MCPS ELD Teacher & Author Going to Gaithersburg Book Featival

This post expresses the views and opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily that of The Gaithersburg Post management or staff.

Why did Dr. Simarjeet K. Sandhu (Dr. Simi) write the Simran and Sehaj books?

Growing up in Maryland, I often went through discrimination from peers, teachers and administrators. As a 10 year old, I would go classroom to classroom informing students and teachers about who Sikhs are. As a middle schooler, I was ridiculed by an MCPS staff member when he shouted in front of the whole class, "What a stupid religion". In high school, an administrator punished me and let a student she assumed to be 'white' go with no repercussions. At the University of Maryland, when starting my internship as a student teacher, my mentor teacher, rather than ask me my name, shook my hand and said, "are you Muslim", later sending me for hours to the Xerox room and not allowing me to work with students. Her reasoning, "students were not safe around me" as she stated to me, but never documented it. At Towson University, after being selected to report my research study, all the students, except me, were greeted by the director of the program after I traveled 17 hours by car to New Orleans. And at Hood College, while completing my doctorate, a student questioned my immigration status. I was born in Tacoma Park, Maryland. I am a Sikh American, but to many, I am a terrorist, an illegal immigrant, an alien, etc.

The experiences that I just shared is why I became an ELD (English Language Development) teacher and a children's author. I began writing the Simran & Sehaj series which serve as a mirror and a window. A mirror for Sikh children and a window for non-Sikhs looking out to learn something new.

Book #7 of the Simran & Sehaj series, The Land of Five Rivers, has just published. This  book informs readers of the geographical and historical facts of Punjab and where Sikhism began.

Informing Maryland residents about Sikhs and our native land is very important. As you read above, my experiences have brought me to why I write these books, and it is my hopes that MCPS will select these books to be part of their collection, so that Sikh students feel represented.

Information about the books


This book is about a very special farmer from India, Sardar Maluk Singh Sandhu, who is the grandfather of Dr. Simi. Learn about facts from Punjab and Haryana. The book also has comprehension questions in the back.

Includes glossary and comprehension questions

We Are Sikhs

This book provides a summary of Sikhism. This book is intended for educational purposes. We ask that you share this book with your child’s teachers and administrators. 2021 statistics from the FBI has shown that hate crimes against Sikhs is ranked #2 in the nation, making it very important for us to share with all communities who Sikhs are.

Includes glossary and comprehension questions

Blizzard of the Century

This book teaches about the importance of patience. Simran and Sehaj learn an important lesson about patience.

Includes glossary and comprehension questions

Luke the Rescue Pup

This is a true story about Dr. Simi’s pup, Luke. She wrote this book to inform people about the importance of adopting rescue dogs. Proceeds from this book have been donated to A Forever Home, the rescue agency that Dr. Simi adopted Luke from.

Includes glossary and comprehension questions

Dr. Simi is the founder of Hands2Inspire, a nonprofit organization that is on a mission to Give Back, Share Knowledge and Raise Awareness. Proceeds from the Simran and Sehaj books go to their academic scholarship fund and community outreach projects. To learn more about Hands2Inspire, visit

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