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Ahimsa

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  512 ratings  ·  163 reviews
In 1942, when Mahatma Gandhi asks Indians to give one family member to the freedom movement, ten-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life for the freedom struggle.

But it turns out he isn't the one joining. Anjali's mother is. And with this change comes many more adjustments designed to improve their country and use "ahimsa"—non-violent resistan
...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2017 by Lee & Low/Tu Books
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4.19  · 
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 ·  512 ratings  ·  163 reviews


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TheSkepticalReader
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted on A Skeptical Reader.

Ahimsa is about a ten-year-old Anjali who’s mother has just quit her job working under the British Raj for undisclosed reasons and a rising Independence movement is about to take her entire life by storm. It opens up with a black Q painted on the side of her mother’s ex-boss’s wall and it takes one into the journey of ahimsa—a practice of nonviolence towards all living things.

Anjali is a remarkable character, a child with flawed perceptions of the w
...more
Elisabeth
Ahimsa offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of the freedom movement in India in the 1940s. While I knew a little about Indian history from movies like Gandhi and Water, it was interesting seeing it all from the perspective of 10-year-old Anjali. I think kids will really connect with her as she grapples with giving up the trappings of her privileged lifestyle and learns to embrace the movement.
A minor gripe of mine is that Kelkar refers to a Gandhi quote several times that is slightly ina
...more
Danielle
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
Complex and captivating, with a truly moving and emotional climax, this is a wonderful novel that will educate and inspire.

"even a small number of dedicated people can alter the course of history." (p. 195)

Dilip Chauhan
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

I borrowed this book from my friend because cover is absolutely beautiful 😍

Review-
- Book is written in the perspective of 10 years old girl Anjali who's life changes when her family takes part in Indiana freedom fight.

- the book is written in very simple language and it's easy to understand without any hassle.

- all the characters in the book are so realistic, at point I thought I am reading a first hand account of some freedom fighter.

- book also puts light on the one of the big
...more
Ms. Yingling
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Above the Treeline

In a small town in India in 1942, Anjali is worried that her mother has lost her job working for a British colonel, Brent. At the age of ten, her biggest worry is that there won't be enough money to buy a new dress for her for the holiday. It turns out that there are much bigger problems brewing. Anjali's mother has quit her job so that she can join the resistance to the British, which in her case means learning to spin and weave so that India isn't
...more
Kate Olson
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A stunning tale of social justice set in 1940s India, AHIMSA gives readers a glimpse into what the true meaning of non-violent resistance is. A required purchase for school libraries.

Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the digital review copy of this title

This story has now become my absolute number one title to recommend about social justice and equality in any era, country, religion or race. Kelkar has done such a superb job of with this story that although it is set in 1940s India a
...more
Mississippi Library Commission
Inspired by her great-grandmother's role in the Indian freedom movement, Kelkar has delivered a five-star book for middle grade readers about an ordinary young girl, her family, and their surprising contribution to history. While many students will recognize Gandhi's name, they may not know much more about the 1940s in India. They'll be swept away by the Anjali's experiences with the caste system, the conflict between Muslim and Hindu, and the imperialist control of Great Britain. Anjali grows s ...more
Sarah Peddicord
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ahimsa: Nonviolence. Anjali's world seems to be filled with aggression and violence as India struggles against the British government in 1942. The people are also struggling against each other. Graffiti, vandalism, riots, beatings and other forms of violence build throughout this story. Anjali's courage and hope for an equal, free country builds as well. This is a beautiful story about the power of small actions that lead to great change. I couldn't put Supriya Kelkar's debut novel down.
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds

Disclaimer: A Physical Copy was provided via Scholastic India in exchange for an honest review. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

Ahimsa is an enthralling look at the Quit India Movement or the Freedom Movement of the Indians against the British Empire in the 1940s.  

