A Bit of Earth

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Product Details
$19.99  $18.59
Greenwillow Books
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.3 X 1.3 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author
Karuna Riazi is a born and raised New Yorker, with a loving, large extended family and the rather trying experience of being the eldest sibling in her particular clan. Besides pursuing a BA in English literature from Hofstra University, she is an online diversity advocate, blogger, and publishing intern. Karuna is fond of tea, baking new delectable treats for friends and family to relish, Korean dramas, and writing about tough girls forging their own paths toward their destinies. She is the author of The Gauntlet and The Battle.

"Karuna Riazi has a way with words. In this deft reimagining of The Secret Garden, she blends lyrical prose and poetry, crafts a heartfelt plot, and develops characters you want to root for. This story will find its way into your heart." -- Tae Keller, winner of the Newbery Medal for When You Trap a Tiger

"Extraordinary, poetic, and inventive. A Bit of Earth is such a special book. Prickles and all, Maria Latif captured my whole heart." -- Jasmine Warga, author of Newbery Honor book Other Words for Home

"An ambitious re-envisioning of a long beloved classic, this book is sure to be a big hit." -- Padma Venkatraman, award winning author of The Bridge Home

"Riazi has not just reimagined The Secret Garden. In a delicate blend of poetry and prose, she's also crafted a wide-open window into the heart of every 'unlikable' child who ever lived. I recognized the main character immediately--adrift and hardened, messy and hurt and realer than real--and loved her on every page of this book. As timeless as it is timely, A Bit of Earth is a rare gift." -- Laurel Snyder, author of National Book Award nominee Orphan Island

"A Bit of Earth embodies its titles perfectly. Here is a book that offers a place for readers to bury their fears into and see what beauty unfurls from the space. Riazi's prose is concise and lyrical, and Maria Latif is the prickly bud that astounds everyone when she's finally given the opportunity to bloom." -- Roshani Chokshi, New York Times-bestselling of Aru Shah and the End of Time

"Beautiful! Simply beautiful! My heart needed this gorgeous and modern re-imagining of The Secret Garden!" -- Ellen Oh, author of Finding Junie Kim

"A sweet and warm-hearted tale with unforgettable characters." -- Aisha Saeed, bestselling author of Amal Unbound

"Karuna Riazi has taken the seeds of an old story and produced something moving, exquisite, and thoroughly new. Readers will root for Maria, whose spirit is both fiery and tender; she leapt off the page and into my heart. Quietly magical and powerfully real, A Bit of Earth gorgeously captures the uncertainty and delight of coming of age--new friendships, the longing to fit in and find family, and the richness of recognizing all the possibilities for a full and rich life. A soul-filling treasure!" -- Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of Operation Sisterhood

"A contemporary re-envisioning of The Secret Garden . . . Found family is a central theme as Maria struggles to find a place she can truly call home. . . . Her Desi identity is represented authentically via foods, scents, clothing/dupatta, prayers, and mehndi, and the . . . hybrid prose/verse format provides a narrative that feels genuine, raw, and allows readers into the minds of the characters. . . . Destined to be a new classic, this refreshing of the canon is long overdue." -- School Library Journal (starred review)

"A contemporary, multicultural rendition of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic novel, The Secret Garden. . . .Riazi flavors her rendition with heavy doses of cultural references, nostalgic trappings of the people and practices that Maria left behind and then learns anew in the Bangladeshi diaspora on Long Island. . . . A nice difference from The Secret Garden is the presence of a larger sense of community and adults who are held accountable for their actions. Mary had Colin and Ben (and the robin), but Maria gains quite a gaggle of friends and family." -- Booklist

"Roots, both tangible and intangible, come together in this coming-of-age story. . . . This retelling of The Secret Garden offers an interesting twist on the classic's colonial, racist tone. It opens with promise as the evocative text highlights Maria's grief, isolation, and resignation at being cast adrift. Each character has their own story arc that is explored even as Maria finds ways of becoming her own person. . . . This book tackling hefty themes will grow on readers." -- Kirkus Reviews

"A foreboding feeling permeates this mystery-driven novel, a The Secret Garden retelling. . . . Chapters alternate experiential free-verse poetry with a third-person narrative as Maria excavates the garden's past and her own isolation in this thoughtful, emotionally honest take on the source material." -- Publishers Weekly