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The Night Diary

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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  6,062 ratings  ·  1,240 reviews
It's 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.

Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn't know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it's too
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Kokila
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Amy Nicole Kelley Brady is credited for the jacket illustration and design. It really is beautiful!…moreKelley Brady is credited for the jacket illustration and design. It really is beautiful! (less)
Amy Yes, I think the subject matter is relevant and interesting. The writing is great.…moreYes, I think the subject matter is relevant and interesting. The writing is great. (less)

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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  6,062 ratings  ·  1,240 reviews


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Lola
There are two reasons that I can think of right now of why Historical Fiction novels are as valuable as History courses, if not more.

Because unless you’re a university student who takes very specific History courses with the subjects that you really want to learn about, chances are your high school History professors will focus on European and American History. That’s from my Canadian perspective, anyways.

The other reason is that while History courses usually cover a topic and make you learn all
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Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.



The year is 1947 and India, now free of British rule, has been split into two countries: India and Pakistan. Because of the divide, tension has erupted between Hindus and Muslims. Twelve-year-old Nisha and her family are Hindu, but her deceased mother was Muslim; Nisha is uncertain where she belongs. When Nisha and her family become refugees, forced to journey alongside thousands of others to a new home,
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Rashika (is tired)
The book I FUCKING DESERVE.

(Updating my review with the letter I wrote to my great-grandma as part of the blog tour)

Dear Great-Grandma,

I am not the best at writing letters that are also going to be on display but you know, I am trying. I recently read The Night Diary, which is currently the only book I am calling a favorite of this year and I’ve read 86 books so far. Reading it has made me incredibly pensive because the entire time I was reading it, I kept thinking that I was reading your and
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Jessica
I want to hold this book to my heart and never let go.

What an absolutely gorgeous and heartbreaking work of art. Her writing is transcendent- I felt the wind, the dust, smelled the spices, felt the pencil in Nisha's hand! And the story: so vital. So poignant. Millions of people were (and no doubt still are) affected by this, and I am ashamed to say I had never heard of it until a few months ago.

And Nisha, our sweet narrator . . . I love this precious girl! She made me sad, and happy, and
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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Man... this was so good. The Night Diary is easily one of the best assigned readings I've had in my entire grad degree program, and I'm so glad it was in my curriculum because I'm not sure how quickly I'd have picked it up otherwise. This story broke my heart over and over. I'll post a full review soon, because this one definitely deserves more than this quick little paragraph. ...more
Donalyn
Beautiful and heartbreaking. A treasure.
Rida Imran
Aug 10, 2018 marked it as to-read
The cover is beautiful. Being from Pakistan while I've heard a lot of partition stories, I've never read any..
Nav 💁🏾
I first heard about The Night Diary during an Owlcrate video a few months ago and seeing as I'm Indian and this book is set during the period when India gained their independence I knew this was an absolute must read for me!

Plot
This book follows a twelve year old girl called Nisha who together with her family are forced to leave their home following the partition of India. When the family end up on the Pakistan side they decide to attempt to travel by foot and train to the new India.

Positives:
-
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AJ
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I was super excited about this book but it wasn't as amazing as I had hoped it would be. The format didn't really work for me. The epistolary format just made everything feel a bit distant. There were some really great things about the book as well though - I really liked the concept and most of the characters, and there were some really, really moving and well-written scenes.

Full review coming soon!
Skip
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: refugees, historical
Set in 1947, Hiranandani's book describes the traumatic end of British rule and the Partition, whereby India was divided into two countries. Young Nisha is the daughter of a doctor in what has become Pakistan, where his Hindu religion is suddenly rejected; however, his deceased wife was Muslim, leaving Nisha and her brother Amil in limbo. Along with their grandmother, they start a refugee trek to India, leaving behind their loyal and beloved housekeeper, who is also Muslim. Meeting and getting ...more
Suze Lavender
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's 1947 and twelve-year-old Nisha lives in a country that's about to be divided. India's independence is near. When the country is being split in two, becoming Pakistan and India, Nisha and her family are in danger. It's no longer safe for them to stay in Pakistan. Nisha and her brother Amil don't exactly understand where all the fighting and hatred comes from. They're half-Muslim and half-Hindu, why can't they proudly tell anyone about that? Instead they have to leave their home together with ...more
Lata
Told from the point of view of a 11-year old Nisha through her diary entries, which are addressed to her dead mother, this is a really interesting way to relate a little of the confusion, frustration, fear and sadness experienced during of India’s Partition in 1947. People were suddenly told to leave their homes and towns and travel many kilometres away to start their lives over again, amidst an atmosphere of unexpected anger and religious hatred amongst people who had lived together for years. ...more
Chelsea slytherink
I picked up The Night Diary because my friend Laura @ Green Tea & Paperbacks loved it and I recently had a wonderful experience reading Amal Unbound, another diverse middle grade novel. While I wouldn’t say that middle grade is my favourite genre, I do like to read it from time to time.

The Night Diary did not disappoint. I listened to the audiobook, which happened to be narrated by the same narrator of Amal Unbound! I absolutely love their voice and would listen to every book they’ve worked
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Kari
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2018
This was just ok. The diary format didn’t work for me - maybe if shorter entries written to her mother had been interspersed with the story I would have enjoyed it more. The outstanding thing about this book was the setting and time period.
Sherry Guice
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing story!!! Told in letters to her mother (who is dead) as a diary, the reader is taken through the history of the division of India into India and Pakistan. Great characters, suspense and adventure interwoven into a story of a family caught in the midst of horrendous cultural/political strife--Hindus against Muslims.
Lisa
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book, you guys. Wow. What a treasure. An award contender for sure. I'll be thinking about Nisha for a long time.
Sinead Anja (Huntress of Diverse Books)
Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts!

