The Door Is Open : Stories of Celebration and Community by 11 Desi Voices

$17.99 USD

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Discover stories of fear, triumph, and spectacular celebration in this warm-hearted novel of interconnected stories that celebrates the diversity of South Asian American experiences in a local community center.

Discover stories of fear, triumph, and spectacular celebration in the fictional town of Maple Grove, New Jersey, where the local kids gather at the community center to discover new crushes, fight against ignorance, and even save a life. Cheer for Chaya as she wins chess tournaments (unlike Andrew, she knows stupid sugary soda won't make you better at chess), and follow as Jeevan learns how to cook traditional food (it turns out he can cook sabji-- he just can't eat it).

These stories, edited by bestselling and award-winning Pakistani-American author Hena Khan, are filled with humor, warmth, and possibility. They showcase a diverse array of talented authors with heritage from the Indian subcontinent, including beloved favorites and rising stars, who each highlight the beauty and necessity of a community center that everyone calls home.

Hena Khan is a Pakistani-American who was born and raised in Maryland, where she still lives. She enjoys writing about her culture as well as all sorts of other subjects, from spies to space travel. You can learn more about Hena by visiting her website:

Aisha Saeed (Amal Unbound, Bilal Cooks Daal, Aladdin: Far from Agrabah)
Hena Khan (Amina's Voice, Under My Hijab, Power Forward)
Maulik Pancholy (The Best at It, Nikhil Out Loud)
Mitali Perkins (Rickshaw Girl, Bamboo People, Tiger Boy)
Reem Faruqi (Lailah's Lunchbox: a Ramadan Story, Amira's Picture Day)
Simran Jeet Singh (Fauja Singh Keeps Going: the True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon)
Supriya Kelkar (The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh, Ahimsa, American as Paneer Pie)
Rajani LaRocca (My Little Golden Book About Kamala Harris, Red, White, and Whole, Midsummer's Mayhem)
Veera Hiranandani (The Night Diary, Olivia and Her Ducklings, The Whole Story of Half a Girl)
N.H.Senzai (Shooting Kabul, Escape from Aleppo)
Sayantani DasGupta (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond Series)


* "A monumental achievement and exquisite testament to the power of collaboration and community, this novel moves beyond the reality of diversity into the necessity of it."—SLJ

“These middle schoolers with varied interests create a wonderful mosaic representing a diverse community. Though the stories only feature characters of Indian or Pakistani heritage, there’s a richness of regional representation (e.g., Gujarati, Maharashtrian, South Indian, and Bengali), as well as religious diversity (such as Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Sikh). A multifaceted celebration of a vibrant American community.”

“This powerful collection of short stories celebrates the broad diversity of middle schoolers from the South Asian community.” 
“Together at the Center” by Khan, “Out in the Open” by Rajani LaRocca, and “The Map of Home” by Sayantani DasGupta showcase the importance of open dialogue, community, and speaking out against anti-Asian/South Asian and Islamophobic incidents. Mitali Perkins’s “Smile Number Seven” and “Answered Prayers” by N. H. Senzai address in-group judgment, both real and perceived, ethnic and religious; resulting self-defense mechanisms are handled with nuance and care in relation to single-parent households, disability, and domestic violence."
 —Horn Book

"A delight for cultural insiders that will charm and educate outsiders, this middle-grade anthology has something for everyone."

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