American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar

Hello, Supriya Kelkar! It was wonderful seeing you at nErDcamp Michigan in July. Thank you so much for stopping by to share American as Paneer Pie’s cover illustration. I LOVE Abigail Dela Cruz’s illustration and Laura Lyn DiSiena’s design. 

Supriya Kelkar: Hello! It was so great getting to chat with you at nErDcamp Michigan and I’m so happy to be here chatting with you again! Thanks for having me! I adore Abigail Dela Cruz’s illustration and Laura Lyn DiSena’s design. The color palette is so unexpected and beautiful, and I just love the look of hope in Lekha’s eyes. They have captured the essence of the book perfectly. 

What are four things Lekha Divekar wants us to know about her?

1.) That she’s very funny, or rather, punny

2.) That she feels like there are two versions of herself, the one at home, where she can be herself, dancing to Bollywood music and eating her favorite Indian foods, and the one at school, where she tries to hide her culture because she is so often teased for it

3.) That sometimes she changes the subject, to avoid talking about difficult things

4.) That there is nothing tastier than tamarind chutney (she’s right) 

Please finish the following sentence starters: 

Lekha and Avantika are opposites when it comes to finding their voice. Avantika has already found hers and has no problem speaking up in the face of injustice. Lekha, who avoids confrontation at all costs, is still on the journey to find hers, a journey made easier alongside Avantika.

I hope American as Paneer Pie serves as a reminder that hate doesn’t get to win.

Story is a way to grow empathy, a way to discover how much we share, despite our differences.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me if there is a recipe for paneer pie in the book. There is! And I had the tough job of turning my kitchen into the test kitchen to make sure the paneer pie came out just right. 😊

Look for American as Paneer Pie on June 9, 2020. 


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