This Is Me, Mayil BUY NOW
Her diary (or is it her autobiography, she isn’t sure) becomes a rabbit hole and a roadmap to writing her way through life as she sees it. Older and bolder, the unstoppable ‘Mayilwriter’ rants in rhyme, ponders in verse, and doodles in between.
For every moment of clarity, there are others filled with anger, confusion and self-doubt. But Mayil keeps her chin up and decides that she will never put her pen down.
Mostly Madly Mayil BUY NOW
At 13 going on assertive 14, Mayil is now on her second diary after Mayil Will Not Be Quiet. “Teen queen,” says Ma. “Terrible teens,” says Pa. And yes, Mayil is perceptibly older, and wiser to a lot more things that make up teens. We see her as one of the Fake-inas Friend-ing a “cute” senior on Facebook, as a superpowered Liyam Lonewolf, a Cinderella tripping over her ghagra at Pumpkin VS’s party… and of course, as a further evolved Mayilwriter who wouldn’t mind rapping too, like the cool Kumari Misstake. But some things don’t change. As spirited now as when we saw her last, Mayil continues to pour her many thoughts out in this sequel as honestly, hilariously, thinkingly and touchingly as ever — on everything from sexual harassment, to caste distinctions (even in the Harry Potters!), to Saroja Paati in sleeveless and lipstick. This is another exceptional book from two talented young writers.
“Yes, Mayil writes about serious issues in her diary but she’s also irreverent and fun… Another great thing about the book is that it perfectly reflects the times and the geography it exists in. Mayil, and by extension the book, lives in and exudes Chennai and India. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else – the jokes, the references, the problems manage to be globally relatable while at the same time being inherently local… Pick up this book to add a tremendous dose of fun and irreverence into your reading list with a smattering of insight thrown in.” – Bookworm Etcetera
Mayil Will Not Be Quiet! BUY NOW
Meet Mayil Ganeshan, 12 going on spirited 13, who finally has her chance to say all she wants. But the diary for her is also an important step towards becoming ‘Mayilwriter’, to make up for all the stories she hasn’t completed and the novel that didn’t know where it was going. So she begins. What she gives is a spontaneous, sensitive, honest, intimate and often hilarious peek into the life and mind of an insightful young girl. The Mayil that emerges is as lovable and recognisable as the delightful sketches she presents of her Amma, Appa, brother, grandfather and friends. Mayil has all the confusion and confidence of adolescence as she faces the everyday dilemmas of young people, as well as questions of gender stereotyping all around – from Ramayana stories to Rajnikanth movies. With enough to keep head, heart and funny bone tickled and happy, this is a must-read coming of age book by two highly talented young writers that will strike a chord with all who read it – pre-teen, teen and older.
“Mayil Will Not Be Quiet” is comfortingly real as it delicately brings out the problems and hopes of a pre-teen… At 12, going on 13, she fills her diary with doodles, hopes, rants and problems of a pre-teen, with doses of humour that leave you nostalgic. After all, we’ve all written them in our diaries too… – The Hindu
The acceptance speech by co-author Sowmya Rajendran on receipt of the 2015 Bal Sahitya Puraskar!
Can’t Stop Cody! BUY NOW
“Every time Vismay came home, he expected to find some kind of disaster. He had seen on YouTube how other people recorded their dogs doing nothing but sleep for hours. That wasn’t Cody.”
It all begins when Vismay falls in love with a twice abandoned puppy in a San Francisco animal shelter. He brings him home, except he has no clue about how to raise this adorable, crazy pit bull-pointer he calls Cody. As his life is taken over by a hyperactive ball of energy, there is also lurking danger when Cody’s curiosity leads him to buried treasure!
Get ready for an action packed ride of adventures and misadventures, as Vismay and Cody make a home and the headlines in this story inspired by true events.
