Geeta Dharmarajan

Ghost Stories is a book which tells stories with a touch of mystery and suspense. ‘The Lady of the House’ is about a young ayah, called Malina, who comes to work in the house of Ginnima. Ginnima is an old lady, who has been trapped in her bed for 55 years, because she is overweight. When she first meets the old lady, something about Ginnima’s eyes scares Malina, because she feels like she is being trapped.This is a scary story.


Reviewed by:
Poile Sengupta

Good Heavens is the name of the book, or the feelings of shock that came over me as I finished it? Do Indian authors really think that 10-12 year old read stories about elephants named ‘Elphie’ or wasn’t that meant for five year olds? Are Indian children really that juvenile? My advice, please write books that are really for the pre-teens and teens of our country and not for the ‘kids’.


Reviewed by:
Geeta Dharmarajan

What is it that sets apart a children’s book from a book for adults? Should there even be such distinctions? After all, the best children’s books also appeal to adults. But the converse, unfortunately, is not true. There are many books which adults like, that a child would not enjoy reading. And anyway, how does one decide what makes a good children’s book? The ones that teach children valuable lessons?


Reviewed by:
Mehran Zaidi

It’s easy to review a field guide: does it cover all of the 1200-or-so species in India? Does it have good illustrations? Are the differences between Blyth’s and Richard’s Pipits accurately represented? What are the descriptions like? Are the latest taxonomic changes incorporated? That there are fewer than half a dozen comprehensive field guides to the region doesn’t hurt either. They’re familiar territory.


Reviewed by:
Joshua Mowll

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, children grew up on books about fairies, and smiling mushrooms, detective dogs and five children, faraway lands and enchanted forests. Today’s children are privy to battles larger than themselves, larger than life. Between prophesied heroes and worlds torn apart by evil—children learn the larger binary of life early in life.


Reviewed by:
Anees Jung

The word “childhood’ brings many delight- ful memories to our minds. We were carefree and happy…We were not overburdened in any way….Yes, those were the days of innocence. Yet Anees Jung shatters the myth in Lost Spring Stories of Stolen Childhood. Child labour stares in the face as Jung ruthlessly describes the experiences of the young ones.


Reviewed by:
Lila Majumdar

After reading Vandana Singh’s Younguncle Comes to Town, I remember talking to a friend, and our saying that the book was almost as funny and whimsical as Lila Majumdar’s children’s writing—and there is no greater compliment that we could bestow. That is an index of Majumdar’s secure place in the Top of the Pops of Indian children’s writing.


Reviewed by:
Gita Wolf

We are forever surrounded by masks. The kathakali dancer in performance; the goalkeeper in hockey; the rescue worker at a collapsed building site; the traffic policeman at a busy, polluted intersection; the football fan with painted face; the robber at a bank heist; the surgeon at work; and even a heavily made-up Page 3 socialite—they all use masks of one kind or another. Some of these masks are functional and are meant to protect the wearer from hazards.


Reviewed by:
Mamang Dai

Mamang Dai’s book is a fascinatingly nuanced account of the life of the Adi tribe of Aruanchal Pradesh. Here is an upland valley, an immensely varied and difficult terrain, and wedged in by the deep gorges and dense forests. The Adis have lived there for ages nurturing their long history and unique ways of life.


Reviewed by:
Ahalya Chari

Originally slated as a publication for and by teachers within Krishnamurti schools, this journal has far wider relevance. The issues covered, ranging from contemporary crises in consciousness and the role of education, to detailed thoughts on curricula, content and subject teaching, are significant for teacher-educators, administrators, parents and indeed anybody with a serious interest in the educational challenges of our times.


Reviewed by:
Meenakshi Thapan

Micro studies of schooling and life at school were literally non- existent in India till Meenakshi Thapan’s first edition of the book was published in 1991. The book has brought into limelight the sociological forays into the micro-interpretive approach towards education and schooling in the Indian context.


Reviewed by:
Lalit Kumar Barua

The volume under review examines the interlinkages between education and culture in Northeast India using a socio-historical and cultural lens. The author argues that the erstwhile province of undivided Assam’s trajectory of development of education was quite different from the rest of India owing to the delayed growth of western and higher education in Assam.


Reviewed by:
Aparajita Chowdhury

The idea of family life education (FLE) evokes many images when it comes to India. The editors of the book under review remind us that FLE is relatively a new academic discipline and there exists no research-oriented theory based book on the subject.


Reviewed by:
Michael W. Apple and James A. Beane

If you believe Margaret Mead’s words that we should, never “doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has”, then the four examples of democratic schools presented in this book will enrich, invigorate and serve as a much-needed tonic. It appears as if there exists a universal tacit agreement on schools becoming factories, of being further distanced from the community etc.


Reviewed by:
Mushirul Hasan

Jawaharlal Nehru, on a number of occasions and in a number of ways, defined himself as a product of the Indian National Movement and all that it stood for. This implied among other things anti-imperialism, commitment to national sovereignty, and a measure of internationalism. In addition Nehru also acquired early in his political career a left-wing orientation to politics. All this he inherited from the national movement and practised, with some exceptions, during his long tenure as independent India’s Prime Minister.


Reviewed by: