The Power of One Voice
Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar and published by Lee & Low/Tu Books is a story of empowerment.
Set in India in 1942, at the time when Mahatma Ghandi is fighting for freedom for India. He asks all families to to give one member to the fight. This is Anjali's story. Thinking she will have to give up her father to the fight, she is even more surprised to learn that it is her mother who will be joining the freedom fighters. In the beginning she is angry and confused about the need to give away all her beautiful, imported clothing and about reaching out to the Dalit community. Slowly, Anjali comes to accept her mother's new role. When her mother is imprisoned for her beliefs, Anjali begins to take up the torch and becomes a freedom fighter in her own right.
Ahimsa is the story of changing perspectives during a tumultuous time in India's history. At a time when Hindus and Muslims were rioting in the streets and it wasn't safe to go outside. The people of India were fighting for their freedom from the British Empire and the rest of the world was engulfed in World War II. It's a story about how one person can make a huge difference. Finally, it's an empowering story for all girls, especially in the middle grades. Ahimsa lays out the power of one voice; how one's voice can be an incredibly powerful tool with the capability of eliciting great change.