Karma Khullar's Mustache

Karma Khullar's Mustache

For Ages: 8 - 12
  • 1
“Kristi Wientge deftly captures the turmoil of adolescence.” —Us Weekly

Debut author Kristi Wientge tackles the uncomfortable—but all too relatable—subject of female body hair and self-esteem with this sweet and charming novel in the tradition of Judy Blume.

Karma Khullar is about to start middle school, and she is super nervous. Not just because it seems like her best friend has found a newer, blonder best friend. Or the fact that her home life is shaken up by the death of her dadima. Or even that her dad is the new stay-at-home parent, leading her mother to spend most of her time at work. But because she’s realized that she has seventeen hairs that have formed a mustache on her upper lip.

With everyone around her focused on other things, Karma is left to figure out what to make of her terrifyingly hairy surprise all on her own.
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481477703 | 
  • August 2017 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7 | 
  • Lexile ® 820L
List Price $22.99 (price may vary by retailer)

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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Karma Khullar’s Mustache

By Kristi Wientge

About the Book

As if starting middle school isn’t scary enough on its own, Karma Khullar has to deal with a lot of other life changes at the same time. Her dadima has recently passed away, her father has become a stay-at-home dad, her mother has a new time-consuming job, and her best friend Sara wants to spend all her time with Lacy, her popular new neighbor. On top of all that, Karma has recently grown a mustache—seventeen black hairs, to be exact! She’s nervous and self-conscious and isn’t sure how she’ll navigate her new life without her usual support network. Once school starts, it’s up to Karma to figure out how to live up to her name and attract the good karma that she needs to survive sixth grade.

Discussion Questions

1. Why do you think Karma is so fixated on the emergence of her new mustache? Describe and discuss some of Karma’s emotions associated with the mustache. Is she overreacting? How would you react if you were her?

2. Karma’s dad recently lost his job and has taken on a new role as a stay-at-home parent. Why do you think this is a hard adjustment for Karma? How do you think her dad feels about this new situation? How does his new role affect their relationship?

3. Compare and contrast the friendship between Sara and Karma and th see more

About the Author

Kristi Wientge

Kristi Wientge is originally from Ohio where she grew up writing stories about animals and, her favorite, a jet-setting mouse. After studying to become a teacher for children with special needs, she spent several years exploring the world from China to England, teaching her students everything from English to how to flip their eyelids inside out. She’s spent twelve years raising her family in her husband’s home country of Singapore, where she spends her days taking her four kids to school, Punjabi lessons, and music. With the help of her mother-in-law, she can now make a mean curry and a super-speedy saag. She is the author of Karma Khullar’s Mustache and Honeybees and Frenemies.