Told in the perspective of a 10 year old privileged Indian girl; Anjali –
who is secure in the knowledge of being a Brahmin kid, w
...more
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
It’s 1942 and while Britain and the rest of the world are engaged in WWII, in Bombay (today’s Mumbai), the Quit India movement, whose goal is to rid India of British rule and gain independence, is begun with a speech by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8th. The very next day, August 9, 1942, Gandhi is arrested but it doesn’t stop many from still having faith in the Quit India movement.

Gandhi, a practitioner of Ahimsa, or civil disobedience, had already asked that one member of every family become a fre
...more
Heidi
This is a fabulous written, powerfully told story about the independence movement in 1942 India. Anjali is shocked when she learns of her mother's intention to join Gandhiji's non-violent freedom movement. But as she gets involved in her mother's efforts to non-violently fight the British and help the Dalit (untouchable caste in the Hindu caste system) her courage grows and she starts to realize the importance of doing the right thing even when it's hard. Kelkar paints a vivid picture of the har ...more
Ana Cob
Great example on how books act as windows. I want to learn all about that time in Indian history.
LitPick Student Book Reviews
Ahimsa means nonviolence. That is the main motive for the Freedom Fighters of India. It's the 1940's and the Indians are under British occupation, and the Indians want them out. We follow a girl named Anjali and meet her as she is painting a giant black Q (Quit India) on the side of a British Officer's house. Anjali’s mother used to work for a British Officer as a secretary, but she quit because she was tired of all the British decrees and that the officer wasn't helping Indians who were wrongly ...more
Shaye Miller
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ahimsa is the story of Anjali who, at the age of ten, discovers how privileged she is because of the caste system in India. She’s never really questioned the “untouchables” of her society — there are simply people who you must never touch because they have always been the lowest of the low. They just are! Nevertheless, while making comparisons between the British control over India and the caste system within her own culture, Anjali finds herself willing to risk her very life to defend the helpl ...more
Mike
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I just have the one book to report on this time around. It's called Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar, and it's a historical fiction children's novel about India in the 1940s. It tells the story of 10 year old Anjali, an Indian girl, who, with her family, works to help free India from British rule, as they occupy the country around this time. And while contentions between the British and the people of India rise high, other such contentions among the natives are also pretty heated. The book describes ten ...more
Julie
I was fascinated by this historical novel about India in the mid 1940’s. Told from the perspective of a 10 year old girl whose mother joined the freedom fighters to bring independence from Britain. I was transported into the sights, smells, sounds of life then. I especially liked that there is complexity in trying to help others because those desires don’t always mesh with what the recipients want.
Karina
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a touching and informative read about the freedom movement in India to reclaim the country's government and economy from the British. I loved the nuances in this story, and it gave me a better understanding of that area and political climate in the 1940s. The main character Anjali, a ten-year-old, is thoughtful and feisty. A must-read for middle graders and beyond!
Tanaz
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A careful and compassionate look into the Indian independence movement. This is a relevant and timely read given current events in India and the world.
Booxoul
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
n this tech age, our kids and we have a pool of opportunities awaiting us. We are free to choose a lifestyle we want. We think of our freedom fighters only on national days. What if I told a 10-year-old girl participated in the freedom struggle? It sounds surprising and unbelievable, isn’t it? At an age where not many children are capable of doing things on their own, a 10-year-old girl decides to become the strength of her mother and also participates in the freedom struggle in her own ways. Th ...more
Camelia Bhaskar
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Authored by "Supriya Kelker" @supriya.kelkar inspired from her own Grand Ma 's life experiences from the freedom struggle days , this book from the perspective of a 10 year old girl born and brought up in Brahmin family , taught to disregard backward/ lower community & classes , wear foreign made dresses in the backdrops of 1942 , the famous Indian struggle for independence under the leadership of MK Gandhi when her own mother quits her British govt based job to contribute in the independenc ...more
Ericka Hall
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this quite awhile ago, but I never got around to actually rating and reviewing it for some reason. Since this book's subject and the legacy of the partition is entirely relevant to the present state of foreign relations between the two rival countries, I thought today would be a good time to weigh in on this book given the escalation of events between Pakistan and India as of lately.

