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Big Red Lollipop: 07/25/11
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan was inspired by her own childhood as a younger sister who desperately wanted to go with her sister to a birthday party even though she wasn't invited. It's told from Rubina, the oldest sister's point of view. She is invited to a birthday party, something her immigrant mother has never heard of and she tries to explain that only she is invited. Her mother though says she can only go if she can take her middle sister.
Things don't go well and Rubina isn't invited to many parties after that. When the middle sister is ultimately invited to a birthday party, Rubina steps in and convinces their mother to leave the youngest sister at home to avoid a repeat.
The story gave me pause, not over the realization that birthday parties are a very Western thing, but over the fact that where I live all of the siblings are typically invited. We live in a very diverse neighborhood and until I read Big Red Lollipop I never wondered if diversity had anything to do with the inclusion of siblings at birthday events. Whatever the reason, I'm glad we typically invite everybody.