What happens at a book launch event?

Step into the world of literary exploration as a student recounts a captivating journey through a book launch event for Dice of Dreams: A collection of stories/dreams to think, link and sink.

One of the +2 students came forward to make a presentation on the book launch that he attended in our club meeting. For most of us, this would be an interesting presentation as we have never had such an experience. Let me briefly describe.

What he shared with us. Even to him, attending a book launch was a novel experience. He told us that one of his intimate friend's mothers published a book titled Dice of Dreams: A collection of stories/dreams to think, link, and sink!- an anthology of short stories and poems. The function was held in a hall at the heart of the city, and about 100 attendees were present. Since I was with my friend all the time, he introduced me to all his family members and contacts. He mentioned that most of them were his mother's colleagues, friends, and relatives, besides a few reporters from the news media.

The function started with a few dignitaries seated on the stage who were to launch the book. Before its launch, they spoke about the writers unique contribution and the significance of the book for the readers. One of them quoted Francis Bacon, who categorised books into three types: "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few are to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention." This title, he credited, belonged to the third category of "chewed and digested."

He then proceeded to justify why he heaped such praise: "It is a combo of stories and poems, as every story is preceded by a poem. The writer directs the readers to read the poem first and to reread it after reading the story. While the poem is read initially, it hardly reveals much, but when reread, after being familiar with the story, we could unravel the interconnectedness of them. A rare quality readers come across and a rarity even among iconic writers, but this author achieved this literary distinction in her debut work itself." Another speaker stressed the author's leniency towards her female characters, whom she portrayed much more intensely and graphically compared to male characters. This also led her to mention the necessity of more women writers to emerge in the male-dominated literary world, delving deep into women's consciousness from their own perspectives. The speaker, citing the authors working context (in a government department), stated it enabled her to shift the setting of her stories from the customary home context dealing with familial issues to the workspace, a fertile unexplored avenue which offered her scope for an intensive exploration of women's concerns. Almost all her female characters are professionals working in different contexts. One of her relatives highlighted the writer's penchant for narrating stories from her childhood onwards. Besides relaying the stories of the films that she had seen, she would also narrate her own stories captivatingly. The speaker was attempting to impress upon the audience the need to encourage creative narration among their children right from a young age onwards, which may facilitate them to become creative writers, like this writer.

The book had a dual launch: one is the physical book, followed by a trailer, which is about nine minutes was able to present the themes of all nine stories digitally very imaginatively. And the audio launch was accompanied by a few interesting samples with Indian voices, establishing an intimacy with them.

The book launch concluded with the writer thanking everyone for the wishes expressed how the occasion generated multiple feelings in her like happiness about her achievement, anxiety about the expectations of her future works, gratitude to those who stood with her, and nervousness about the reception this anthology would receive among the readers. The student ended with a note of happiness about the new experience he had gained and a lingering wish to become a writer himself.

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What is The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum about?

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is an American classic that will never grow old. Fans of all ages adore Dorothy's fantastical adventures down the yellow brick road. Let's see what makes this story relevant today.

About the author

Lyman Frank Baum was born on May 15, 1856, in Chittenango, New York, to a wealthy family. Named after one of his uncles, Lyman was the seventh of nine children. However, he never liked his first name and often when by his middle name Frank. He was a rainbow chaser, who went from one profession to another and had almost failed at everything until he started writing children's books at the age of 40.

With his flair for the theatrical, Braum tapped into his imagination to breathe life into the magical land of Oz. Upon the publication of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (the first in the 14-book series) at the turn of the 19th Century, Baum became the first best-selling children's book author in America.

Unlike other books for children, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written in a pleasingly informal tone; with characters who were defined by their actions, and showcased morality more subtextually. The New York Times review of the book said that children would be "pleased with dashes of colour and something new in the place of the old, familiar, and winged fairies of Grimm and Anderson".


According to historian Henry Littlefield, Dorothy's silver shoes in Baum's original story symbolised the American farmers' efforts to raise silver to gold's standard to put more money into circulation and make it easier for them to borrow. However, the 1939 screen adaptation of the story changed Dorothy's shoes to ruby red to take greater advantage of its colour cinematography, which was still rare at the time.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The story follows a Kansas farm girl named Dorothy who ends up in the magical Land of Oz after she and her pet dog Toto are swept away from their home by a tornado. To return home, she must follow the yellow brick road towards the Emerald City and find the wonderful wizard of Oz. On her way, she comes across a straw man, a tin man, and a cowardly lion. And her new acquaintances agree to accompany her, in the hopes that the wizard can give the straw man a brain, the tin man a heart, and the lion, some courage.

What makes it classic?

A story of self-reliance Dorothy and her companions journey to the Emerald City is motivated by the need to fulfil the wishes they pin their happiness on. However, the curious thing is that throughout the story the strawman (who supposedly doesn't have a brain) comes up with good ideas the tin man who doesn't have a heart showcases a great wealth of emotions, and the cowardly lion consistently overcomes every challenge that comes along the way.

This means they already have the things they hoped for but just don't realise it until they meet the wizard. Their journey is one of self-acceptance and self-realisation that inspires us as readers to take a look within and realise our potential.

Holding a mirror to the society

 Dorothy is curious, adventurous, and confident. Her character exemplifies how Baum's perception of gender was different from the people of his time. Her figuring out how to solve a problem while the men around her are dissembling, critics suggest is nothing short of revolutionary. Dorothy sets the stage for little girls to go out of the house, explore the world, and go on adventures as boys do.

Our protagonist's desire to explore the world is in direct conflict with the social expectation to accept her life as it is back home. Dorothy's guilt and fear of not fitting into the socially accepted mould of a devoted daughter is the author's way of highlighting how women have been conditioned to think that craving independence or doing anything outside the domestic domain is selfish and unruly.

More than 100 years after its publication, 70 years after its debut on the big screen, and 13 book sequels later, Oz endures because every generation reinterprets the story and aligns it with their experiences, which has led to American literary critics calling it their national fairy tale.

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What do you mean by Book hangover?

When you've finished a book and you suddenly return to the real world, but the real world feels incomplete or surreal because you're still living in the world of the book.

You’re not quite sure how to cope with reality (after all, you’ve been blissfully ignoring it for the last few days or weeks while your nose was buried in the book).

Perhaps worst of all, you just really miss the characters who have come to feel like friends or family, and you can’t stop thinking about what they would do if another chapter or sequel were written. Even the fictional world they live in seems to beckon to you, even long after the book has run out of pages.

