In today’s guest post, author Supriya Kelkar shares a behind-the-scenes look at the research required to write her new novel, Ahimsa—and a few neat things she learned along the way! Ahimsa was released this week and has received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Booklist, which called it a “heartbreakingly charming debut about the universal struggle of overcoming fears and biases in order to make the world a better place.”
Take it away, Supriya!
Pia Ceres was LEE & LOW’s summer intern. She is a recipient of the We Need Diverse Books Internship Program grant. She’s a senior at Brown University, where she studies Education & Comparative Literature, with a focus in French literature. When she’s not reading, you can find her watching classic horror movies from under a blanket, strumming pop songs on her ukulele, and listening to her grandparents’ stories about the Philippines. In this blog post, she asks the question “can fiction be a pathway to fact?” while looking at YA historical fiction.
High school students in Providence, Rhode Island, rallied in January to launch a campaign called #OurHistoryMatters, advocating for greater representation of the contributions of people of color in history curricula. Like many urban school districts, Providence serves a diverse student body where 74% of students identify as Black or Latino and 17% as Native American. Yet when student activists studied an American history textbook used in their school district, they reported that out of nearly 2,000 pages, fewer than 100 mentioned people of color.