To inquire about fees, acquire an author visit packet, or to book a date, please contact Pooja.

INDIA 101: Mama's Saris and Indian Textiles
FORMAT: Presentation and Workshop for Elementary School Classrooms 
and Libraries
Bring India alive in your classroom or library with this presentation and workshop. Listen to the author read from Mama's Saris and look at and touch the sari styles mentioned in the book. Using India's textile traditions as a starting point, we will begin to explore the country's immense geographic, linguistic, and economic diversity. This presentation also includes a sari-tying demonstration, a sari-inspired art project, and bangle and bindi giveaways.

MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS: A Tender and Magical Bond
FORMAT: Reading and Discussion for Mother-Daughter Book Clubs

Pooja wrote Mama's Saris after realizing that her own fascination with her mother's saris was not unique. It seemed as if all her female friends, regardless of ethnicity or age, remember at one point, being captivated by their mothers' dress-up clothes. Listen to the author read from Mama's Saris and discuss the often complicated - always rewarding - relationship between mothers and daughters. This presentation also includes a sari-tying demonstration and bangle and bindi giveaways.

SHADES OF GRAY: Writing About Race
FORMAT: Workshop for Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School, or Adult Writers

How old were you when you became conscious of the color of your skin? What was the first racial epithet you ever heard? Was your house vandalized because you were the only different kid in school? Were you ever made fun on in the girls' bathroom because your name wasn't easy to pronounce? When did you first witness racism? What were those experiences that hurt you or made you think or made you reevaluate your history, the history of your community, or the history of your country? This reading and writing workshop brings the not-often-discussed issue of race into the classroom and onto the page. We will discuss writing as a vehicle for discussing and deconstructing race and a bridge to understand and overcome our differences.

I HAVE A DREAM: Writing for Social Change
FORMAT: Workshop for Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School, or Adult Writers
What can you do to change your community? How can writing be used to help this change come about? This reading and writing workshop sees writing as a form of activism and recognizes the role of words in building a movement for social change. Using journalism, essays, novels, memoirs, spiritual writing, and diaries, we will explore the writer's voice. We will discuss issues that are urgent to us and begin to formulate creative responses to confront these problems.

MORE THAN MONKEYS, MAHARAJAHS AND MANGOES: An Overview of South Asian Literature for Kids
FORMAT: Plenary for Educators or Librarians
In her book, Against Borders, Hazel Rochman writes:

“Books can make a difference in dispelling prejudice and building community: not with role models and literal recipes, not with noble messages about the human family, but with enthralling stories that make us imagine the lives of others. A good story lets you know people as individuals in all their particularity and conflict; and once you see someone as a person - flawed, complex, striving - then you've reached beyond stereotype. Stories, writing them, telling them, sharing them, transforming them, enrich us and connect us and help us know each other.”

Multicultural literature is necessary in helping young people to develop an understanding of diverse cultures, people and perspectives. This presentation will provide educators and librarians an overview of representations of South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora in children’s literature and tools to select authentic books for their classrooms and communities.