One of the many benefits of reading is that it can teach us to be more empathetic. We get to see life from the perspective of someone else, perhaps someone of a different race, gender, or upbringing from our own. Or, perhaps you’ve found a character who’s just like you, and this discovery finally makes you feel seen or understood.

All of these things can help create bonds between readers and the character(s) in the story. We feel like we really know them, and naturally, we grow attached—but then the cold reality hits as you grow closer to the final page.

One Dutch study showed that when we are “emotionally transported” by a book, we may lose self-awareness and track of time because we perceive the fictional world as real, if only for a while. This leads to the “hangover” effect that keeps our minds stuck in the narrative even after we’ve finished the book.

Credit : TCK Publishing 

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What is the life story of Rick Riordan?

Can a geeky, sixth grade high school English teacher conjure up a world much beyond the four walls of his classroom? A world filled with hyperactive demigods and quests? Well, the answer lies within the 39 books penned by young adults’ writer, Rick Riordan.

If you are anywhere between 11 and 14, chances are you have already devoured the Percy Jackson series. You may have already imagined being the son or a daughter of a Greek god and what super powers you would like to possess.

If all this is true, then of course you know all about Rick Riordan. Even the story of how his son's attention deficit disorder (ADHD and dyslexia) inspired the stories in which all the demigods have ADHD. But did you know that Riordan has mild dyslexia? Or that he loves villains and fast cars, but hated to read till he was 13?

A nerd in school

Like his protagonist. Percy Jackson, Riordan is an unlikely superhero. He never scored straight A's in his school life, neither did he embark on any daredevil adventures to save the earth. In fact, he was a pretty average kid maybe even a bit nerdy. For the longest time he was a lead singer in a folk rock band-not the most hippest of music genres, and later turned to teaching

From Clark Kent to Superman

But it was while telling bedtime stories to his son Haley that Riordon donned his cape. His super power? Ability to breathe life into mythology.

Aged nine, his son refused to read, but loved Greek myths so Riordan used to tell him about the Greek gods and heroes. One night he ran out of myths, and a disappointed Haley insisted that he make something up with his own characters. Thus, Percy Jackson was born.

A reluctant reader

But his own love of mythology came late in life. He didn't like books and avoided reading until he got into junior high school and discovered the Lord of the Rings. That's also when he decided to become a writer. He sent in his first story at age 13. It was promptly rejected, but he kept trying."I have a great deal of sympathy for reluctant readers because I was one," he reportedly said.

His struggle with ADHD

In an interview with a British media, he said, "I'm afraid I'm very ADHD, much like Percy. There are days when I'll write for 15 minutes and have to give up and move around, and I'll write another paragraph and give up again. On other days I get intensely focused on the process, sit down at 8 a.m. and won't get up until 8 p.m.”

Riordan said that writing his own novels was an achievement for him, one that he rates as an "in yer face moment" for all those teachers who ignored him. "Basically, I misspell stuff but that's about as far as the dyslexia hinders me."

A Potterhead

Just like millions all over the world, the bespectacled wizard, Harry Potter, captured Riordan's imagination too. Even today, after writing best selling series equal in fame to the Potter novels, Riordan remains a Potterhead. "As a teacher, I've never seen anything like Harry Potter. That's why I smart when people talk about the next Harry Potter. There is no 'next Harry Potter. There never was a Harry Potter before Harry Potter. It's completely unprecedented in children's literature. I had students who read these books 13, 14 times and I would say, 'Great book, but don't you want to try something else?' And they would say. There's nothing else this good."" he said in one of his interviews.

Loves villains

But unlike everyone else, you might not catch Riordan rooting for Harry. In fact, he is more likely to be on the Dark Side. Surprised? The Percy Jackson writer loves villains! And guess who his favourite is? The mischievous Loki! No wonder he has been able to create pure evil-doers in the form of Lord Kronos or Luke Castellan.

Married his high school sweetheart

Percy Jackson may find it hard to please his father Poseidon, but Riordan's own family life is remarkably stable: the only child of two teachers, he grew up in San Antonio and met his future wife, at the age of 15. "We were high-school sweethearts. We’ve grown up together and it's hard to get away with anything because she knows everything about me," he said in one of his interviews.

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Which is the book written by Florence Rena Sabin in 1901?

Florence Rena Sabin, American anatomist and investigator of the lymphatic system who was considered to be one of the leading women scientists of the United States.

Sabin was educated in Denver, Colorado, and in Vermont and graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts, in 1893. After teaching in Denver and at Smith to earn tuition money, she entered the Johns Hopkins University Medical School in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1896. While a student she demonstrated a particular gift for laboratory work; her model of the brain stem of a newborn infant was widely reproduced for use as a teaching model in medical schools. After graduation in 1900 she interned at Johns Hopkins Hospital for a year and then returned to the medical school to conduct research under a fellowship awarded by the Baltimore Association for the Advancement of University Education of Women. In 1901 she published An Atlas of the Medulla and Midbrain, which became a popular medical text. In 1902, when Johns Hopkins finally abandoned its policy of not appointing women to its medical faculty, Sabin was named an assistant in anatomy, and she became in 1917 the school’s first female full professor.

For a number of years Sabin’s research centred on the lymphatic system, and her demonstration that lymphatic vessels develop from a special layer of cells in certain fetal veins, rather than, as prevailing theory held, from intercellular spaces, established her as a researcher of the first rank. She then turned to the study of blood, blood vessels, and blood cells and made numerous discoveries regarding their origin and development. In 1924 she was elected president of the American Association of Anatomists, and in 1925 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences; in both cases she was the first woman to be so honoured.

Credit :  Britannica 

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Which are some popular humour writers who know how to make us laugh?

PG Wodehouse: This Brit writer has several series to his credit-Jeeves and Wooster. P. Smith, and Blandings-and each of them is hilarious. His descriptions are detailed his stories begin slow, and he uses tell as much as show, which means he bends a lot of rules of 'good writing But breaking rules can be fun as you realise when reading PG Wodehouse's works. Some of the popular ones are “Aunts Arent Gentlemen”, “The World of Blandings”, and “Psmith in the City”.

Roald Dahl: When he is not scany, Roald Dahl is supremely funny And, of course, he is the one to give us fun words such as splendiferous, gloriumptious, wondercnump (all meaning marvellous, in case you were scratching your head) and propsposterous (which means even more preposterous than preposterous) and churgle (chuckle+ gurgle. now you're getting the hang of it). For a liberal dose of his humour, go read George's Marvellous Medicine". "The BFG" or "Charlie and the Chocolate Factony" Or anything Roald Dahl, for that matter!

