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Vanished Hardcover – July 26, 2011

11 customer reviews

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$16.99 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author


Sheela Chari(www.sheelachari.com) was born in Bangalore, India, and has lived in Iowa, Washington State, California, Massachusetts, and New York. She holds an MFA degree in Creative Writing from New York University. This is her first novel.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 630L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423131630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423131632
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #837,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sheela Chari has degrees from Stanford University, Boston University, and New York University, where she received an MFA in creative writing. Her novel, VANISHED, was named as a 2012 Children's Literature Honor Book by the Asian Pacific-American Library association, and was nominated for an Edgar award for best juvenile mystery. She lives in New York with her husband and two daughters. VANISHED is her first novel. Visit her online at www.sheelachari.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Power TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Vanished by Sheela Chari stars Neela an Indian American who must solve a huge mystery when her Veena vanishes. Neela brings her Veena (a traditional Indian instrument) to school to show her music class as they study world instruments. While walking home she ducks into a church to escape the rain and stows her Veena in a closet. When she leaves she finds that her Veena has vanished. Neela's Veena was a gift from her grandmother in India and she finds out many special things while searching for it.

I enjoyed reading about Neela's life. Her parents are immigrants and she has to learn how to be both an American girl and an Indian daughter and her more traditional cousin. I didn't however love the story. It wasn't a light and easy read like I expect for books written for this age group. It seemed more like one of those books that's on your teachers bookshelf that you read because there isn't much to choose from. It's interesting enough but not anything that you would pick to read on your own.

Appropriateness: I would recommend this book to readers from 10-14. There is nothing that parents would find objectionable in the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Donovan on September 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Neela is 11. She does well in school, she loves music and potato chips. Her little brother is kind of pesky, her dad tells corny jokes, and her mom has been known to wear some outrageous outfits on laundry day. Sounds just like you, right? The one difference is that Neela is Indian American.

In Vanished, the author Sheela Chari does just what her mom encourages Neela to do with her new American life: Take the best that both cultures have to offer. Be both Indian and American.

I love that about this story. Yes, Neela and her family are a little different. Their names are different, some of the foods they eat are different, and visiting grandma doesn't mean a long car trip, but an overseas plane trip to India. The music she loves is played on a veena, an old-fashioned Indian instrument. But it is because kids will also relate to this family that they will learn to appreciate some of the differences, or perhaps they won't even seem any different than the fact that one sibling likes pepperoni pizza and the other likes cheese.

Vanished isn't a preachy tale meant to raise awareness, or a novel with a multi-cultural agenda built in, but because the main character is different than your standard middle-class American child, it's an opportunity to absorb some culture. That's one reason I love to read multi-cultural literature myself, and I think that the same stands for this middle-grade novel.

NOTE TO PARENTS: There's nothing objectionable in this book for older middle grade readers. There is one mild swear word spoken by an adult, and narrator Neela even comments how she felt grown up to be trusted with such language, indicating that she knows it's not an 11-year-old word.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Samphire on September 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book so, so much! Music and mystery, international adventure and a touch of magic...kids are going to eat this up. I read it as an e-galley but cannot wait to buy my own copy for lots of re-readings.

Eleven-year-old Neela, who lives near Boston and dreams of becoming a professional musician one day, loves playing the beautiful old veena (a traditional Indian instrument) that her grandmother has sent her from India. But there's a story behind that veena that the adults in her life have hidden from her, and when it's stolen from Neela, she discovers rumors of a curse laid upon the instrument. As she works to find her stolen veena, she makes new friendships, struggles with her changing relationship with her mother, and discovers the strength and confidence that had been hidden inside herself all along.

The story of VANISHED is fabulous and fun, but what I really loved most were all the little details of Neela's family life. All of her family members were real and believable, from four-year-old Sree to their parents and grandmother, and I recognized so many little details of family dynamics from when I was eleven - Neela's shifting relationship with her much-younger brother, her struggles to define herself against her mother and find a new balance in their relationship...one of my favorite bits was this little moment between the two of them:

"Mrs. Krishnan reached over to stroke the ends of Neela's hair. Neela had always loved this since she was small, but lately it had begun to annoy her, too, because it felt like her mother was secretly trying to arrange her hair at the same time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DAC VINE VOICE on August 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Neela brings her instrument, a veena to her sixth grade class for the around the world unit. On the way home there's a very bad rainstorm. Neela is offered shelter from the rain by an old man in a church. She's very uneasy about not being able to take her valuable veena straight home. Also the old man is a little strange. The two have an odd conversation in the kitchen. When Neela goes to leave her veena is missing and the man has disappeared.

The veena is very special and rare it was a gift from Neela's grandmother in India. Neela is determined to find her instrument even after her parents tell her to stop.

I enjoyed Vanished a lot and loved Neela's voice. It was also nice to see Neela's parents and younger brother, Seri were a part in the story.

"Like strep throat or the chicken pox, or the Great Plague which Neela read about in social studies, bad luck was one of those things are one of those things are mother tried at great length to avoid. She was training to be a pharmacist, and it was her belief that all human experience was the result of chemistry and luck, good and bad. But mostly bad. Neela's father would always exclaim that's so unscientific. But there was no changing her mother's opinion. Bad luck was an impenetrable force working against them all. Worst of all it was contagious."

Since the suspect list is small, I liked that the other doesn't throw in too many red herrings. The mystery lies more in the how and why the veena was stolen. The story moves along at a great clip. There's a nice hint of creepy and unexplained darkness. The age old curse on the missing veena adds to this feeling. Neela slowly connects the clues and everything comes together in India.

Neela reminded me of Glida Joyce.
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