I received an ARC of The Night Diary from the UK distributor. I’d actually been interested in this book for quite some time. It’s set at the time of the partition between India and Pakistan, and written for a middle grade audience.

It’s #ownvoices for Indian representation.

__

I love the writing style. It’s written in the form of letters that Nisha addresses to her late mother. This gave the reading experience a very organic
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Sohinee Reads & Reviews (Bookarlo)
Read The Original Review Posted on Sohinee Reads & Reviews


SET AROUND THE 1947 PARTITION OF INDIA, ‘THE NIGHT DIARY’ IS AN EVOCATIVE NOVEL

I have read quite a few books on the 1947 partition, have heard stories of partition from my grandparents and I was always left to ponder upon how many lives were affected during this partitioning…too many would be an understatement too. For those who don’t know about the Partition of India, it was when the British Indian Empire was split into two
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Isabelle | BookwyrmBites
3.5 stars.

As a middle grade novel — the main character is 12, so the letters / journal entries that make up the narration has a simplicity of syntax and thought process — I felt this captured the feeling of being a young person and mostly-but-not-entirely understanding what is going on in the world around you. To be fair, Nisha's world is mostly limited to her family: Papa, Dadi (her grandmother), Amil (her twin brother), and Kazi (their cook); the division of India and Pakistan affects her
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Ms. Yingling
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus




On the eve of the Partitioning of India in 1947, Nisha is struggling to understand the implications of the end of British rule on her half-Hindu, half-Muslim family, and writes diary entries to the mother who passed away when she and her twin brother Amil were born in order to process events. Her father, a Hindu doctor, feels that the family must leave their town, which has ended up as an area designated to be Muslim. Long time family cook Kazi is Muslim (as was Nisha's
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Summer
Interesting book but very slow. It was nice listening to it and the narrator was good but I wasn't in a hurry to pick it up once I put it down.
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds

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

Itsthe year of Partition & Independence – the greed and the selfish needs of the powerful leaders have displaced millions of common men, women and children who instead of celebrating the freedom from oppression had to leavenot only the place they were born but also
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Krutika Puranik
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Night Diary.

"Do we have to take a side?” I asked. “I think it’s safer. That way you know who your enemy is,” Amil said, and crossed his arms tightly over his chest. “But if we don’t take a side, then we don’t have any enemies.” “I don’t think it works that way,” Amil said." - Veera Hiranandani.

@thereadingwomen spoke highly of The Night Diary and post reading the blurb, I knew I had to get it. I also feel that I chose to read it at a very vulnerable moment what with the Kashmir issue going
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Camryn
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was amazing. I've been trying to read more middle grade lately, and honestly got this because it's a Newberry Honor, but I was sort of putting off reading it because I thought it would be too heavy. And it was heavy at some times. I had tears in my eyes. But I also couldn't stop reading. Like, I instantly felt connected to Nisha. I loved her relationship with her brother. The two of them are my favorites; this sibling relationship is one of the best I've seen in any book and most of my ...more
D Dyer
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an incredibly approachable work at historical fiction dealing with the partition of India in the latter half of 1947. Nisha is a 12 year old girl, the daughter of a mixed marriage between a Hindu father and a Muslim mother, now deceased. This book is a diary, written as letters to her mother, of her family‘s journey from Pakistan into the new India. It’s a middle grade book and so honestly I wasn’t necessarily expecting the depth of character I found here. But from a father who is both ...more
Dee Dee G
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Being extremely empathetic, this book had my emotions on high. From racism, having to flee their home, walking for days and days to get to safety, running out of water to drink, etc It’s not graphic for
middle grade reading and packs a big punch. This is the type of book that’s needed today.
Clare Lund
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Filled with gorgeous language and vivid imagery, The Night Diary tells the story of one family after India gained its independence from the British Commonwealth in 1947 and was divided into two countries. Nisha's father is Hindu and her late mother was Muslim, leaving Nisha feeling torn when conflict between the two religions intensifies: "Where do Amil and I fit in to all of this hate? Can you hate half a person?" The home she has always known is now part of newly formed Pakistan, which Nisha ...more
Abby Johnson
Loved this historical novel about a young girl and her family forced to leave their home after the partition of India creates the country of Pakistan. It reminded me a lot of Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl in the style of writing and I would hand it to kids who are interested in historical fiction or stories of refugees like The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney.
Sam
I cried so much...Definitely Ruta Sepetys for middle grade!
Jennifer
Reviewed in Horn Book, July/August 2018.
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Veera Hiranandani is the author of THE NIGHT DIARY, THE WHOLE STORY OF HALF A GIRL, and the chapter book series, PHOEBE G. GREEN. She has an MFA in fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College and spent six years as a book editor. She now teaches creative writing at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York with her family. She is working on her next novel.

“When you divide people, they take sides.” 6 likes
“It feels scary to talk, because once the words are out, you can’t put them back in. But if you write words and they don’t come out the way you want them to, you can erase them and start over.” 6 likes
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