Ranbir: Folding Nebraska | Critical Book Review

In Mona R. Semerau’s RANBIR: FOLDING NEBRASKA, the narrative revolves around the peculiar yet charming journey of two seven-year-olds, Buck and Ranbir. This indie middle-grade novel invites readers to delve into a world where mathematics becomes the cornerstone of a unique friendship, offering an escapade filled with decimals, exponential growth, and logarithms.


Unconventional Friendships and Mathematical Adventures

Discovering the Joy of Numbers

Buck and Ranbir find themselves masked and alienated from normal social interactions, grappling with lessons on politics beyond their comprehension. When their culturally unconventional yet mathematically correct responses unite them, a friendship blossoms. The narrative follows their escapades through the mathematical realm, unfolding creative and entertaining games that captivate young minds.


Imaginative Ventures and Real-world Applications

The Intersection of Dreams and Math

Interspersed with Ranbir’s engaging math lessons are imaginative conflicts between the young duo and their teachers over weighty topics like racism and inequality. Buck’s daydreams inject a sense of whimsy into the story, transporting readers to alternate worlds where mathematical prowess takes center stage. The narrative successfully combines exhilarating real-world applications of math with the authentic voice of a seven-year-old, making Buck an inspirational and relatable character.


A Blend of Inspiration and Complexity

Navigating the Narrative Terrain

While some mathematical concepts may stretch the limits of young readers’ understanding, the story offers a plethora of simpler ideas and games for entertainment. However, the incorporation of mature political ideas feels somewhat forced and out of sync with the narrative’s youthful core. Jarring language early in the book regarding transgenderism and racial characteristics, though sporadic, stands in stark contrast to the overall tone. Thankfully, politics remains a peripheral element, framing rather than dominating the heart of the story.


Charismatic Guides and Mathematical Revelations

Changing Perspectives through Math

With charismatic guides like Ranbir, the journey through this novel uncovers the transformative power of mathematics in shaping one’s perception of the world. Despite occasional hiccups, the story challenges young readers to embark on their own mathematical adventures, offering a unique blend of inspiration and exploration.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN:

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressMiddle Grade / Contemporary80 pages9781639888788

In Mona R. Semerau’s RANBIR: FOLDING NEBRASKA, the narrative revolves around the peculiar yet charming journey of two seven-year-olds, Buck and Ranbir. This indie middle-grade novel invites readers to delve into a world where mathematics becomes the cornerstone of a unique friendship, offering an escapade filled with decimals, exponential growth, and logarithms. Unconventional Friendships and…