Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 7, 2022

Book Giveaway: SHE SANG FOR INDIA: How M.S. Subbulakshmi Used Her Voice for Change by Suma Subramaniam

Suma Subramaniam has written a new picture book, SHE SANG FOR INDIA: How M.S. Subbulakshmi Used Her Voice for Change, illustrated by Shreya Gupta and published by Farrar Straus and Giroux on November 8th. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Suma and Shreya.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments by Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!


A picture book biography about M.S. Subbulakshmi, a powerful Indian singer who advocated for justice and peace through song.

Before M.S. Subbulakshmi was a famous Carnatic singer and the first Indian woman to perform at the United Nations, she was a young girl with a prodigious voice.

But Subbulakshmi was not free to sing everywhere. In early 1900s India, girls were not allowed to perform for the public. So Subbulakshmi busted barriers to sing at small festivals. Eventually, she broke tradition to record her first album. She did not stop here. At Gandhi’s request, Subbulakshmi sang for India’s freedom. Her fascinating odyssey stretched across borders, and soon she was no longer just a young prodigy. She was a woman who changed the world.


The journey of She Sang For India goes way back in time, when I listened to M.S. Subbulakshmi’s voice first thing in the morning almost every day of my childhood.

Her story is an example of how a small-town girl used her voice to bring change and make the world better. It took 8 years from idea to publication for this story.

I worked on Subbulakshmi’s story with Jane Kurtz, my faculty advisor at Vermont College of Fine Arts. After graduating from the writing program, I revised the story several times and had it reviewed by my beta readers. My beta readers were smart and kind. They gave me the feedback I needed to improve the manuscript and they were the best at offering encouragement too.

After receiving many rejections over the years, She Sang for India was acquired for publication by Elizabeth Lee at FSG Young Readers. Later, I also worked with Trisha De Guzman on this project. It has been an absolute delight to have Shreya onboard for the illustrations. She breathed life into the book with her vibrant and heartwarming art.

Through this book, I encourage readers to improve their craft in their area of interest and use their voice for the good of the world.


Suma Subramaniam is an Indian American author and volunteer for We Need Diverse Books. She is a contributing author for The Hero Next Door (Penguin Random House) and the author of Namaste Is A Greeting (Candlewick). She has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College Of Fine Arts. She Sang For India is her nonfiction picture book debut.

Suma Subramaniam’s interests in writing for children are centered around STEM/STEAM related topics as well as India and Indian heritage. When she’s not recruiting by day or writing by night, she’s volunteering for We Need Diverse Books and SCBWI or blogging about children’s books. Suma is the author of Namaste Is A Greeting, She Sang For India, and other books for children and young adults.

Her poems have been published in Poetry Magazine. She lives in Seattle with my family and a dog who watches baking shows. Learn more at


Shreya Gupta is a New York based illustrator and book designer. She is originally from India, but her passion for drawing and illustration brought her to the United States, where she pursued an MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from the School of Visual Arts, NY.

Her work has been featured as a “Google Doodle” logo, in the New York Times, Asia Society magazine and in various major publications. She also illustrated a 150th anniversary edition of Little Women for Little, Brown. She currently lives in New York, NY.

As a child who enjoyed taking photographs, she was told that she was “too young” to carry around a camera. So instead, she started drawing the places and things she wanted to remember, and that is how she was introduced to art.

Thank you, Suma for sharing your book and journey with us. I always learn so much from the non-fiction picture book I feature. I added more knowledge with this book. It is important to share the past with our children and other cultures, expecially a a strong woman who helped changed the world. It is always nice to read about people who advocate for justice and peace. Shreya Gupta made this book sing with her illustrations. Beautiful Book. Good luck sharing this with the children of the world.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. i am gathering books about powerful women, and the ways in which they have changed the world. This looks like a great addition to my collection. Beautiful!


  2. Can’t wait to add this to my collection of books set in India! [Newsletter Subscriber]


  3. That page: “So sweet was her song…” is captivating! This story looks so special. Congrats! 8 years is a long time, but I’m glad you kept going!


  4. Love the message. I love multi-cultural books and can’t wait to add to my collection.


  5. The illustrations are so beautiful! I’m going to love learning about this talented musician and the obstacles she faced. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and tumblr.


  6. Congratulations on using your voice (amplified by those beautiful illustrations) to bring this important story into the world.


  7. Thanks for bringing this powerful story to light!


  8. What an inspiring story! I can’t wait to read this and learn more about M.S. Subbulakshmi! Subscribed and retweeted.


  9. Such an amazing story! I can’t wait to read this book. I subscribe to this blog and will share it on FB and Twitter.


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