Thirst / Varsha Bajaj.
- ISBN: 9780593354391 :
- ISBN: 0593354397 :
- Physical Description: 179 pages ; 22 cm
- Publisher: New York : Nancy Paulsen Books, 
"A heroic girl in Mumbai fights for her belief that water should be for everyone"-- Provided by publisher.
|Target Audience Note:||
Ages 10 Nancy Paulsen Books
Grades 4-6 Nancy Paulsen Books
Search for related items by subject
|Subject:||Water security > India > Mumbai.
Mumbai (India) > Fiction.
- 2 of 2 copies available at Town of Hanover Libraries.
- 0 current holds with 2 total copies.
Publishers Weekly Review
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
A 12-year-old investigates water stolen from her Mumbai neighborhood in this clear look at resource access and wealth disparity. Minni and her brother Sanjay live with their affectionate parents in a small, laughter-filled home crammed alongside other residences. Authorities severely limit water to the low-income neighborhood's local tap, and when a fight at the tap hits close to home, Minni wonders what she can do to mitigate her community's water crisis. Things take a turn for the worse after she, her brother, and their friends inadvertently witness water being stolen, and Sanjay and another friend are soon sent away to avoid potential retaliation by the culprits. When their mother becomes ill, and Minni takes her place working as a servant at a wealthy Mumbai apartment building, she sees firsthand the difference that privilege makes in garnering basic necessities ("Money, not prayers, makes the water flow")--and is surprised to learn more about the local water-related injustice. Aptly describing variations between rich and the poor and alternating Minni's first-person telling with the child's observant journal entries, Bajaj (Count Me In) writes an engaging literary mystery. Ages 10--up. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (July)
School Library Journal Review
School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 3--6--Twelve-year-old Minni and her older brother Sanjay might live in a poor neighborhood in India, but they have big dreams: to finish school, get good jobs, and maybe live in one of the tall buildings where water runs from the taps. One night, Sanjay and his friend witness the "water mafia" stealing water from the community tap in a tanker truck, and Minni's world changes overnight. Sanjay and his friend must leave town for their own safety. Minni's mother, recently ill, leaves to recover in the countryside. Minni must take over her mother's maid work and household duties until she can return, while balancing school and a new computer coding class at the community center. Despite the title, the story largely focuses on Minni's internal thirst--for her family to be reunited, for knowledge, for opportunity, for fair treatment--rather than the water thieves. This part of the story is the strongest. Minni is a likable narrator, and readers will connect with her dreams and courage in the face of unfair treatment. The book also serves as a window into class difference. For example, Minni's job includes cleaning the bathroom for a girl her age and discovering that the room is bigger than her family's entire apartment. The water thieves plot is resolved too easily, but that doesn't diminish the impact of the book's message. One death occurs off-page, and Minni fears it is related to the water mafia, but details are never fully revealed. VERDICT A meditative first purchase for middle grade collections.--Lindsay Loup
The Horn Book Review
The Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Growing up in the slums around Mumbai, India, seventh grader Minni has been raised to follow the rules and stay out of trouble, but she can't keep quiet when she spots injustice. She dreams of going to college but keeps bumping up against the realities of poverty that make that nearly impossible. The narrative focus is on Mumbai's unstable, often non-potable water supply and the lack of indoor plumbing in Minni's neighborhood. When her brother spies the "water mafia" siphoning water illegally, he is sent away for his safety, while their mother goes to the country to recover from a serious illness. This leaves Minni to obtain water and boil it, take on her mother's job as a maid, and struggle to attend school full time. Her own sleuthing leads to a shocking conclusion about corruption and Mumbai's water resources. Bajaj's suspenseful novel peels back the curtain on modern-day class and caste inequities and how they create a cycle of poverty that spirals through generations. Minni's thirst for what's right steers the novel toward an optimistic conclusion in which one person can bring about big changes. Julie Hakim Azzam November/December 2022 p.79(c) Copyright 2022. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
A girl from a Mumbai slum defends the right to water. Minni may only be 12, but she's already well aware of how water issues in her neighborhood affect the health and safety of the people around her. While her brother, Sanjay, left school after 10th grade in order to work in a restaurant, Minni dreams of finishing school and getting a good job. But when Minni, Sanjay, and two of their friends witness water being stolen from their community, their families are terrified that the thieves will retaliate against the children. After Minni's mother comes down with an illness that leaves her unable to go to work as a servant in one of the city's high-rise buildings, she suggests Minni take her place while she recovers. Minni is thrust into a world of wealth and privilege and develops an uneasy friendship with the daughter of the house. It comes as a shock when she discovers the source of the water thefts is closer than she could have imagined. In this poignant, relatable work, Bajaj expertly depicts class and wealth differences; Minni's worries for her mother and anger at the injustices inflicted on her community are especially moving. A valiant call for justice. (author's note) (Realistic fiction. 8-12) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
For Minni, Sanjay, and their friends, life is a daily balance of chores, school, and trips to the community tap for water. They live in a poor part of Mumbai, in the shadow of gleaming high-rises, where their realities could not be further removed from those of the rich. The kids are smart and savvy, and their friendship is strong, so when a series of calamities adds layers of danger, they support one another through the worst of it. This fast-paced adventure story includes a vivid portrayal of life in a place where income disparities are glaring, education is a hard-won privilege, and a lot hangs in the balance when you take a risk. The main plot involves the kids' accidental encounter with the water mafia, thieves who steal and sell fresh water illegally. This is a real and perilous fact in Mumbai and, despite some improbable events, is convincingly portrayed. There's a lot to learn about and to like here: the characters, the humor, the emotional roller-coaster ride, and more.