a major issue child marriage. The books starts with Leela 12 year old girl who was engaged at the age of two and married at the age of nine to Ramanlal, and just before the official wedding to take place Ramanlal is bit by a kolatar snake and is killed, which leaves Leela a young widow stuck in her h...more
Marcy
Child widows of the Brahmin caste suffered miserably in India. Leela was not yet married to her betrothed when he was bitten by a poisonous snake and died. She was still considered a widow. The glass bangles around her wrist and arms were smashed, her head was shaved, she was not allowed outside for one year, and she was shunned by the town she lived in. A happy, joyous family was no more. Leela could not understand her fate.

A teacher came to tutor Leela at home. She encouraged Leela to keep a n...more
Jori Richardson
"Keeping Corner" is about a spoiled young girl in 1917 India who is abruptly left a widow when her little known about fiancee dies. Forced to comply with age old Indian tradition, Leela must shave her head, give away all her valuables, and "keep corner" inside for a year, also enduring the shame and scorn of everyone in her small town. However, during her period of senseless confinement, Leela pursues knowledge and becomes a bright, talented student. The book is set in the time of Ghandi, whose...more
Allison Riendeau
Both heart-breaking and full of hope, this novel brought me close to tears.

Imagine you are a 12-year-old girl in India. It's 1918, and you live a luxurious life full of shining bangles and colorful cloth and foods. You were engaged at 2, married at 9. And weeks before you are to turn 13 and go to live with your husband's family, a poisonous snake changes everything. You're a widow now, and your jewelry, colors other than brown, attendance at feasts and parties are taken from you. Your head is s...more
Danielle
Jan 14, 2013 Danielle rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Adults
Recommended to Danielle by: College Literacy Class
Shelves: fiction
Summary Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth (2009)

Twelve-year-old Leela has always led a charmed life. A member of a high caste in India in 1918, she barely notices the unrest brewing between her countrymen and the British. When her husband dies from a snake bite, Leela’s life is completely turned upside down. Now a widow, she is forced to “keep corner” for a year and mourn her husband, even though they had not even shared a home yet. Her isolation is bearable only due to visits from her tutor and...more
Cathy
Feb 09, 2008 Cathy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teens who like stories based on character development, historical fiction and books about India
Recommended to Cathy by: Bhavika P.
Shelves: india
Twelve-year-old Leela enjoys collecting bracelets and going to festivals. Soon she will have her anu, a ceremony to send her to her husband's house. She was engaged at two and married at nine. But when he dies from a snake bite her life is changed forever. Her bracelets are taken from her, her hair shaved and her colorful saris exchanged for grey chidri. And she must t "keep corner," stay inside her home for a year to prepare her for a life of mourning. When her old teacher comes to her home to...more
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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
More about Kashmira Sheth...
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