December 13, 2019

Dear Veera Hiranandani,

One day I was at the library just wandering around, not sure which book to choose. That’s when a certain dark blue book caught my eye, it was called The Night Diary. I pulled it off the shelf and opened it to the first page. As I finished the first paragraph, it was time to leave the library. I shut the book, fighting against myself to continue reading, as if trying to pull two strong magnets away from each other.

About halfway through the book, I realized how much I was learning. Not only was I learning about the history of Pakistan and India, but also more about myself. Your book made me feel different emotions and think more about my life. I felt like I was changing how I thought about myself. Throughout the book I experienced a lot of anger, fright, and jealousy as I read about how Nisha survived many unfair experiences. Nisha’s family was there encouraging her to keep going, which made me feel hopeful. All these emotions brought me to realize that if you trust the ones you love, and those willing to help, you will succeed in life.

Another way I felt like I changed is that I felt more thankful and appreciative for what I have. First, my mother is not dead. Nisha’s mom died. I know she must have felt as if someone broke open the geode of her heart, and took out all the pretty, glittering crystals, except for one little bit to keep her going. I know the geode in my heart is full of crystals because I have my Mom and Dad to keep it from cracking every day. Second, I live in a house that I can stay in for the rest of my life. Nisha was forced to leave her home. Reading your book brought me to realize that some people don’t have what I have. I am very lucky, and now I will try not to take things for granted.

The most important change I felt after reading your book, was how I thought about my relationship with my brother. I read about how Nisha had a great bond with her brother to keep her going through the hardest of times. That made me think more about my seven-year-old brother, and how we could share that type of bond with each other.  I want to improve our relationship and become a good example for him as a big sister. Like a flashlight shining the way through the dark, I want to help guide him and help him feel secure.

Lastly, I thought about how Nisha was always thinking about who she was as a person and where she belonged in the world. Just like Nisha, I started thinking about who I am as a person and where I belong in the world. I started to think about my place at school. That made me continue thinking about my personality, and what my teachers and classmates thought about me. I figured out that I want to be a strong student, earn respect from everyone, and become a good friend.

After reading your book, I am inspired to reach my goals. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Nylah Qureshi

Page last modified: March 11, 2020