David Walliams: When David Walliams is not judging talent shows or swimming the English Channel he writes children's books. His first-The Boy in the Dress was a pathbreaker, and his style is compared to that of Roald Dahl. His books have comer shops with funny owners, and t schools that are obviously, scary (a completely Roald Dahl undertone), and prominently Indian characters! Go for his "Gangsta Granny it's hilarious, and The Boy in the Dress, just lovely.

Anushka Ravishankar: Anushka Ravishankar's books can have you laughing for hours after you've read them. She can write nonsense literature with the same air as humour and make it look ever so easy. If you haven't yet read any of her works, you could take "Captain Coconut and the Case of the Missing Bananas" (younger readers), “Moin and the Monster” and “Moin and the Monster Songster”, and the “Zain and Ana” series.

Natasha Sharma: This author is known for her funny bone. She has a series called "History Mystery that will challenge your ideas about historical characters and the situations that led to certain decisions taken by them! And be assured you will be laughing your head off. Try “Raja Raja and the Swapped Sacks”. Her knock-knock jokes assimilated into history were great!

Lavanya Karthik: Here is a writer whose granny on a mission has taken the country's kids by storm. Deepu's nani is not your average nani. She loves watching food shows on the telly and even fights with Deepu for the remote until one day she turns into a ninja! Lavanya has spun three books of the "Ninja Nani" series with a cluster of zany characters and they are just wow.

Derek Landy: Irish author Derek Landy was working on his parents farm, when in 2007 he got a publishing contract with Harper Collins. And what did come out of it? A series of books featuring a skeleton detective! He has enough wisecracks to put a stand-up comic to shame, and has an entire generation of readers laughing with his comic-horror series "Skulduggery Pleasant" - more than a dozen and counting.

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What are books called that are based on true stories?

One of the best ways of learning about people who have made an impact is by reading their biographies or autobiographies. Such books can be inspiring since they are about real people.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

What happens when you return from school? A lovely snack waiting for you? For Malala Yousafzai, 15, a bullet was. She was shot in the head on the bus back home because she had stood up in favour of girls education. Times were bad in the Swat Valley in Pakistan since the Taliban had taken over and banned free movement of women. After that October 9, 2012, attack, not only did Malala survive but she also went on to become the global ambassador of peace and also the world's youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi's memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution has been done entirely in black-and-white comic strip images. It tells the story of a young girl from age six to 14 living in Tehran and contrasts her home life and public life. At home, the atmosphere is committedly Marxist while publicly she is a witness to political regression. It's humorous and satirical, and it will open your eyes to people's struggles across the world.

No Summit Out of Sight by Jordan Romero

Jordan Romero climbed Mount Everest at 13 becoming the youngest person to do so. Well, he didn't just stop there. By 15, he went on to become the youngest person to scale the summits of the highest mountains of every continent! At 17, he wrote his memoir, an inspiring story for not just mountain climbers but also children and adults across the world.

Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings

"Being Jazz: Life as a (Transgender) Teen" is about being bullied, being rejected and discriminated against for the choices you make. Jazz transitioned to being a girl when she was five and was most amply supported by her parents. She freely writes about the physical, social, and emotional issues that she faces. Jazz is a pioneering voice for the trans community.

Like a Girl by Apama Jain

This collection of "Real Stories for Tough Kids" is about 56 different women from across India. You will read about Teesta Setalvad, Dipa Karmakar, Chand Bibi, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, and several more. Each of them has had a unique struggle and has overcome it. Each of them is inspiring.

Steve Jobs by Karen Blumenthal

What could possibly happen to a child who was given up for adoption and had dropped out of college? if he was Steve Jobs, he could, by the age of 20, create Apple in his parents garage along with a friend! We know him for his cutting-edge products, but Steve had not had it easy in life. In this biography, you get to read everything that made the man- his work schedule, his relationship with his family, his perseverance for perfection.

Ugly by Robert Hoge

Robert Hoge was born with short twisted legs and a tumour the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face. A surgery gave him a new nose made out of one of his toes, but he never looked like any of his friends Stares, bullying, and rejection were part of his life but he refused to be cowed down. He was a prankster and fun lover, and wanted to play sports like the other kids.

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Which books do children wish had a sequel?

The Alchemist"

The book I wish had a sequel is The Alchemist written by Paulo Coelho. This book has an interesting plot. It teaches us to finish what we start. In it, a boy encounters in wise alchemist who teaches him to realise his true self. It tells us that happiness, contentment, peace and many more positive things lie within us. I wish this book had a sequel, and is as interesting as the first part.

"Pride and Prejudice"

"If a book is well written, I always find it too short." Beautifully quoted by one of my favorite writers Jane Austen. Her writings needs no introduction. "Pride and Prejudice" is a classic and timeless story that can be read and enjoyed by any generation of readers. The story follows Elizabeth Bennet who lives in a society that pressures young women to Live by stereotypes.

But Austen's Elizabeth wins the hearts of readers through her independent nature and defiance against societal norms. If there is a sequel, it would be good to know more about her love for Mr. Darcy and how they nurture gender equality in their life together.


The book I wish had a sequel is "Matilda" by Roald Dahl. Matilda was an extraordinary and brilliant child who read newspapers at the age of three and walked to the library alone at the age of five. Even though her parents thought of her as a scab, her class teacher Miss Honey understood her level of intelligence and helped her with books. When Matilda got the power of moving objects with her eyes, she taught Miss Trunchbull, the cruel principal of the school, a lesson, unveiled secrets and helped Miss Honey. In the end, when her parents left the country, she stayed back with Miss Honey and moved to the top form to study.

It would have been nice if there had been a sequel as the readers will know how Miss Honey and Matilda are living together and whether Miss Trunchbull came back into their lives. Also, it would have been interesting to see how Matilda's school life will be with her older classmates and if her power to move objects returns. This book has taught me a lot of values and I will remember it throughout my life whether a sequel comes or not.

"Doctor Sleep"

The book that I wish had a sequel would be "Doctor Sleep" written by Stephen King. It is an interesting story revolving around Dan, who joins the local Alcohol Anonymous chapter. When Dan realises the return of his psychic abilities, which was suppressed in his childhood, he befriends a cat which is capable of telling when patients are on the threshold of death. Gradually, they are able to help patients from dying, and Dan is called Doctor Sleep'. If there is a sequel, I'm sure I won't miss it!

"Journey to the Center of the Earth"

The book I wish had a sequel is "Journey To The Center of The Earth" by Jules Verne.

This book tells us about a Latin manuscript written in the 16th Century. The manuscript is found by Professor Von Hardwigg and his nephew Harry Lawson, the two main characters in the book. It takes them and an Icelandic guide named Hans Bjelke on a journey to the centre of the earth through the bowels of Mount Sneffels. Their adventures keep us hooked till the last. I wish there had been a sequel. It would be interesting to join their future journeys.

