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Peerbagh’s resident favorite author, Shetal Shah talks about her love for books in this episode of Kitabi Qisse. She shares how her teaching job inspired her to create diverse nonfiction books for kids, including her latest release, Shakti Girls.

Shetal shares her favorite desi books and one jaw-dropping moment when she first saw Jhumpa Lahiri’s book on a national bestseller list. Representing different cultures and giving kids the ability to see themselves in popular culture can’t be underestimated. Her experience as a teacher and a parent has inspired Shetal to create these moments for our future generations.

Help your kids find their creative voice

Shakti Girls author Shetal Shah talks Kitabi Qisse

Similar to their fictional cousins, there is low diversity in nonfiction books for kids. So this work feels refreshingly powerful. Our mission to showcase works from South Asian authors is truly meant for making all bookshelves more diverse and inclusive.

As a reminder, Kitabi Qisse is a gupshup with South-Asian authors, illustrators, and creatives. Check the video shorts on our Instagram page too, as we continue to promote diverse children’s books for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to nominate a desi writer or illustrator or this series, write to us here.


As a second-generation Indian-American, Shetal hoped to one day see more stories of girls like her fill the shelves of local bookstores. A former educator, Shetal taught world history in all-girls schools. She believes in how inclusive curriculum and literature can have a positive impact on girls’ self-esteem, identity development, and belonging.

Shetal also developed and led numerous educator workshops, presenting at national conferences. She has covered topics on pedagogy, diversity and inclusion.

Shetal currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and her two young boys. She pursues her writing and mission to bring diversity to bookshelves with stories that inspire. More about Shetal here.

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