Priyanka Das – or Pri, as she likes to be called – is an Indian-American teenager who has a lot of questions about her roots. Her mother doesn’t like to answer her questions about India, however. The question of her father is especially off-limits. Her Uncle Jatin is the closest thing she has to a father. But once his wife becomes pregnant and her baby cousin is born, he has no more time for his niece. One day, the lonely Pri finds an old suitcase in her mom’s closet. Inside is a beautiful shawl that transports her to India whenever she puts it on. She follows her visions to India, to her family, and to her destiny.
This is an adorable little graphic novel. It’s aimed at middle-grade readers, with language that’s a little easier and simple panel sequences. The characters are so expressive and lively. The majority of the art is in black and white, but the parts where Pri puts on the shawl and is transported away are in full, stunning color. At the heart of the story is discovering who you are and learning to follow your heart and the choices you make. I quite enjoyed it as a young adult, but pre-teens will love it.
Chanani, Nidhi. Pashmina. 2017.