"The Phoenix Doctors"

"The Phoenix Doctors" is a book which I read a few days ago. It's a gripping and thrilling story about the difficulties faced by Indian doctors. The book starts with a young student, Karthik, aspiring to become a doctor and the difficulties faced by him. Towards the climax, when Dr. Meera (Karthik's wife), is unable to save a baby, the enraged relatives cause mayhem in the hospital leaving her injured and unconscious. But the doctor couple forgive the vandals and continue to serve. I wish the author brings out a sequel portraying how the doctors are able to bring about a change and how healthcare is delivered in hospitals.

"The Kite Runner'

"The book I wish had a sequel is "The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini. It is an excellent and emotional story ending on a half happy-half sad note. It deserves to have a sequel. It retells a story of love, loss and betrayal. It is set in Afghanistan and America Sohrab, who over times of trauma is not in his best mind. The end of the book, ignites a spark of joy in the young boy, not entirely satisfying us with a happily ever after feeling. / We are no doubt moved, but wish the story goes on.


Matilda" written by Roald Dahl is the book which needs an amazing sequel. The book stops at where Matilda's parents and her brother escape to Spain, leaving Matilda alone with Miss Honey. I wonder what would happen next. Maybe Miss Honey gets married or the cops catch Matilda's parents before they reach the airport. Or maybe Matilda gets a scholarship to study in a new school because of her intelligence. Or Miss Honey gets a new job. I am really curious to see how Matilda's intelligence shapes her future. Another possibility is that she gets her magic power back and uses it to make the Earth a better place for humans to live.

"The Swiss Family Robinson"

The book I wish had a sequel is "The Swiss Family Robinson" by Johann David Wyss. It is about a Swiss family of four kids and their parents who embark on a voyage from Switzerland to a small island near New Guinea. On the way, a storm shipwrecks them and maroons them on a small uninhabited island. The rest of the story is about how the family learnt to survive over the next 10 years on that island. The story ends with a ship that comes upon that island and two of the family's four sons decide to go back to England in the ship, while the rest of the family are content with making the island their home for the rest of their lives. A sequel to this story would be an interesting read about the future adventures of the Robinson family. We can find out whether it was a wise idea for them to continue living on this island.

"Perks of Being a Wallflower"

One of my very first one-day reads was "Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky. It was also one of the only books I really wanted a sequel for because I couldn't get enough of the characters, especially the protagonist Charlie. A coming of age young adult novel, revolves around Charlie a 15-year-old overthinker, during the 1990s, writing anonymous letters to someone spilling his life or rather his journey of growing and developing through adolescence. This book is definitely not an unrealistic drama of teenage life but is a book filled with realistic characters with realistic problems, whom even at their worst, you'd want to hug. The book drives away leaving us thinking about Charlie a little more, somewhat like reverse psychology. Getting a peek into his future is awaited by a lot of readers because it just feels like checking on a dear friend. I really hope Mr. Stephen gives us that chance sometime soon.

"Room on the Roof"

I deeply wish "Room on the Roof authored by Ruskin Bond had a sequel. It portrays the hardships faced by a 16-year-old Anglo Indian Boy. Rusty. It is a story of suspense and turning points. But the novel obscured the whereabouts of Rusty and Kishen (Rusty's friend, also orphaned) after they left Haridwar and went to Dehradun to finally live with their best friends. I am still seeking answers to some questions on my mind about the end. That's why I hope to read a thrilling sequel.

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Does reading take you places?Does reading take you places?

The pandemic has been on for nearly two years now, and due to that many of you may not be discovering as many new places as you want to. But you can still. travel. How? By turning the pages of a book, you can go where you want your heart to go.

From long ago

  • The "Little House" book series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder may not really be travel books but more of books about shifting of residences, discovering new people and places. Well, did you know that these books have also come under wide criticism for their views on race stereotypes?
  • Extremely enjoyable is this adventure book by Jules Verne. It's "Around the World in Eighty Days". Phileas Fogg and Jean Passepartout take us on a whirlwind tour of the world in just 80 days, would you believe it? It is seen as Jules' best book.
  • "The Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien may be last century but the adventures of Bilbo Baggins never cease to amaze. Bilbo is a home-loving hobbit who goes on a quest that moves from being fun and light-hearted to a more difficult and sinister one in this fictional universe created by Tolkien. The writer was inspired by the World War I and Greek fairytales.

And recently

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Here's a road trip with a difference. When sisters Raina and Amara get into the same car from their home in San Francisco to get to a family reunion, they have conversations that haven't happened in a long time. Such as how things changed once Amara was born and then when their younger brother came along. A wonderful emotional and funny story for you.

The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz

Set in 1242, this book tells the story of three children and their Holy dog. A chase through France, a farting dragon, and a king - this is not just a hilarious story but one filled with magic and adventure and the discovery of new places.

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave by Jen White

Liberty, 12, and Billie, 8, have just lost their mother and have to go off to live with their father, a person they haven't met or even seen since they were very young. He is a travel photographer and life is super-adventurous initially but then one day he abandons them as he can't handle two children! How the children get back home negotiating strangers and challenges is a story worth reading.

Dhanak by Anushka Ravishankar, Nagesh Kukunoor

A novel written on a film, "Dhanak" is a heart-warming story of two siblings out on a journey. Pari, the sister, has promised her brother Chotu that she will get him back his eyesight by the time he turns nine. Well, time is running out as the boy's ninth birthday approaches. Suddenly something happens that coaxes the two young children to travel to the deserts of Rajasthan in their quest for vision.

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Which are the children’s favourite books to start the New Year with?

The perfect start to

My favourite book to start the New Year with is the book ‘She Can You Can’ by Garima Kushwaha which is a collection of stories about inspirational Indian women who have reached great heights in their life and paved paths for other women to succeed. The struggles and successes of these women motivate me.

I would like to start the new year reading this book because it teaches me to keep trying, stay strong and face challenges bravely. Reading this book in the beginning of the year will keep me stimulated and determined throughout the year.

Always a potterhead

When my mother bought the complete collection of the Harry Potter series, I was very excited to read it. I have liked the series a lot and am eager to start my new year with "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'. I have read all the novels in the Harry Potter series and I have loved the way J. K. Rowling has described the characters and brought the magical world alive. I have read and heard a lot about "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" and am interested to read it because I am curious to know what happens after the seventh book and who is the cursed child.

