Author Veera Hiranandani

On October 3, A-S Middle and Upper School boys began Adi’s Reading Challenge: a literary challenge where students read the best new Middle Grade fiction published this year and try to predict the winners of the next Newbery, Coretta Scott King, and other major awards from the American Library Association.
This is the sixth year of Adi’s Reading Challenge, which was created to honor the life of Aditya Srinivasan ’19.
Throughout the Reading Challenge, boys read books from a list curated by our Library team, submit a response form, and discuss the book with our library teachers. Once done, boys who read a specified number of books will be invited to the voting party in January!
To kick off the event, our Middle and Upper School students were fortunate to hear Veera Hiranandani, author of the Newbery honor book The Night Diary, talk about her writing process and the parts of her life from which she draws inspiration.
“I go to places that I am interested in, but also that I’m confused about,” said Ms. Hiranandani. “I need a question to keep me going; I don’t want to write about something that I know all the answers to.”
The Night Diary is the story of a Hindu family whose lives are upended by religious violence following the partition of British India into two independent states, India and Pakistan. Ms. Hiranandani loosely based this story on the experiences of her family members, particularly her father, in the 1940s. In writing this book, Ms. Hiranandani sought to further understand both what her father experienced living through the partition of India and also how communities that were living peacefully together with many different religions could turn against each other seemingly overnight once the partition lines were drawn.