This is a really great children's chapter book that serves as a valuable history lesson, especially to Ame
...more
Amber Webb
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar was an outstanding window and mirror book. A poignant middle grade novel about the Indian Freedom Movement provided a window into the world of Children and their families during this time. The author carefully and beautifully showed what the caste system, British rule and freedom fighters all had to learn and endure during the time. So many times I wanted to highlight and make notes in the book about not making assumptions, not giving up and always working to the change ...more
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Grade 4 and above
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
This is a wonderful book for anyone who wants to learn more about India and the independence movement that was led by Mahatma Gandhi in the 1940s. Citizens are encouraged to use "ahimsa" or non-violent resistance to stand up to British rule. In 1942, Gandhi asks for one member of each family to join the freedom movement and Anjali's mother joins the effort. This story is told from the perspective of ten-year-old Anjali and we learn about the struggle of the movement, issues of the caste system a ...more
thebookbosomed
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ahimsa is about a 10 year old girl, Anjali whose mother, a british captain’s assistant decides to be conducive in the freedom struggle against the British. This decision distorts Anjali’s perfect and happy life. The book takes you from Anjali finding happiness in designer gagra-choli to wearing khadi one’s. From her being a Brahmin to standing up against village for Dalits.
The story however is beyond the sacrifices made by Anjali. It also talks about the freedom struggle of India against Briti
...more
Kendall Ball
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this may be my favorite book of the year. It shows India’s struggle to become free from the British through the eyes of a 10-year-old daughter of a freedom fighter. Supriya Kelkar doesn’t sugarcoat the complexities of such a struggle and raises many, many moral and ethical questions in a way that young readers can understand. I love how this story is told not only as an “us” against “them,” but also as an “us” against “us” and “them” against “them,” truly representative of real struggles ...more
The Reading Countess
This is a (timely) historical fiction tale of a country fighting for justice, a society struggling to advance past its archaic caste system, and Ahimsa, or peace, woven throughout its entirety. I liked the strong female characters and a glimpse into a time period not many children read about. The cover is simply to die for! Gorgeous. Thanks to Edelweiss for the the e-version of the ARC. Ahimsa will hit the shelves on October 2, 2017. Be sure to look for it! It has already earned the New Visions ...more
Jean-Marie
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The 11-year-old and I really enjoyed this one. We had recently read The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani and Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed. The three novels complemented each other very well. We learned so much about India's independence from British rule (Quit India), the split of India into India and Pakistan, and the lifestyles of children/families from these areas and time periods. We give all three novels a big thumbs up.
Donna Dobihal Smith
A rare topic in children's literature, this approachable story set during India's struggle for freedom in 1942, based on the author's grandmother's experiences, is interesting, moves quickly and will have you on the edge of your seat at times. A boy and girl character will encourage both genders to read it. I learned much, even before reading the author's note. Highly recommended.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Ten-year-old Anjali's comfortable life changes dramatically when her parents decide to honor Mahatma Gandhi's request that every Indian family give one member to the fight for freedom from British rule. Her mother takes the active role.
Silver
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story = 8
Storytelling = 6

I got so into the history of the story--the details were clear and fascinating. The writing took me out a few times, especially at the beginning. Still though, I would recommend without hesitation to any of my students.
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“Sometimes it's hard to see everything going on in the garden when your nest is perched at the top of the tree.” 0 likes
“You remind me of a horse.'
Anjali paused. 'A horse?'
'That white horse with the pink feathers tied to its head. The one that you kids pay to ride.' Anjali shook her head. 'I don't do that. I feel bad for that poor horse.'
Mohan smiled gently. 'Of course you do.' He paused. 'What I mean is, that horse has those gold-and-pink blinders next to his eyes so he doesn't see anything else around him. Doesn't get panicked. You have blinders on We walk the same path, but our experiences are so different.”
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