Take your chance

My favourite book to start the New Year with is Robert Kiyosakis top rated book Rich Dad Poor Dad I recently ordered its hard copy but previously I had read a little bit of the book. In this book the author has written about two fathers. One is his biological father or "Poor dad and the other is his friend's father "Rich Dad". Both were successful in their own fields. The poor dad was a PhD holder and yet he died broke. On the other hand the rich dad had never pursued his education beyond eighth class yet he left a million dollars. Both the fathers taught Robert different lessons. I learnt from the book that getting good grades in school is not sufficient, acquiring more knowledge and taking risks at every moment is most important in life.

No miscalculations

The book I would start the New Year with is The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl' by Stacy McAnulty. The story is about twelve-year-old Lucy, a highly introverted math genius, who joins middle school with a goal to make one friend, do one activity, and read one non-mathematical or economical book. Her struggles to socialise and make friends because of her weird disabilities and side effects of her Einstein-like math skills after being struck by lightning, give us a new outlook. The book teaches us that there is more to life than what we have already done and that we need to start fresh on broken friendships, find solutions to problems and enter the New Year positively.

Kindle the inner detective

My favourite book to start the New Year with is The Sherlock Holmes it's been a while since I've been a Holmeshead. Seeing my deep interest and urge to read the books, my father decided to get them for me. I love investigation. Even my favourite movie genres would be action and investigation. While browsing through the library when I was 12, I saw Sherlock Holmes books in a corner of the shelf. But I couldn't borrow any of the books. This rapidly increased my urge to read Sherlock Holmes. I've waited two years and at last I am going to start 2022 with The Sherlock Holmes'.

Look at the bright side

My favourite book to start the New Year with is The Borrowers by Mary Norton. It tells the story of a family of little people who live beneath the kitchen floor of a deteriorating English country home. Pod and Homily Clock care their adventurous daughter Arrietty by borrowing what they have, and a touch more, from human "beans" who live up above. To not arouse suspicion, they take only things which might not be missed, like sheets of paper and old cigar boxes. This book teaches us life lessons, as was evident in Arrietty's first borrowing' mission. Rather than scolding her for losing the ice cube, her father emphasised her good points and areas to enhance, I like to read this book because it can make me line the positive priorities and intentions of setting new goals for this New Year.

Fiction lover

With New Year approaching, I have been preparing my 2022 book list and on the top of it is The Shadowhunters' by Cassandra Clare. This is a book series filled with adventure, emotions, fiction, and above everything we get to see the friendship between two shadowhunters - James and William. For a fiction lover like myself, this book series is perfect to start the year. I would re-read this book with the hope to remind myself of all the values I need to be a better person.

Starting the New Year with a laugh

Though there are many books I'd suggest for all to read on the New Year, one book I think is the best is 'Crazy Times with Uncle Ken, written by Ruskin Bond. Uncle Ken is Ruskin Bond's uncle, who does not have a job. He frequently comes to Bond's grandmother's house to pass free time (which he always has), and every time he pays a visit, you can be sure that something mischievous is going to happen! The book sets us rolling with laughter with various moments such as when Uncle Ken accidentally drives a car into the Maharaja's compound wall, as Ruskin Bond and Uncle Ken visit a mental hospital, as Uncle Ken suddenly turns into a bird enthusiast and goes gallivanting into a forest only to be chased by an infuriated elephant! In the book, Ruskin Bond shares all his crazy experiences with his crazy uncle, which makes one wonder if such an eccentric human even exists on Earth. All in all, reading Crazy Times with Uncle Ken' has been a wonderful experience for me, and I'm sure it is perfect to start a new year with a nice, hearty laugh.

Be content

I usually set myself a list of New Year resolutions that I make in an attempt to fulfil during the coming year. Although it is an efficient way to cultivate discipline, one must not set unrealistic tasks for themselves.

For this reason, the story How Much Land Does a Man Need' by Leo Tolstoy is one of my favourite books to read as the New Year begins. The tale illustrates how a man's greed to own as much land as he can leads to his unfortunate death and the loss of what little land he had. In our quests for the big things in life, we mustn't forget the significant small things that have kept us happy.

An action-packed start

The moment I read the topic of the weekend inbox I immediately knew which book to read. The Hidden oracle is an amazing book to start the New Year with. An once immortal Greek god of archery and medicine (Apollo) is banished from Olympus after angering his father. Apollo thinks that this is a temporary change, however, he comes to realise that he has to defeat his arch enemy, who event the gods are afraid of. Can Apollo learn to become human? Will he ever defeat his enemy? Can he get rid of his big ego? This action-packed book is filled with humor, sacrifices, betrayals, mystery, and suspicion. I highly recommend this book and am 100% sure that it is the perfect way to start the New Year.

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Which are the children’s favourite movies that adapted from books?

The Wimpy movie

My favorite movie adapted from a book is "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul" by Jeff Kinney. This movie opens with Greg's family starting on a road trip to attend Meemaw's birthday, but Greg and Rodrick seem to have other plans of their own. Greg's encounter with the Beardos in the hotel, Manny's win in the country fair, the Heffley family's revenge against the Beardos after their things get stolen are some hilarious incidents that made me laugh out loud.

This movie had a mix of emotions such as happiness, confusion, and sadness. Its blend of comedy and sentiment made it very interesting to watch. This movie has also taught me lots of morals that I should follow in life.

Never give up

My favorite movie adapted from a book is 'The Life of Pi". In the film,  a boy named Pi Patel along with his family sell their zoo and are going to Canada via sea with some of their animals. Due to a shipwreck, Pi and a Bengal Tiger are forced to escape on a lifeboat along with an emergency kit and other small animals. In the end, only Pi and the Bengal tiger remain. They face several adventures and overcome them. Eventually, they become friends. From the movie I learned to never give up.

Tales of friendship

My favorite movie adapted from a book is the Harry Potter series. The first reason for loving the book and the movies is the friendship between Harry, Hermione and Ron. They are so funny and amazing. Hermione and Ron were ready to help Harry even though they knew that their life was in danger. That is real friendship. If they were not with Harry, he may not have been able to win against Voldemort.

And the second reason I love Harry Potter is Hogwarts. When I saw this school, I wished to study there. The teachers, the magic portraits, the sorting hat, and the surroundings all look really good.

What a Wonder!

Auggie from the book Wonder is one of those characters that swiftly drives through the pages to your heart and makes a place forever. R. J. Palacio couldn't have done a better job in accumulating a story of hope, of life, of struggle-turned-into-happiness, and of relationships. Stephen Chobsky didn't fail to do the same on screen. Both the book and the movie are about a 5-year-old boy suffering from a rare facial deformity disease, Treacher Collins syndrome. It isn't easy for him to face daily struggles of people teasing him or getting scared of him. But Auggie is Auggie and I learned a lot from him. He is strong and has a loving personality. His family is the strength behind his journey through this world. Every page of the book and every scene of the movie is filled with optimism and hope, reminding us that darkness will certainly fade away and the sun will shine again.

