Bring on the Book! Meera Masi & Camel Mobile

If you can’t find the book you want, write the book you need.
That’s what Bay Area women Sonali Herrera and Sheetal Singhal did to begin Meera Masi, a tiny Bay Area publishing company highlighting Indian language and culture books for kids. The Chronicle reports that as the Bay Area Indian population has reached about 150,000 strong, and especially as some Indian families object to the information found in textbooks about their people and ancient culture (fearing that the focus on caste and poverty is limited and will make their own children feel uncomfortable with who they are), the move toward creating books of their own which teach the language and focus on creating curiosity about the Indian culture is a positive thing. Though the books are geared toward Indian children, their audience is intended to be broader. The books have already been read at storytime in local public libraries. ¬°Vivos los libros multicultural!

Growing up, we lived in an unincorporated part of the county, so we had a Bookmobile come out from the public library once a week. It was a treat to walk down the block to where the huge trailer was parked and return books and check out new ones; I was kind of sad when they created an actual library in our part of the county, since having our own neighborhood librarian was special. One of my Mills alums has shared the opportunity to assist with another bookmobile in a very unincorporated part of the world — Kenya. And the mobile… well, it’s a camel mobile for the Garissa Provincial Library! Masha Hamilton’s novel based on this massive undertaking is coming out from Harper Collins this year, but the true story behind the story that she experienced is compelling. Watch this little video, and get the early scoop on what it’s all about; look at the kids waiting for books to be unloaded, carefully choosing one, and opening the gift of another world…

The program has huge needs, and wishlist organizer Susan can answer your questions. If you can do anything to help – thank-you, from one bibliophile to another.

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