The Science of Seeing
(Upper) MG Contemporary
It’s September 2001, and Milni Arora, an Indian-American eighth grader, has just moved from San Francisco to a small town in Virginia. Before she even sets foot in her new school, the elite Madison Academy, Milni knows she won’t fit in with the almost all-white cookie-cutter preppies she’s seen in the yearbook. And she’s right; those first weeks, she has no friends at all, and especially not Luke Collier, the all-around perfect, older boy from across the street.
Milni’s mother and Luke’s father start working together and, one morning, have a meeting at the Pentagon. It’s on September 11. Milni spends the afternoon at Luke’s house where they wait, worry, and help each other through their distress. By the time their parents return, unharmed at least on the outside, Milni and Luke have formed an unexpected friendship.
In the following weeks, the students at Madison Academy are kinder, and Milni settles into life at Madison Academy. But then a series of post-9/11 hate crimes targeting Indian-Americans hit her town. Milni’s parents are distraught and want to move back to San Francisco. Milni desperately wants to stay in the town that’s now become her home and sets out to solve the crimes herself. But she’s in for a shock when her new friend (and secret crush) Luke Collier emerges as the prime suspect.
The Science of Seeing is a 59,000 word upper MG novel. This story is particularly timely given the unfortunate resurgence in crimes against those perceived to be Muslim.
I am Indian-American writer; my parents emigrated from India. My work for children has been published in a number of magazines including Skipping Stones, Chess Life for Kids, ChildArt, and Stinkwaves. I am a member of SCBWI and The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. I am also a lawyer who has worked on civil rights issues for over a decade