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Bravo Anjali by Sheetal Sheth and illustrated by Lucia Soto

Have you ever had trouble with a best friend? How did you solve it?

These were the questions my students discussed before reading Bravo Anjali, the follow-up to Sheth’s Always Anjali.

Anjali is learning to play tabla despite it being an instrument that is typically played by boys. Her friend, Deepek, takes lessons with her, but he is suddenly being unkind, telling her she’s showing off, whispering behind her back. After an incident in the classroom with Deepak, Anjali has had enough. She storms to the bathroom and shouts out her frustrations, only to be overheard by a fifth grader who tells her, Never dim your light, girl.

On the day of the recital, Anjali is nervous, but she tells herself to do her very best, and think about how much she’s dreamed of this moment.

Lucia Soto’s vivid, expressive illustrations add to the joy of this wonderful read-aloud with fantastic themes for discussion: friendship, gender roles, dealing with conflict, forgiveness, and empowerment.


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