Mystery solved in an interesting way

My favorite film adaptation of a book is 'Da Vinci Code. The book is written by Dan Brown, and the film was directed by Ron Howard. The film is all about two people Robert Langdon, a symbologist, played by Tom Hanks, and Sophie Neveu, a cryptologist of the Paris Police force - who embark on a journey to find the Sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene. The film portrays their adventures in a dramatic way. I like the film for two reasons. One, I liked the way the actors played their roles to perfection. Every actor had understood what they were supposed to do, and they had all comprehended the inner meaning of the book, which would have been a challenge to them (If it's so hard for us to understand the film, imagine how difficult it would have been to be in it!). Secondly, the film gives a deep insight about the Christian society and its orthodox communities (The 'Opus Dei' and The Priory of Sion, for instance). It gives us a big picture on how sincere and loyal members of these religious communities can be towards their culture and faith. The film was nominated for many awards, and it was internationally acclaimed. As a whole, Da Vinci Code was a well researched, mind capturing film, which everyone will like.

A thrilling adventure

My favorite   movie adaptation is The Adventures of Tintin, the 2011 animated film. This movie was directed by Steven Spielberg. I like this movie because of the near-death escapades, ingenious ways to solve massive problems, and a classic plot. I also loved the historical connections between the hero and the villain.

I also like the movie because of its thrilling suspense and the very vivid clues given to find the treasure. I loved the way Tintin found out the clues successfully. From the movie, I understood that we should be wary of money-minded people. Money is needed, but greediness for too much can cause grief.

An inspiring journey

Journey to a mysterious place would always be my desire and destiny. I venture to be an explorer and an adventurer. I derived this inspiration from two books written by my favorite, Joules Verne - Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island'. These are the best books I have read and the best films I have ever watched. Sean Anderson, and the other Andersons, fuelled my imagination and became my inspiration. The stories taught me never to lose hope.

The chocolate factory

Imagine you are so poor that you have to eat cabbage soup for all meals and your father lost his job. But you get a chocolate that changes your life forever. I am talking about 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’. It is adapted from a book by Roald Dahl. This movie is about a poor boy named Charlie who wins one out of five tickets for a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the most renowned chocolate factory. My favorite part was definitely when Charlie got the golden ticket. The look on his face was priceless. Also I loved the parts when Mr. Willy Wonka was touring the chocolate factory. So if you are a fantasy lover, do watch this movie.

Hobbit tales

My favorite book that is adapted into a movie is The Hobbit.: The Desolation of Smaug. It is the story of a young  , unambitious hobbit who is dragged into a journey by a wizard friend and a pack of dwarves. I like it because it is an action, adventure, and super cool movie. The book is a must read and the movie is a must watch because the book shows everything in a detailed way while the movie displays the fight and action amazingly.

A realistic adaptation

My favorite movie adapted from a book is the Harry Potter series. At first I had read the books and by the time I finished half of the first book, I had turned into a potter head. Though the movie didn't have all the scenes which were in the book, they had made sure that they included many parts and it came out wonderfully. All the effort they had put to bring to life the moving portraits, jumbled staircases, interesting classes and most of all  the Hogwarts castle was just exemplary for me. Daniel Radcliff, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson fit perfectly into their roles and enthralled me till the end like my favorite book.

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What is the name of the autobiography written by Helen Keller?

Helen Keller, in full Helen Adams Keller, (born June 27, 1880, Tuscumbia, Alabama, U.S.—died June 1, 1968, Westport, Connecticut), American author and educator who was blind and deaf. Her education and training represent an extraordinary accomplishment in the education of persons with these disabilities.

Keller was afflicted at the age of 19 months with an illness (possibly scarlet fever) that left her blind and deaf. She was examined by Alexander Graham Bell at the age of 6. As a result, he sent to her a 20-year-old teacher, Anne Sullivan (Macy) from the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston, which Bell’s son-in-law directed. Sullivan, a remarkable teacher, remained with Keller from March 1887 until her own death in October 1936.

Within months Keller had learned to feel objects and associate them with words spelled out by finger signals on her palm, to read sentences by feeling raised words on cardboard, and to make her own sentences by arranging words in a frame. During 1888–90 she spent winters at the Perkins Institution learning Braille. Then she began a slow process of learning to speak under Sarah Fuller of the Horace Mann School for the Deaf, also in Boston. She also learned to lip-read by placing her fingers on the lips and throat of the speaker while the words were simultaneously spelled out for her. At age 14 she enrolled in the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York City, and at 16 she entered the Cambridge School for Young Ladies in Massachusetts. She won admission to Radcliffe College in 1900 and graduated cum laude in 1904.

She wrote of her life in several books, including The Story of My Life (1903), Optimism (1903), The World I Live In (1908), Light in My Darkness and My Religion (1927), Helen Keller’s Journal (1938), and The Open Door (1957). In 1913 she began lecturing (with the aid of an interpreter), primarily on behalf of the American Foundation for the Blind, for which she later established a $2 million endowment fund, and her lecture tours took her several times around the world. She cofounded the American Civil Liberties Union with American civil rights activist Roger Nash Baldwin and others in 1920. Her efforts to improve treatment of the deaf and the blind were influential in removing the disabled from asylums. She also prompted the organization of commissions for the blind in 30 states by 1937.

Credit : Britannica 

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Which are the children’s favorite negative characters from their favourite books?

Darth Vader

My favourite negative character is Darth Vader. In fact, he is my favourite fictional character in general. Negative characters not only evoke fear but also make us think about what made them egregious. Darth Vader is one of the worst villains in the history of villains. His grisly villainy could be linked to his tragic past - he killed his beloved wife in the process of saving her, he had to battle with his master Obi-wan, he was left disfigured when he fell into the lava seas of Mustafar, and after this, he could not survive on flesh and thus he bore metal armor, becoming more of a machine than man. One more reason why I think he appeals to fans is his tall figure, with a raspy and cold voice. His appearance asserts dominance over the entire army he commands. Darth Vader, in the end, died a hero, but I always think of him as the merciless leader forging a gruesome war.

She who breaks stereotypes

Rather than my favourite negative character, a character I have always had a soft spot for is Bellatrix Lestrange. She is a character who breaks stereotypes. When people think of a ruthless villain, the image that comes to their mind is often that of a man. So is the case in most stories. Even when there are female villains, they are portrayed to be driven by greed and jealousy. Nor are they as powerful as their male counterparts.

