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Happy Paperback Launch, TIGER BOY!

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To celebrate the paperback release of TIGER BOY (Charlesbridge | 6/6), the Avid Reader (apt name for an indie, right?) in Davis, California is hosting an event. You're invited to join us if you're in the Sacramento Valley area.
The Avid Reader is excited to welcome Mitali Perkins for a reading, discussion, and signing of her fast-paced and well researched chapter book, “Tiger Boy” on Saturday, June 17th at 1:00 p.m.In a starred review, the School Library Journal writes, “Sure to encourage vital conversations among children, this is a fine addition to libraries and classrooms seeking to diversify collections.”When a tiger cub escapes from a nature reserve near Neel’s island village, the rangers and villagers hurry to find her before the cub’s anxious mother follows suit and endangers them all. Mr. Gupta, a rich newcomer to the island, is also searching—he wants to sell the cub’s body parts on the black market. Neel and his sister, Rupa, resolve to find the cub first and bring h…

I'm a FUNNY GIRL, no matter what my kids say

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Happy Book Birthday to Betsy Bird, editor of FUNNY GIRL(Penguin Random House, 5/9/17) and to all 24 of the other contributors. Here we are, as imagined by author and artist Amy Ignatow:


Praise for FUNNY GIRL:

* “Stellar. . . . Will surely appeal to a wide audience. ”– Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* “Certain to fit the bill for just about any child looking for a good laugh or 20.”– Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Timely . . . girl-power humor for the middle-grade set.”– The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Hilarious and heartfelt, this won’t only appeal to future funny girls and boys, it’ll inspire them.”–Booklist

Cheering for a real RICKSHAW GIRL

My book RICKSHAW GIRL is about a fictional girl who defies gender roles to try and make money for her family. A friend recently sent me a link to this portrayal of the brave and beautiful Sumi Begum, a young woman who pedals the streets of Dhaka pulling a rickshaw to provide for her family. Her story is heartbreaking and inspiring.

DIVESTMENT: A Good Friday Poem

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From time to time, I've posted poems about Good Friday, like this one, and this one. Here is this year's offering.

DIVESTMENT: A Good Friday Poem

By Mitali Perkins

Who speaks, I wonder?

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. Who can request this—as nails tear bones and flesh—but Divinity?

The emptying begins.

Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise. Enough Power still to Promise.

Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother. Some Strength left to Shepherd.

But Kairos is slipping away. He's divesting. Next comes the ancient question of Humanity, the wail of those trapped in chains of chronology.

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

I thirst. Oh! It's the primal cry of a Child, the Sick, the Old, anyone too weak to sate this need unaided.

It is finished. In one fading moment, the thunder of God and whisper of Man co-utter parallel declarations.

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. The frightening freedom of faith, breathed by…

YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR Exclusive Cover Reveal!

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Thanks to Bustle for a lovely review and exclusive cover reveal of my forthcoming novel, YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR (Macmillan FSG | 9/17).

"Perkins' new YA novel isn't just an exploration of family, but a tracing of its transformation as it crosses oceans and borderlines. 'You Bring the Distant Near' captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, this elegant YA novel explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture — for better or worse."

A Poem: Four Men at Mule Creek State Prison

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Four Men at Mule Creek State Prison


By Mitali Perkins


He puts on his bifocals and opens the family Bible. For two hours, he reads verses of hope to her in quiet Tagalog. A handkerchief, embroidered by hands buried far away, receives her tears.


She sprints across the room at the sight of him. He scoops her up and she kisses his clean-shaven cheek two dozen times. Her beribboned braids hide his tattoo as he bends to long-kiss her mother on the mouth. You’re given two times to touch — one twenty-second hug at first sight and one more before the last. But the Christmas tree is tinseled. A guard chews a microwaved cheeseburger from the vending machine and looks the other way.


His ponytail is graying. Their two chairs sandwich his like white toast on ham. Her ancient eyes memorize the silent features; his father’s are hidden behind one age-spotted hand. Who will be his bread when they are gone?


Our man is an orphan at twenty-two. His mother died in a fire last year, after her thirty-sixth b…

All Things South Asia Book Award

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Just got back from a wonderful trip to D.C., where I accepted the 2016 South Asia Younger Readers Book Award for TIGER BOY. Here's my awkward (but grateful) speech.