I'm taking a little break from picture books to write about You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins. This book features a unique subject, and by that I don’t mean the lives of the Indian family
followed for three generations, but immigration and assimilation. This is a Bengali family, but to some extent they’re experiencing what families from many cultures have experienced coming to America, with the stresses of living with both the old and the new.
My big interest when considering assimilation into American life is that immigrants lose so much in order to do so, since that was certainly the experience of the Gauthier family. But the second and third generation members of the Das family are still Bengali, as well as American.
Perkins dips into each generation of this family, covering mother, daughters, and granddaughters. My complaint about the book is that I wanted more about these five women. I could have gotten into a Forsyth Saga type read spread over several books.
A thought just occurred to me...In children’s literature we get very thin fantasy stories spread out over three or more books all the time. Why not a family/historical tale?
FTC Transparency Information: I am acquainted with Mitali Perkins, having met her a few times. I know her just well enough to get all "Oh, wow, I know a writer whose book made the long list for the National Book Award" when You Bring the Distant Near did just that.
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