Bellatrix Lestrange is the exact opposite of this. She's ruthless, atrocious, barbaric, cruel, heartless, she's everything we would imagine a true antagonist to be. She's extremely powerful, probably the most powerful Death Eater if you count out Snape (no one would count Snape, of course). And there's no need to mention she's an absolutely crazy psychopath. Dumbledore once mentioned that she has a habit of 'playing with her prey before actually eating it. She's an epitome of Death Eaters who are known to kill for fun.

This strange affection for her has definitely been built up partly because of the renowned actress Helena Bonham Carter, who had the role of Bellatrix in the films. I have watched and rewatched the films over many times and there is no better fit for that role than her. Anyway, back to our topic, Bellatrix Lestrange is so far my favourite negative character.

Say 'no' to negativity

The most negative character in literature for me is the Curate in The War of the Worlds by H.G Wells. The Curate has the character of a gloomy and a killjoy person. While the hero tries to think positive, the Curate is always thinking negative. The Curate, though playing a small role in the narrators (hero's) life, shows that there are some people with whom we need to be wary about. By their behaviour we will also lose hope. The Curate had a negative behaviour and thought in his part of the story. Another thing I hate about the Curate is he did not believe he had a future. For example, he ate more than he ought to as he and his companion were trapped in a Martian house and believed that they were doomed. He did not believe that they could escape. The hero had put up with his ramblings and a day came when he murdered him. Though murder is a heinous crime, the narrator feels satisfied when he kills him. This just shows we have to cut off people who have a gloomy outlook on life and instead be with positive people. Of course, we should not be too positive or too gloomy, we should be balanced.

The villain without a nose

My favourite negative character is Voldemort from the Harry Potter series. At first, he was not a bad child. People's taunts is what made him choose to become the world's strongest wizard who everyone will fear. He is my favourite negative character because of his appearance. The funniest thing about Voldemort is he doesn't have a nose. According to the book, you are not allowed to tell his name. Voldemort is not just a bad guy: he is a very clever figure and a huge part of the whole series.

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Which are the children’s favourite books where they want to change the ending?

A more positive ending

If I could change the ending of one novel, I would like to change from the novel Peter Pan Written by J.M. Barrie. It is all about the boy who never wants to grow up. Peter Pan is a mischievous but innocent little boy who can fly. He has many experiences in the island of Neverland which is inhabited by fairies, mermaids and pirates. I would change the ending of the novel in such a way that his parents would come to him and take him with them.

Alice, a princess

If ever I have to change the ending of any one book, then it would be Alice in Wonderland. In that book at last when Alice meets three people and talks to them, she wakes up from her dream. Instead, I would have written that all her dreams come true and at last after talking to the three fools she moves on and reaches a temple where she drinks a juice and becomes a Princess and rules her own kingdom forever.

The healthy caterpillar

If I were to change the ending of a novel, it would be in the book. The Very Hungry Caterpillar authored by Eric Carle.

In the book, the caterpillar, as it is very hungry, eats from Monday to Friday. It eats six ice-creams before it feels full. Towards the end, the author calls the caterpillar fat.

To promote health and hygiene, I would change the story to say that though the caterpillar ate a lot, but it ensured the extra calories were burnt.

And would end it by saying, after the metamorphosis, there emerged a colourful and wonderful butterfly!

The Alien Skill

It hurts when your loyal pet dies in front of your own eyes. Ben Archer has watched his dog. Tyke, die in the end of book two of the Alien Skill series by Rae Knightly. However, what if Tyke didn't die? I want to change the ending because Tyke was a great companion to Ben and the closest of friends. While his mother was sick, Tyke kept Ben from becoming lonely. They had been through thick and thin together. It left a big hole in Ben's heart, losing someone he loved. Tyke had helped Ben to the end. He didn't deserve to die.

Don't kill Sirius

If I could change the ending of one of my favourite books, it would be Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The book starts as Harry begins his fifth year at Hogwarts School of witchcraft and Wizardry along with his best friends Ron and Hermione. Dumbledore, who is everyone's favourite headmaster, suddenly disappears from the castle and professor Umbridge is appointed as the Headmaster.

After a series of events, Harry senses that Sirius is trapped and goes to Umbridge's fireplace to try talking with him. Harry is caught in the hands of Umbridge and along with Hermione, he takes Umbridge to the forbidden forest. There, in the end, Lord Voldemort kills Sirius, Harry's Godfather and Harry is startled.

I want to change the ending to Sirius just getting injured instead of killed as Sirius always supported Harry and was loyal to him. Sirius was an animagus and hence he used to secretly meet up with Harry. Sirius could help Harry in his future encounters with Lord Voldemort.

In the book, I felt that JK Rowling's ending might have been shocking for all Pottherheads as Sirius was always a part of Harry and treated him as his own son. This is why I want to change the ending of this otherwise interesting book.

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Which are the children’s favourite translated works they have read?

Russian literature

Here is my list of translated works. Written in the Dutch language, "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank has been translated in more than 70 languages and needs no introduction. This beautifully written memoir showcases how difficult life was during the Holocaust. Anne's life in seclusion seems hopeless. Despite this, she always stays cheerful and happy. Unfortunately, this story doesn't have a happy ending, but teaches me to always stay cheerful against the adversities in life. The Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, is best known for his two longest works ("War & Peace" and "Anna Karenina') which are regarded among the finest novels ever written. His stories are extremely powerful. They convey human values and morals in simple words. "War & Peace" is a literary work mixed with chapters on history and philosophy, while "Anna Karenina" is an account of the doomed love affair between Anna and Count Vronsky.

Not lost in translation

I enjoy reading books. The best translated works I have read till now are "The Little Prince", "The Dragon Rider", "The Rainbow Fish", "The Pied Piper of Hamelin", and "The Little Red Riding Hood". "The Rainbow Fish" is really good. It is a fiction translated from German into English by J Ellison James. The book is best known for its message on selfishness and sharing. The characters in this book help each other through thick and thin. The moral of this story is we should always be helpful. I enjoy reading this story because it has a good moral and reading this book also improves my vocabulary.

The Tin Soldier

Originally written by Hans Christian Andersen and retold by Russell Punter. "The Steadfast Tin Soldier' is a beautiful story about a one-legged tin soldier who comes alive at night and falls in love with a paper ballerina. But the jack in the box is jealous and pushes the tin soldier out of the window. He is found by a group of children who make a paper boat and place him on the river. He has to go through a sewage area and even gets eaten up by a fish! But he doesn't give up, and luck comes on his side. The original version had an unfortunate ending: the tin soldier and ballerina melted in a fireplace, but in the retold story, they lived happily ever after, which makes me like the latter one more than the original. The story's moral is whatever happens. if your intentions are good, you will succeed.

