Review of The Grand Plan to Fix Everything, by Uma Krishnaswami

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything

by Uma Krishnaswami
illustrated by Abigail Halpin

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 2011. 266 pages.
Starred Review

This is a completely fun book about a girl whose parents pick up and move to India for two years, leaving their home in Maryland behind — and Dini’s best friend, Maddie.

Dini hopes maybe, just maybe, it can work out for the best if she can meet the Bollywood film star, Dolly Singh.

“Dini is a Dolly fan. She has been forever, from the time she discovered that Dolly’s first movie, in which she was just a kid, came out the day — the very day! — that Dini was born. You can’t be more closely connected than that.”

Now, I should say that I am horribly prejudiced against books written in present tense. I’m not sure why, but it really bugs me. However, I read this one anyway, since it’s a contestant in School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books. And I have to admit that it grew on me so much that most of the time I didn’t even notice the tense. Also going for it were Abigail Halpin’s illustrations. She illustrated Penny Dreadful, by Laurel Snyder, and I love the feel her illustrations give a book — telling you correctly that this is a nice, light-hearted, solid story with lots of fun.

This book did have lots of coincidences, but it felt right. The whole book is a tribute to Bollywood films, and I have a feeling (I don’t actually know) that the coincidences may have made the book more like a Bollywood film, where everything works out happily in the end. There’s even a dance number!

This is a great solid and entertaining middle grade story. I enjoyed reading it, and hope I can find some library members to recommend it to, because I think there are lots of kids who would enjoy it.

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Source: This review is based on a book I got for free on the last day of ALA Midwinter Meeting.

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