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Mitali Perkins Books In Order

Publication Order of First Daughter Books

Extreme American Makeover (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
White House Rules (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Monsoon Summer (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rickshaw Girl (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Secret Keeper (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bamboo People (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Secret Keepers (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tiger Boy (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
You Bring the Distant Near (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Ambassador Families (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Open Mic (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Mitali Perkins is a Young Adult and Children’s novel author who has made a name for herself writing highly popular and critically acclaimed novels, which address several contemporary themes. Mitali Perkins was born Mitale Bose in Kolkata India to a Bengali father, before she moved to the United States where she spent most of her childhood. However, the United States and India were not the only country she lived in, as by the time she was eleven she had lived in over five countries. Some countries that she lived in include Mexico, London, Cameroon, Ghana, and India, before the family settled in California. Given that she moved so much in her childhood, she knows about multiculturalism and identity issues, as she was often the new kid in school more times than she can count. Her biggest lifeline during those early years was novels. Books became her refuge as she moved between her Bengali culture and the California suburbia, where the family finally decided to make a home.

For her college studies, Mitali went to U.C. Berkeley where she studied public policy and then political science at Stanford. After college, she went on to teach middle school, high school, and college before she began writing fiction. Unsurprisingly her fiction was about strong multicultural protagonists looking to promote justice or bridge different cultures. She has written over ten novels for young readers most of which have been published by Macmillan Children’s Books, Little Brown, Candlewick, Charlesbridge, and Penguin Random House. Besides writing, she loves to attend conferences to discuss themes such as the life changing power of storytelling, and books between cultures. She also teaches at the Saint Mary’s College of California as an Adjunct Professor. When she is not writing she has been pursuing her lifelong passion of traveling across the globe and the US, which have taken her to Newton, Southern California, Thailand, India, and Bangladesh. She is currently living in San Francisco Bay area with her husband who is a Presbyterian Church minister. During her free time, she loves to hike the Bay Area trails with her two Labrador retrievers, browse the bookstores and libraries in town, play tennis, and write on her blog.

Mitali has always loved writing for the sheer pleasure of it and has been writing poetry and stories ever since she was nine years old. Since the fight for justice and the poor have always been part of her, the “aha” moment for her was when she realized that she could pursue her two passion of writing and justice through her novels. Growing up, she has memories of books that she would bound through joyfully relishing them and identifying with the protagonist, until the author gave a physical description of the attractiveness of the character. At no time did any of the descriptions ever match her own multicultural imagination of beauty or her own appearance. As such, her novels widen the descriptions of beauty by diversifying her characters to include diverse beliefs and attitudes. This was clearly evidenced in her debut novel in 2010 Bamboo People that tells the stories of two boys on different ethnic sides of the Karenni Burmese conflict. Her novels clearly borrow from the many novels that spoke to her as a child growing up in different cultures and countries around the globe. Even as she loved the contemporary, fantasy and historical genres of fiction, she particularly loved novels that represented the sentiments of those feeling like outsiders. As a child, some of her favorite novels included the like Maud Hart Lovelace’s Emily of Deep Valley and Sidney Taylor’s All of a Kind of Family series.

The First Daughter series of novels excellently portrays the themes of identity and multiculturalism of modern American society. Sameera “Sparrow” Righton a Pakistani girl adopted by American political parents represents the feelings of being different felt by immigrants. Issues of how American one is crop up even as one can become American and still love their roots. The author asserts that the pressure is particularly higher and akin to racism, particularly when one is deemed a foreigner. However, the novels do offer narratives that are intended to provide advice on what to do in instances of high pressure. For instance, Sammy starts a blog to connect with her friends during the campaign period that makes for a good outlet for the high emotion. The novels also assert that multicultural person will often lead double or even triple lives that conform to what society expects of them. Such a scenario is clear in the life of Sammy who lives as Sameera a Pakistani girl that will never fit in, as Sammy the sophisticated and bubbly all American teenager to the American media, and as good willed and kind-hearted teenage girl to her parents. In the end, the argument is that a person will find happiness when they decide to become themselves and accept that their personality and culture incorporates their multicultural heritage.

“Extreme American Makeover” the first novel of the First Daughter series of novels introduces Saprrow also known as Sameera, a girl that was adopted by American political parents aged three. Her father just got nominated by the Republican Party to run for president. Given her Pakistani roots, there is concern that she may not be American enough and hence may harm her adoptive father’s chances at the ballot. Her father’s PR team reinvents her as Sammy to make her a fashionable American teen complete with a blog. She does not feel comfortable with her new persona, even though she understands that it is not only her, but also her mother who had to be reinvented. With paparazzi on her back, she will no longer enjoy the quiet times on their Ohio estate. She therefore decides to embrace politics and connect with the Southeast Asian Republic to help campaign for her father. But when some of the campaign group intend to use her popular blog for campaign for her father, she may have to decide just what is best for her father’s quest for the presidency.

“White House Rules” is the sequel to the first novel in the series First Daughter: Extreme Makeover. In the first novel, Sameera proved that a Pakistani adopted daughter could make a very good first daughter. Using her bravado and brains, she had helped her father win the election and is now living in the White House. It should be a fabulous life but Sameera hates it, since she now has to walk around with a retinue of Secret service agents and be photographed by paparazzi anytime she in public. She misses her school and her friends back home and so decides to escape. Will she manage to evade all the paparazzi, secret service and her parents? The delightful novel continues the narrative of the multicultural teen Sameera in the United States.

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