Nina Soni, Former Best Friend

by Kashmira Sheth
Illustrated by Jenn Kocsmiersky
Meet Nina Soni!  
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781682630570
  • Publication date: 10/01/2019
  • Page Count: 152
  • Size: 5-1/2" x 7-1/2"
  • Age Range: 7-10
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781682632055
  • Publication date: 10/01/2020
  • Page Count: 148
  • Size: 5-1/2" x 7-1/2"
  • Age Range: 7-10
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 7-10
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781682631799
  • Publication date: 09/01/2019
  • Page Count: N/A
  • Age Range: 7-10
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 7-10
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Meet Nina Soni!

A chapter book series starring a lovable, distractible Indian-American girl and her family and friends. Great for STEAM-themed read-alouds.

“A sweet and entertaining series opener about family and friendship.” —Kirkus Reviews

Nina tried as hard as she could but still somehow forgot about her school project. Fortunately, a class lesson about Alexander Fleming suggests how she might make a great discovery—and thus a great project! But with little sister Kavita’s birthday party right around the corner, and her longtime friendship with Jay on the rocks, Nina has a lot to keep track of.

Young chapter book readers are sure to relate to author Kashmira Sheth’s endearing series starring Indian-American Nina Soni and her slightly scatter-brained efforts to manage her life with lists, definitions, and real-life math problems. Ideal for diverse book collections.



Kashmira Sheth


Kashmira Sheth was born in India and came to the US when she was seventeen to attend Iowa State University, where she received a BS in microbiology. She is the author of several picture books and middle grade and young adult novels. She lives in Virginia.


Jenn Kocsmiersky


Jenn Kocsmierksy is a watercolor artist and picture book illustrator. She was adopted from Seoul, South Korea and grew up in rural New Hampshire. Now, as a mom and artist, Jenn hopes to promote relatable childhood experiences featuring diverse characters. She was the recipient of the 2018 We Need Diverse Books Mentorship for Illustration and the 2016–2017 Walter Dean Meyers Grant. She lives in New York with her two children and a ginormous goldfish named Joey.


“Sheth’s language is poetic in its simplicity, and her narratorial voice is a pleasure to read…. A sweet and entertaining series opener about family and friendship.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Attractive illustrations and the use of dialogue, lists, and definition boxes (showing terms as defined by Nina) within the narrative make this chapter book accessible to somewhat younger readers than most middle-grade fiction. Science will evidently be an ongoing theme in the new Nina Soni series, which features a flawed but refreshing and very likable protagonist as well as well-drawn home and school settings. A promising start for the series.” —Booklist

“The illustrations are realistic, detailed, and eye-catching, and the characters are easy to relate to and likable. The fonts and layout used are fairly dyslexic- and reluctant reader–friendly. The notebook-style lists and vocabulary definitions add to the book without overwhelming the action.… A simple but engaging story. A perfect fit for readers who enjoy realistic fiction about friendship and self-discovery.” —School Library Journal


Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2020

Outstanding Books of the Year ―Wisconsin Library Association, 2020

Rhode Island Children’s Book Award (Nominee) ―Rhode Island IRA Chapter, RILA, REIMA, 2020-2021


Resources: Discussion Guide, Other

Discussion Guide
Author Q&A

More Details

AR Level: 4.0
F&P: Q, Gr 4, Genre RF
Lexile: 590L
Themes: Family, Friendship, Problem Solving, School
BISAC 1: JUV039060 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship
BISAC 2: JUV013000 JUVENILE FICTION / Family / General
BISAC 3: JUV014000 JUVENILE FICTION / Girls & Women