IN THE KEY OF NIRA GHANI BY NATASHA DEEN
Guyanese girl must find the balance between her parents’ “old world” expectations and traditions while pursuing her dream of being a great trumpeter in this contemporary, coming-of-age story.
Nira Ghani has always dreamed of becoming a musician. Her Guyanese parents, however, have big plans for her to become a scientist or doctor. Nira’s grandmother and her best friend, Emily, are the only people who seem to truly understand her desire to establish an identity outside of the one imposed on Nira by her parents. When auditions for jazz band are announced, Nira realizes it’s now or never to convince her parents that she deserves a chance to pursue her passion.
As if fighting with her parents weren’t bad enough, Nira finds herself navigating a new friendship dynamic when her crush, Noah, and notorious mean-girl, McKenzie “Mac,” take a sudden interest in her and Emily, inserting themselves into the fold. So, too, does Nira’s much cooler (and very competitive) cousin Farah. Is she trying to wiggle her way into the new group to get closer to Noah? Is McKenzie trying to steal Emily’s attention away from her? As Farah and Noah grow closer and Emily begins to pull away, Nira’s trusted trumpet “George” remains her constant, offering her an escape from family and school drama.
But it isn’t until Nira takes a step back that she realizes she’s not the only one struggling to find her place in the world. As painful truths about her family are revealed, Nira learns to accept people for who they are and to open herself in ways she never thought possible.
A relatable and timely contemporary, coming-of age story, In the Key of Nira Ghani explores the social and cultural struggles of a teen in an immigrant household.
- Amy Mathers Award Winner
- MYRCA Award Nominee
- R. Ross Arnett Award Nominee
- American Library Association YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
- Red Maple Award Nominee
- Red Maple Honour Book
- Barnes & Noble’s Top 25 Most Anticipated Own Voices Novels
- Chapters-Indigo Most Anticipated Teen Books
- Junior Library Guild Selection
- CCBC Best Pick for Kids & Teens
- CCBC Red Leaf Literature Pick
- OLA White Pine Teen Committee Summer Reading List Selection
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Guyanese-Canadian author NATASHA DEEN writes for kids, teens, and adults, and enjoys visiting libraries and schools to help people to find and tell the stories that live inside of them.
Her published works include the Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection Thicker than Water, Guardian which was a Sunburst Award nominee, and the Alberta Readers’ Choice nominated Gatekeeper. Her YA novel, In the Key of Nira Ghani, won the 2020 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. When she’s not writing, she teaches Introduction to Children’s Writing with the University of Toronto SCS and spends an inordinate amount of time trying to convince her pets that she’s the boss of the house. Visit Natasha at www.natashadeen.com and on Twitter/Instagram, @natasha_deen.