Bravo, Anjali!

Listening Library. (Always Anjali: Bk. 2). Jan. 2024. 7p. $5. ISBN 9780593826492.
PreS-Gr 3–Actor/producer/author Sheth returns to richly voice the second entry in her “Always Anjali” series. In Anjali’s family, she’s “the chief maestro of [their] house—in charge of all the music and magic.” Her instrument is the tabla, even if most people think it’s “a boy’s instrument.” At tabla lessons and at school, Deepak suddenly becomes more bully than the friend Anjali thought he was, taunting and disparaging her. His meanness hurts enough to make Anjali question her own talent just before the upcoming recital. “Never dim your light, girl,” an older fifth grader insists, giving Anjali the boost of confidence she needs to earn her glorious “Bravo, Anjali!” applause. Sheetal marvelously channels her charmingly spunky hero, her delivery just right for the challenging lows and highs of a passionate artist-in-the-making.
VERDICT An entertaining, heartening reminder to young readers to never “feel bad for being good at something.”

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