This is part of the Golden Set published by the Children’s Book Trust. A collection of four tales, it highlights four different chapters not often spoken about in detail in history books. Of three queens and a brave lad, separated by centuries, these tales are told in a way that children can learn history through stories.
Dystopian fiction begins quite simply with restrictions. A character is not allowed to do something because that would mean defying society, family and the law. Even though Arushi Raina’s When Morning Comes is based on the reality of life in apartheid-era South Africa, it has all the trappings of a good young adult dystopian novel.
Ruskin Bond is one of India’s favourite writers. He has been writing for over five decades, and his repertoire is impressive—poetry to non-fiction, he seems to have written it all. What makes Bond loved and admired is his simple narrative style which draws you in and takes you on a walk along with him past streams, mountains and the odd city road. There’s so much to see and admire, beauty even in the smallest wayside weed.
Both the stories are set in the tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh. Balamma is a spirited 12-year-old girl. She reaches her peanut farm at the crack of dawn before any one is up and waters her peanut crop. When the neighbouring field of the landlord Tirumalla Rao gets less water, the annoyed landlord decides to teach Balamma a lesson.
Young children play in the most unstructured manner. A child holding a ladle may decide she is holding a mike and singing a song. Moments later, the ladle becomes an umbrella, or a bus, or a spoon to stir her mother’s coffee. A game of swordsmanship may transform into one playing with fallen flowers and seeds, or a classroom game.
The genre of young adult literature is hard to define. It is one that is identified by its liminality (to borrow a term from postcolonial theory), by its existence as an in-between segment of storytelling—neither too innocent, nor too indecent.
Between twelve and twenty is a rather varied stretch, with changes occurring to the body and mind at every turn of the way. It encompasses several stages—early teens, adolescence and legal adulthood. Is it possible to address all their problems in one volume?
For the longest time there has been an invisible line, an unwritten rule that prevents writing meant for young readers from straying too far into the unknown and by extension, the ‘unsuitable’. The Other: Stories of Difference by Paro Anand is a collection of short narratives…
In Bangla literature there is a wonderful tradition—writers are never put into slots. No one is stamped as a ‘children’s writer’, ‘writer of humour’ or even a poet. You go wherever your imagination takes you. As a matter of fact, writers take pride in spanning many genres and that has brought the greatest gifts to children.
This is the Hindi version of Folk Tales of The North-East narrated sensitively by Sudhamahi Regunathan, and illustrated magnificently by Subir Roy. As the name indicates, it brings together folklore prevalent in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
Deepa Agarwal’s book Sacked comprises 15 stories about kings, princes, clever old ladies, merchants, peasants, birds and animals. Although the author does not mention the provenance of these stories, one presumes that they are largely Indian regional tales. Her style is simple and lively so that you are constantly engaged as if it were being told orally.
As you grow older, several unpleasant problems must be confronted. Amongst them falls the inevitable consequence of children growing up, leaving home, stubbornly refusing to take their effects with them and angrily refusing to let you give them away.
Indian mythology is a complex maze of stories within stories revolving around the amazing exploits of gods and goddesses, saints and sinners, and creatures dark and bright. Our ancient scriptures are full of these fabulous tales that tell of births and rebirths, boons, blessings and curses. They are veritably a part of the Indian subconscious mind…
Vanita is a unique child…
The main characters of this rather captivating and sometimes scary book is a duo—Meenakshi and Kalban. Meenakshi is the daughter of Kalban’s teacher who is from a different land. Kalban studies in Meenakshi’s father’s study whereas Meenakshi studies in her father’s library.
Everless is all about seventeen-year-old Jules who has arrived at Everless, the estate of the Gerling family—a place which she detests and fears, in order to earn time for her dying father. In our world, we work to earn money to pay our taxes, bills and rent.
Morrigan Crow, daughter of Chancellor Corvus Crow, is born on Eventide. Those unfortunate enough to be born on this day, are predestined to die on their 12th birthday. As a ‘cursed child’, she is blamed for random catastrophes that happen in her home town of Jackalfax, from hailstones and heart attacks, to ruined batches of marmalade.
The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide is an adventure fantasy novel written by Chris Colfer, whose name kept niggling me, as I read this book. Yet it was only after I finished reading the book that I was surprised to find that the author was an actor in one of my favourite television series, Glee.
This book is an encyclopedia of wild animals. The various ani-mal species, their way of life, what they eat, where they live, their life span, where are they found, etc.—everything is explained vividly and in great detail. I think this is a book worth keeping in schools and in homes with school-going children.
This book is a collection of four award-winning articles on environment. ‘Tapti Dharti Ilaaj Mange’ and ‘Paryawaran Sanrakshran’ were awarded in a CBT competition in non-fiction category on environment. The other two are taken from an English language book SOS from Nature.