Being Boys BUY NOW
Enter a world of boys. Writers and sportsmen, princes and cooks — scared, brave, bully, bullied, rich, poor, gentle, rough, in the gang and out of it… With different childhoods, challenges and choices, they come together in strength to take on the notion that ‘boys will be boys’. Being Boys is a collection which has a story for every boy. Written with humour and empathy, this array of fiction, fable, autobiography, reportage, diary jottings, memoir and history rewrites the ‘rules’ of being boys. Contributors: Manjula Padmanabhan, Amandeep Sandhu, Bharat Shekhar, Devashish Makhija, R.K Narayan, Jerry Pinto, Suniti Namjoshi, Siddalingiah, Kanak Shashi, Niveditha Subramaniam, Sowmya Rajendran, Raj Shekhar, M.R Renukumar, Ranjit Lal, Rinchin, Samar Halarnkar, N Sudarshan, Devika Cariapa, Vikram Seth.
While Being Boys presents itself as an anthology of short stories with young male protagonists, what stood out for me was its inclusion of narratives that one would be hard pressed to find in mainstream Indian publishing… Being Boys is an anthology that could get young readers thinking . More significantly, it suggests that sometimes, being a boy in India can be confusing and mysterious, as much a burden as a socially conferred privilege, as much about celebrating one’s feminine side as flaunting the masculine. – Saffron Tree
Girls To The Rescue BUY NOW
Move over, petrified princesses in towers. Stand back, sword bucklers. These audacious girls are their own saviours. What do you think happens when Snow White, Cinderella and gang meet an author who wonders: “Now what would any red-blooded girl with brains do in such a situation?… A girl who did not plan to make a living out of being obedient, sweet and good?” Six leading ladies decide not to stick to the script, and take us instead through some riveting retellings that sizzle with humour as they toss around notions of beauty, perfection and strength. Armed with real-world skills, they rewrite their happily-ever-afters. Rescue themselves. And save the fairytale!
These girls are not the wilting, submissive, good girls of yore, but strong, real, and intelligent human beings who want to do their own thing, know what they want, and go ahead and do it. Busting of stereotypes is not limited to these princesses alone in these fairy tales placed firmly in contemporary times… The stories, as they are narrated, have a timeless feel to them, equally enjoyable to young readers, and to older ones – teenagers, young adults, and adults. Simple enough that a 6 year old might enjoy the narration, yet profound enough that older readers might find layers that mean different things to them. – Saffron Tree
Beyond The Blue River BUY NOW
In this novel that is part adventure, part mystery and completely captivating, B. Vinayan takes the genre of fantasy to a new realm of resonance. Through lucid prose and magical moments, he transforms the story of a perfectly mundane mechanical creature into a metaphor for human existence. Every time GRACE – City Auto For Hire No. SD 013422 hears the Blue River tune, she gets a funny feeling. Sometimes she feels the tune even before it is hummed. What is the Blue River? Why does it affect her so deeply? What lies beyond it? One day Grace revs up her engine and sets out to find out. Along the way she encounters several new worlds, creatures, ways of life and even systems of language and communication. It is a journey replete with experiences that range from the fun to the funny to the philosophical, and answers that lead to more questions.
B.Vinayan’s imaginative story brings a fresh approach by its warmth and humour and its effortless weaving of philosophy and childlike wonderment… The original and engaging ideas of the ‘language of the spheres’ which allows everyone to understand everyone, the possibilities of transformation of selves, and travel between worlds, sets Vinayan apart from other writers. – Mariam Karim Ahlawat
Parthiban’s Dream BUY NOW
The Chola ruler King Parthiban has a dream . . . he wants to make his empire the most powerful in the region. However, before he can do this, he is killed in battle. His son, Prince Vikraman, is a child at the time, but he carries his father’s dream in his heart. He grows up in the shadow of the burgeoning power of the mighty Pallava ruler, Chakravarti Narasimha Varman, also known as Mamalla Pallavan, after whom Mamallapuram is named. How will Vikraman fulfil his father’s wishes?
Suddenly, a mysterious Shivanadiyar, follower of Lord Shiva, begins to enter his life at the most opportune and unexpected moments to help him out of trouble. Who is this man? Why does he help Vikraman? Does Vikraman finally succeed in his quest? And what’s so special about this story that made a 15 year-old sit down and translate it at one shot? Nirupama Raghavan’s joyous translation and considered abridgment of Parthiban Kanavu carries forward twists and turns of the story with magic and lightness.
