Naming Maya

Naming Maya West meets EastAlthough Maya has done her best to avoid it she is spending part of her summer in Chennai India with her mother who is trying to sell her grandfather s old house Soon Maya is drawn

  • Title: Naming Maya
  • Author: Uma Krishnaswami
  • ISBN: 9780374354855
  • Page: 454
  • Format: Hardcover
  • West meets EastAlthough Maya has done her best to avoid it, she is spending part of her summer in Chennai, India, with her mother, who is trying to sell her grandfather s old house Soon Maya is drawn into a complicated friendship with eccentric Kamala Mami, who has been a housekeeper and cook for years in Maya s extended family At the same time, Maya is thrust into an ocWest meets EastAlthough Maya has done her best to avoid it, she is spending part of her summer in Chennai, India, with her mother, who is trying to sell her grandfather s old house Soon Maya is drawn into a complicated friendship with eccentric Kamala Mami, who has been a housekeeper and cook for years in Maya s extended family At the same time, Maya is thrust into an ocean of memories, all coming at her too quickly for her to understand In particular, she is forced to examine the history of her parents divorce all the painful because she believes the trouble began with the choosing of her name For years the tension has simmered in a cauldron of anxiety, secrets, and misunderstandings It is only with the help of Kamala Mami and Maya s cousin Sumati that Maya is able to see what happened to her parents In this compelling first novel, a young Indian American girl finally learns that she can choose which memories to keep and which to let go.

    One thought on “Naming Maya”

    1. This book was a delicate a moving exploration into how a young adolescent girl of Indian immigrants in the USA deals with her parents' divorce. There are few texts that deal with this subject for children/young adults, let alone any that focus on the experience of a South Asian community, where divorce remains taboo and stigmatized. I particularly enjoyed this book, as the author took me back to Madras (Chennai) where I lived as a teenager. She brings little details to life - the taste of cloyin [...]

    2. This middle grade novel pulled me in. I felt like I was walking the streets of India and was in Maya's house while I was reading. This story has a great emotional plotline and a very realistic climax. Krishnaswami reaches deep into the heart of what real kids feel.Written in first person, present tense, this is a good example of how to write in present tense. It deals with issues of belonging and shows an illness of an elderly friend. Great book.

    3. Krishnaswami is a master of tangible and sensory detail, bringing India from being just a place on the map to a real environment. The story is intricately woven with threads of familial relationships, memories, and stories, covering topics of divorce, mother/daughter relationships, cultural differences, growing old, and Alzheimers.

    4. Publisher:Farrar Straus GiouxYear: 2004Interest Level: 4-6Reading Level: 4-6This novel is a great novel for pre-teen girls. While girls who come from multicultural backgrounds might be able to appreciate a little more, I think many girls will find aspects with which they connect. The main character, Maya, goes to India with her mother and learns more about who she is and her family's history. Part of the emotional backdrop of this story is how she handles her parents' divorce, but it is not as m [...]

    5. This story was not as gripping as I thought it would be, but the description of life in modern day India was interesting, and I liked the characters. Maya and her mother spend the summer in India trying to sell her grandparents' house. Maya makes friends and meets many relatives she'd never met before. She also learns a lot about her parents' past, giving her insight into why they ultimately divorced. The title of the book refers to the fact that Maya was given 2 names, one, Maya, by her mother' [...]

    6. Aztec, New Mexico is veryspecial. its misguided name to its annual UFO conference. It has your basic contingent of old grumpy ranchers and oilmen, but also more than its fair share of eccentrics. And it has Uma Krishnaswami, who is not just a local yokel but a talented and professional producer of children's literature. Needless to say, I have idolized her growing up. Your basic San Juan County rock star.Naming Maya is a highly enjoyable middle grade novel, readable and well-matched to its targe [...]

    7. Maya and her mother travel back to India to sell her grandfather's house. Maya isn't super excited about spending most of her summer in India, but quickly makes friends with her cousin and spends time with the housekeeper who has worked with the family for generations, Kamala Mami. It takes Maya's friendship with the housekeeper to discover that Kamala Mami has secrets and is in need of help. This was short and sweet, but the characters didn't seem very developed, including Maya. Under the theme [...]

    8. When Maya and her recently divorced mother return to India to sell her thatha's (grandfather) house, she learns more about herself and her mother than she could have imagined. "I am beginning to see that the stories of people's lives are like the ocean waves Sumati and I watched at the beach, lapping endless shoes constantly moving, changing. This summer I feel filled to overflowing with Mami's stories, because of how alive they are, how deep and dark and scary-beautiful," p. 136.

    9. Maya and her mother are spending part of their summer in Chennai, India, where her mother is selling her father's house. Maya holds resentment against her mother for many things unspoken, including her parents' recent divorce, family issues and the fact that she doesn't feel her mother is there for her. It is her cousin Sumati and old family friend, the elderly Kamala Mami, who help her find the way to confront her mother.

    10. Did a very good job showing emotions and mindset of a child torn between cultures and also showing conflict between traditions and economic change in India. Also show how many problems faced in America are also the same in other parts of the world -something we often forget.

    11. Maya and her mother return to India to prepare the homestead for sale. Story of Mami, sort of housekeeper, and her decline into dementia, Maya's relatives in India and the sadness of her parents' divorce.

    12. A good book, a peek into Tamil culture in India. Modern, child's perspective of an older adult perhaps having Alzheimer's.

    13. I liked it well enough: it culminated nicely in the end, but it did take a little too long to get to the point. Will be an interesting discussion at book club this weekend.

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