By Mahtab Narsimhan

Orca Book Publishers

February 16, 2021



ThemesEmotions and Social AwarenessFamily and Friendship

Age / Grade 6-8 / Grades 1-3

When eight-year-old Kiara discovers that her recently deceased grandmother left her a genie, trapped in a bottle of garam-masala, she’s elated.

She’ll be a modern-day Aladdin and have someone to do her bidding. And Kiara could really use a little magic. Third grade is just about to start and she’s spent the summer worried about being in class with Matt, a bully who seems to have nothing else to do but make Kiara and her best friend Bai’s lives miserable. Unfortunately, the genie has decided he’s on vacation after working for ten thousand years and is looking for someone to do his bidding. A battle of wills ensues, and Kiara realizes that you don’t really need magic to solve your problems. (Orca Books)

Mahtab invites us to look for the magic within ourselves as she reads from her latest book Genie Meanie—the story about an eight-year-old girl who confronts a bully with the help of a genie who has been living in a spice bottle her grandmother left her.