Kabir The Weaver-Poet BUY NOW
Mystic weaver, radical reformer, loved and hated equally in his time . . . the simple wisdom of his pithy couplets, the famous dohas, makes him one of the most frequently quoted poets even today. Yet Kabir the person remains an enigma. This brilliant novel traces one day in Kabir’s life, from Daybreak through Midday to Nightfall. Threading fact, legend and poetry into a superbly structured narrative, it etches Kabir’s compelling persona against the backdrop of fifteenth century Banaras — a period that mirrors quite remarkably our own troubled times. Spare visuals before each section continue Kabir’s own favourite metaphor of weaving, a delicate tapestry of the city unravelling as the day progresses. Kabir the Weaver-Poet is a landmark in contemporary writing for young readers and old — thrilling yet gently emotive, incredibly blending high drama with the mesmerising calm of Kabir’s beliefs.
Jaya Madhavan’s retelling is well written and makes some very complex issues – communal hatred, intolerance, caste, even the frightening phenomenon of mob frenzy – accessible to young audiences. I liked the spareness of her writing style, very much in keeping with the simplicity of the man at the heart of this book. She adds a dash of fantasy too, inventively casting the tools of Kabir’s trade – Dhaga, Takli, Warp, Weft, Spindle – as narrators and loyal friends of the poet. Much like the sutradhar of traditional folk theatre, they are more than merely detached story tellers;through their playful banter, their squabbling and occasional bits of role playing, we get a glimpse of Kabir’s life and his effect on people around him. – Saffron Tree
One World BUY NOW
The second in a series of theme-based books, this book focuses on peace. How do children cope with the pressures of divisive and contradictory forces at play in the world today? With its affirmative writing, the series brings together writers in English and other Indian languages. Contributors: Paul Zacharia, Ambai, V. Ramnarayan, Shobhit Mahajan, Gita Mehta, Geetha Varadan, Raghavendra Rao, Ashokamitran, Poile Sengupta, Nitin Madhav, Sandhya Rao and Safdar Hashmi. This book has been recommended by CBSE for schools.
“All the pieces are well-written… At no stage do any of them talk down to their target audience of not-so-young children. The tone is conversational and thought-provoking, encouraging readers to respond to issues that beleaguer the earth, so that they can make responsible decisions and choices to create a more harmonious tomorrow. The questions included in the ‘Afterword’ further the desire to discuss and probe.” – Indian Review of Books, 1999
Andamans Boy BUY NOW
Tired of life in Mumbai with his Chacha and Chachi, Arif runs away – far, far away. He hops onto a train going to Chennai. From there he smuggles himself onto a boat going to . . . the Andaman islands! Rich with adventure and humour, full of the wonders of nature, the book is also filled with details about the unique, misunderstood world of the Jarawa, a tribe in the Andamans whose very survival is being threatened, especially by the forces of so-called development. Nature drawings by Indraneil Das are beautifully offset by soft pencil sketches of the adventure by Ashok Rajagopalan.
Author Zai Whitaker talks about a Skype session with a school in Mumbai!
My Brother Tootoo BUY NOW
Twelve-year-old Rini and her little brother Tootoo are intrigued by the new boy, and innocent games soon turn into dangerous ones as the trio begin to venture into territories once forbidden. Occasional glimpses into Rini’s diary look back at the haunting memories of events that escalate to a point of no return. This gripping, multi-layered story poignantly evokes the secrets that we hold, and ultimately, share.
A bold step by Mahajan to talk about a subject that is usually taboo in the world of children’s fiction. it is a much needed book and should reach the hands of as many kids as possible – before they too get trapped on to this path of no return. Parents and teachers of pre-teens and teenagers should definitely encourage their kids to read this book and preferably have a frank and open discussion with them on the story. – Young India Books
That Summer at Kalagarh BUY NOW
Gitanjali is furious with her cousins — Ajay, Ajit and Aveek —who call her ‘Hathni’, she-elephant, to tease her. But the nickname sticks, and curiously enough seems to set the tone for their holiday in the jungles of Kalagarh. A dangerous face-off, cries of distress at night, an eerie ride through the jungle . . . turn out to be elephant encounters of a very strange kind! And at the hub of it all is Gitanjali, who seems to share an unusual bond with the big, gentle creatures.