Pippi Longstocking

Astrid Lindgren's most famous and loved book, "Pippi Longstocking" was translated to English from Swedish. I enjoyed reading the book. Pippi is the strongest girl in the world. She stays alone with no grown-ups around. She has two pets, a monkey and a horse. Pippi is funny. She eats caramel candy instead of taking vitamins. She cleverly covers her mistakes as facts that others don't know. I like the thing finder game they play as it is similar to my favourite game treasure hunt.

A translation by Satyajit Ray

The best translated work I have ever read is "Braziler Kalo Bagh (The Brazilian Black Tiger), which is a Bengali translation by Satyajit Ray of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story "The Brazilian Cat". It is a great crime adventure story with some interesting plot twists. The protagonist here is Marshall King, nearly bankrupt and the only successor of his uncle Lord Southerton. Due to his financial problems and an invitation from his long lost cousin Everard King, who has returned to England after a long stay in South America, Marshall he goes to his house. There after some days of leisure he falls into a great trap set up by his cousin. Everard has called his cousin to his home and made arrangements to kill him in way that looks like an accident. Everard does this because he finds out that if Marshall dies he will become the next Lord Southerton. Luckily our protagonist escapes and Everard dies in the paws of his pet Tommy, a ferocious Brazilian tiger. The story is a great example of a crime adventure story. And also I have to admit that the great writer Ray has translated the story in his unqine writing style. This is truly the best translated work I have ever read.

A spiritual guide

The best translated work I ever read is "The Alchemist" originally written in Portuguese and later beautifully rewritten in English by Paulo Coelho. Santiago, a shepherd boy, wants to travel the world to collect wonderful treasures. On his way, he meets an alchemist in a life-changing encounter.

Coelho mixes spiritualistic views and magic in his book, which I found was pretty distinctive from all the other books I have read so far. His books will surely have a strong impact on everyone's lives.

This book stimulates and enhances the positive energy in me. I wish to read many similar books.

Scandinavian fiction

These are the best translated works I have ever read - The Martin Beck" series by Maj sjowall and Per Wahloo and The Crow Girl" by Erik Axl Sund. They are both Swedish novels. "Martin Beck" is a series of books collectively titled "The Story of a Crime". I recently started reading translated books and this is the first book I fell in love with. Martin Beck, the protagonist of series, is a fictional Swedish detective. He solves crimes and mysteries. I have read lots of detective and crime novels but this series is my personal favourite. Although it's a bit gory, it has lots of mysteries. Each book has a different storyline which makes it really good.

"The Crow Girl" is a crime and psychological horror novel. It is the Everest of Scandinavian crime fiction. This was my first time reading a psychological thriller and it actually scared me a little. It follows Detective Jeanette Kihlberg as tries to find the answers for the murder of a young boy.

The adventures of Amir Hamza

My favourite translated work is "The Adventures of Amir Hamza". It was originally written in Persian, by Ghalib Lakhnavi and Abdullah Bilgrami and translated in English by Musharraf Ali Farooqi. This is a major Indo-Persian epic. The book. falls under adventure and fairy tale genre. It follows an adventurer, Amir Hamza, who is under the Persian king and fights many campaigns. He goes to the supernatural

"The Pied Piper of Hamelin”

The "Pied Piper of Hamelin" is a book written by Robert Browning in the German language in 1248. The story was later translated into English. This is a superb story and it tells us that we should always keep our promises and never go back on our word and cheat anyone.

In this story, there is a town named Hamelin which ir infested by rats. So, the realm and fights enemies even there, and dies heroically. I love this book because it has a great deal of imagination and we can easily pass our time as this book is highly engrossing. It is like an odyssey of the Middle East. This book involves sages, prophets, spies, demons, mad emperors and so on. This novel reminds me of the story of King Arthur.

A French fairytale

One of the best translated works I have read is "Little Red Riding Hood". The story, a fairytale for children, has been translated from French to English by Sarah Ardizzone. The book has been short listed for UKLA children's book. In the story, Little Red Riding Hood is a girl, who lives with her mother. Once she leaves her house to visit her grandmother. On the way, she meets a big, bad wolf in the forest. She continues walking and reaches the house. Once she is there, she realises that something is different. She sees the wolf, who has dressed up as her grandmother. He tells her has eaten her grandma and now she is scared because she thinks he would eat her, too. In the end, the neighbours come and help her. The moral of the story is we should never talk to strangers. I enjoyed this story because it has good lessons.

"Old Arthur and "The Chess Players"

My most favourite translated works are "Old Arthur (written in English by Liesel Moak Skorpen, and translated to Tamil by Siragini and Athithan), and "The Chess Players (originally written in Hindi by Munshi Premchand and translated by T.C Ghai), "Old Arthur is a story about an old dog named Arthur, who works for a farmer. He helps the farmer, and does all his work skillfully. But as Arthur grows old, he can't work as efficiently as before. The farmer becomes angry with him day by day, and one day, decides to shoot the old dog. He somehow escapes and one day, a boy named William buys Arthur. He washes Arthur, gives him good food, and they soon become friends. The story couls with, "William and Arthur lived happily ever after. I read the translated Tamil version first. Though I later also read the original work in English, I'll never forget the Tamil version.

"The Chess Players is about two best friends Mir Sahib and Mirza, who play chess every day. The English East India Company invades Lucknow. But the friends are not worried. They are interested only in chess, and continue playing, hiding in an old mosque. One day. Mirza loses two consecutive matches and the two friends start arguing. The argument soon turns into a swordfight killing both the men, I like this story very much, and it has deep thoughts, and philosophical ideas.

A little girl with a free mind

The translated works I loved the most are "Totto Chan: The Little Girl at the Window and "Where the Mind is Without Fear.

"Totto Chan" originally written in Japanese by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, has been translated into more than 30 languages. As the title suggests, it is the story of a little girl named Totto Chan. It takes place during WWII. Totto is a really curious girl and is always asking questions, which results in her getting expelled from her school. She has an extremely active mind. For instance, one moment she is thinking of becoming a teacher and just ten minutes later she starts thinking of becoming a musician. This book describes her life and her journey in her new and extraordinary school.

"Where the Mind is Without Fear is a poem written by Rabindranath Tagore. Originally written in Bengali, it was translated into English by Tagore himself. This poem is masterpiece. This poem was written by Tagore during the Indian freedom struggle. It is an indication of what free India should look like.

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