Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan (Published by Simon & Schuster, April 19, 2011)
Fifteen-year-old Rosalind was born in India to British parents. Unlike most British children in early 20th century India, she was not sent home to England to be educated, because her older brother died while at school in England and her mother couldn't bear to send another child away after that. Rosalind has had a lot of freedom the past couple of years, because her father, an army officer, was away fighting in World War I, and her mother has health problems and couldn't pay much attention to her. So she has been free to spend time with her best friend, Isha, who is Indian, and visit the bazaar in town.
But now that it is 1919, and the war is over and her father is home, he is unhappy that Rosalind was given so much freedom. He thinks she should only associate with other British people. He thinks anything else would be a bad influence on her, because he fears a rebellion now that the movement for Indian self-government is growing. Fearing that Rosalind has become too concerned with the plight of the Indian people, her father decides to send her to England where she will live with her two aunts and attend school. Rosalind doesn't want to leave India but she has no choice. How will she bear living so far away in a cold country with relatives she has never met? Will she ever be able to return to her beloved India?
Gloria Whelan has been one of my favorite writers of historical fiction for many years now. Her books always have really interesting and unique historical settings and wonderful characters. Small Acts of Amazing Courage is no exception. Rosalind was a very likable and sympathetic main character. She had a good heart and just wanted to help people, yet found herself in trouble with her strict father, who didn't understand why she would want to save an Indian baby, or hear the famous Gandhi speak, leading to her being sent away from everything she knew and loved. I highly recommend this book and others by Gloria Whelan to any reader who enjoys historical fiction.