This is Ranjit Lal is at his best. His naturalist’s eye gets full play in the lush setting of the Kumaon Hills, Corbett country, as he spins a spine-tingling tale that is taut with mystery and tinged with his trademark humour.
Just A Train Ride Away BUY NOW
Santosh travels alone from Mumbai, where he lives with his mother, to Kolkata, on holiday. But he has secret plans to look for his father whom he barely remembers. The train ride brings him into contact with people quite outside his sheltered world — an eventful prelude to another, deeper, journey. With a refreshingly light and honest touch, Just a Train Ride Away explores the emotional dilemma of young boy who craves the space for both parents in his life and faces the bitter-sweet reality of estrangement and belonging. A short, quick-read, coming of age novel.
It’s the story of the dilemmas faced by single parents (how to deal with the missing half) and kids with single parents. Mini Shrinivasan deals with it in a straightforward, no-nonsense yet sensitive way. Neat and sparse, the book (which won the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2010) is a simple read about how, often, life is not what we’d imagined it to be, and we must make the best of whatever it has on offer and move on. It can… be consumed in a single gulp like a ‘roshogulla’. – GoodBooks
Advaita The Writer BUY NOW
When Advaita leaves Delhi for boarding school in Dehradun, she is lonely and unhappy. Even if Dunham Girls’ School is supposed to be the best in Asia. Even if, as her father had promised, it has a fabulous library. But the library soon becomes her haven, losing herself in books a shield against her deepening homesickness. Then one day she hears that the writer Ruskin Bond, whose books she devours, stays less than an hour away. Could it be true that the famous author is a real, living person, breathing the same Uttarakhand air as herself? Could she, Advaita, also become a writer? Advaita emerges out of her cocoon into a world fresh with ideas and inspiring possibilities. Unfolding gently and sensitively with the pace of Advaita’s changing emotions, this is a story about the love of books, the power of the imagination, of literary heroes, and of the birth of dreams.
Advaita the Writer is many stories rolled into one… A story of separation, of belonging, of space, of identity, of dreams, of inspiration… What keeps this delightfully unpredictable world of Advaita aloft is Spillman’s narrative. It flows like a happy river, meandering through difficult emotions and exciting metaphors with equal ease, as it runs its preordained course. Throughout the book, Spillman gently pushes the boundaries of language, never once compromising on the intelligence of the reader or taking it for granted. It’s a delicate balance that is rarely achieved in books for young readers. The illustrations by Menon too are spot on, hovering, almost respectfully, behind Advaita’s story. Read this book to be touched by not just the magic of Ruskin Bond, but also that of Spillman’s through lovely, whimsical Advaita. – Young India Books
No Fear, Jiyaa BUY NOW
The five most venomous snake species can all be found in Australia’s Outback — and that’s where Jiyaa is headed on her first school camp since moving to Perth from Mumbai. Mom is NOT happy. Jiyaa is super-thrilled (though she’s trying to act cool). Getting along with Olivia Robbins for two days isn’t going to be easy, but she’s quite sure that her biggest challenge will be Facebook deprivation! How wrong can she be! In No Fear, Jiyaa! Ken Spillman sends a bunch of pre-teen girls into the Outback. As their excitement, troubles and insecurities play out, what we get is a fresh and funny story about friendship, courage and growing up.
No Fear Jiyaa reads with the same flare and drama characteristic in children’s chatter – hyperbolic and exclamatory. – The Book Review
The Boy With 2 Grandfathers BUY NOW
Not everyone has two grandfathers quite like Amol’s! From the way they look to the way they speak, the food they eat and the way they think, they couldn’t be more different. But both are “interested in everything, afraid of nothing and capable of anything”. And they dote on Amol. This comes with perks, but it also means that Amol has to indulge them their quirks — whether it’s Appa discussing toilet habits loud and clear, or Ajoba lecturing bratty children in a burger joint on good citizenship! But when the going gets tough, Amol couldn’t ask for a tougher twosome to stand by him.
Shrinivasan’s novel is sure to comfort and illuminate young readers, irrespective of whether they are in a similar predicament or not. It will serve to inspire similar courageous works in children’s fiction. One can ask no more of an author or a story. – From The Hindu Young World-Good Books Award 2018 citation