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Genie Meanie
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Genie Meanie
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When eight-year-old Kiara discovers that her recently deceased grandmother left her a genie, trapped in a bottle of garam-masala, she's elated. She'll be a modern-day Aladdin and have someone to do her...
When eight-year-old Kiara discovers that her recently deceased grandmother left her a genie, trapped in a bottle of garam-masala, she's elated. She'll be a modern-day Aladdin and have someone to do her...
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  • When eight-year-old Kiara discovers that her recently deceased grandmother left her a genie, trapped in a bottle of garam-masala, she's elated. She'll be a modern-day Aladdin and have someone to do her bidding. And Kiara could really use a little magic. Third grade is just about to start and she's spent the summer worried about being in class with Matt, a bully who seems to have nothing else to do but make Kiara and her best friend Bai's lives miserable. Unfortunately, the genie has decided he's on vacation after working for ten thousand years and is looking for someone to do his bidding. A battle of wills ensues, and Kiara realizes that you don't really need magic to solve your problems.

About the Author-

  • Mahtab Narsimhan is the award-winning author of several books for young readers, including Embrace the Chicken (Orca), Mission Mumbai (Scholastic), The Tiffin (DCB) and The Third Eye (Dundurn), which won the Silver Birch Award. She was a Writer in Residence at the Toronto District School Board from 2015-2016. Born in Mumbai, Mahtab immigrated to Canada in 1997. She now lives in Vancouver.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2020

    Gr 1-3-Eight-year-old Kiara Prasad just wants to start third grade on a good note, without worrying about the racist bully in her class. So when she discovers her recently deceased grandmother left her a genie in a bottle labeled Zayn Garam Masala, she thinks her problems are solved. Only, Zayn's been trapped for 1,000 years, and he seems more interested in bossing Kiara around than granting her wishes. Can Kiara and her best friend Bai learn to stand up for themselves instead of freezing up or running away? While Narsimhan's examination of bullying is a bit oversimplified and leaves a lot to be desired in terms of adult intervention, the introduction of a whimsical genie to the story makes this illustrated chapter book an entertaining read for fans of Kate DiCamillo, Debbi Michiko Florence, and Kelly Starling Lyons. And, best yet, Narsimhan leaves the story open to a possible series, as Zayn shows no signs of leaving even after Kiara's situation is resolved. Kiara and Zayn are Indian, while Bai is Chinese; the school bully and Kiara's teacher both present as white. VERDICT Overall, a fun read that tackles adversity and bullying in a relatable way for young readers. Recommended for purchase.-Kaitlin Frick, Darien Lib., CT

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    June 1, 2020
    When 8-year-old Kiara Prasad finds a genie trapped in a bottle, she looks forward to wishing away her big problem at school: Matt, the bully. Kiara recently lost her grandmother, and no one--including her grandfather visiting from India, her parents, and her best friend, Bai Leng--can ease her pain. To make matters worse, Kiara's grandmother was the only one who truly understood how mean some of the other kids at school could be. While going through some of the odds and ends her grandmother left her, Kiara finds a bottle labeled Zayn Garam Masala; when she opens the bottle, she unwittingly releases a genie, Zayn. Kiara is initially excited, as she hopes Zayn can help her take care of Matt, but the genie claims to be on vacation and refuses to grant her any wishes. Without the promise of magic, Kiara must summon the courage to stand up to Matt's bullying once and for all. Most of the characters are people of color: The protagonist and her family are Indian, Zayn is presumably Muslim, and Bai is Chinese; Matt is white. While Narsimhan's dialogue does not always sound authentically childlike, the issue of bullying is portrayed realistically though resolved easily. Simpson's cute cartoons in black and white are interspersed throughout the narrative, supporting the text and providing readers with some visual humor. An important story about bullying despite the relatively simple resolution. (Fantasy. 6-8)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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