While traipsing over very familiar middle grade topics (changing friendships, bullying, family conflicts, and puberty), Karma's mixed racial (half-Punjabi, half-white) background adds an interesting twist to the story. Her interest in her heritage and her love of her father's ethnic cooking add dimension to her character. Moreover, Karma herself has a relatable mixture of kind-heartedness and ego-driven anxiety that feels true to her age (i.e., a mix of wanting to be pleasing and to be important enough to fix her family's problems while not adding any of her own). As is so often the case, an early decision to seek adult input would have solved many of Karma's problems, but there is an emotional payoff in watching her attempt to fix the things that she can on her own. A satisfactory combination of resolved and unresolved issues at the end felt realistic.
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