Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Vedas and Upanishads for Children, by Roopa Pai

The Vedas and Upanishads for Children, by Roopa Pai

The title of this book is the Vedas and the Upanishads. To give you a little information, I’ll give a short summary. The Vedas are one of the most sacred texts of the Hindus. There are 4 Vedas, which in order of composition are, the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda. They basically describe the rituals, sacrifices, who were the Hindu gods, etc. Another important thing is that the Vedas were not written for a long time but were instead composed and kept in the head. The Vedas are also made up of four layers and this is where the Upanishads come in. The Upanishads are the last layer of the four layers that make up a Veda. They contain stories and myths that explain the different possible meanings of the first three layers. It is also kind of similar to the third layer of the Vedas. I know this is all very confusing and you also must be wondering why I am reviewing this.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Wonder, by R J Palacio

Wonde, by R J Palacio

Wonder is about a ten-year-old boy named Auggie (August) Pullman. Auggie was an unlucky child as he had been born with a deformed face. Even after twenty seven surgeries Auggie’s face looked so bad that people were shocked when they saw him. Auggie had never been to school before and had been homeschooled. Now, his parents wanted him to attend a real school as it would be fifth grade and the start of middle school for everyone. Auggie starts at Beecher Prep. Everyone find him scary-looking and most of them are mean to him The book then talks about how Auggie feels everyday at school and how he makes a few friends and how he starts enjoying school.

The book was one of my favourite books ever because everything was written so well and it was simply amazing. My favourite part was that the book had many different parts. Most of them were from Auggie’s point of view but a few were from the different people in his life like his sister or his best friend. This gave you a chance to see what everyone feels about Auggie and from their point of view. It was a great book to read and I loved the sequel of this book too.

© 2018, Anika Agarwal. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Middle School: My Brother Is a Big Fat Liar, by James Patterson

Middle School: My Brother Is a Big Fat Liar, by James Patterson (Author), Lisa Papademetriou (Author), Neil Swaab (Illustrator)

This book is the only book in the Middle School series that it written from Georgia’s point of view. Georgia is Rafe’s younger sister and now that she is in middle school she too is going to HVMS (Hills Village Middle School).The book talks about how Georgia Khatchadorian goes to HVMS. The teachers get to know that Georgia is the sister of the infamous Rafe and give her no chance to prove herself. They think that Georgia is just like Rafe and only wants to fool about. Adding to this are the Princess Patrol, Missy, Bethany and Brittany. They are a group of girls that are popular and cool and treat everyone else as dirt. They have now singled out Georgia as the new person to bully. Then Rafe signs up Georgia’s band to play at the dance. Knowing that their band was horrible Georgia is afraid about what will happen at the dance. Will she be able to survive till the end of the year? This was only a short glimpse of what the book is about.

The book is so funny. It is also a change to be reading from Georgia ‘s point of view. You get to know a lot more about her and what she feels. It is also hilarious when Georgia thinks of the different ways to outsmart the Princessesses. The tricks that she and Rafe play on each other. It all comes together very nicely and the result is one amazing book. The plot and everything else is just awesome. This was another one of my favourite Middle School books because it was from Georgia’s point of view.

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© 2018 Anika Agarwal. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Curious Case of the Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop, by Nandini Nayar

 The Curious Case of the Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop, by Nandini Nayar

The Mithaiwallas are one of the best sweet-making families. The secret to their success is a book that contains the recipes of every delicious and new sweet created by them. Vishnu Mithaiwalla is the current generation in the Mithaiwalla family. One day a boy named Laddoo shows up and claims that he is his nephew, the son of Vishnu’s estranged sister, Revati. The next day however, a girl named Anu shows up claiming that she is his niece and the daughter of Revati. Both say that they have come to live with him. Now, Vishnu is in a fix and has no way of knowing who is the real relative. On top of this, someone sets out to steal the ancient recipe book! Will Vishnu catch the culprit before it is too late? Will he find the real Mithaiwalla descendant? That was the summary.

This book was recommended by our librarian, Pratap Uncle. The minute I read the blurb I fell in love with the book. The plot was simple yet very entertaining. This book is one of those books that you won’t mind reading over and over just because of its simplicity. I liked the way all the recipes are described and the way the food is made. The book makes your mouth water when you think of the food. This is a book that any kid would like reading.

© 2018, Anika Agarwal. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Artemis Fowl, Book 1, by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl-1 (Book 1), by Eoin Colfer

This is the first book in the Artemis Fowl series. Before I do anything I would like to give you a short summary of the book so that you’ll understand what I’ll talk about later.

The main character is a twelve year old boy named Artemis who is a criminal mastermind and a genius. In the course of one of his schemes, he manages to find the People or the fairy folk. The People have been living underground for a long time hidden from the Mud Men or humans. They have survived this long thanks to Foaly, the centaur also a technological genius. Artemis manages to decipher the Book (the rulebook of the fairies) which is written in Gnommish. This is a first. He learns that fairies need to complete a Ritual so that they can restore and replenish their magic. The Ritual involves plucking an acorn from an ancient tree and while the acorn is still fresh, planting it on a full moon night. Artemis goes to all the ancient oak trees onn full moon nights in the hope of catching a fairy. After many long waits he is rewarded. He captures Captain Holly Short of the LEP (fairy police force) He holds her captive and asks for a ransom from the LEP. The LEP has no other choice but to put a time field on Artemis’s house. A time field stops time in that particular place for at least 8 hours. If Artemis did not give up Holly by the end of the eight hours the LEP would have too release a bio-bomb that kills all living creatures and leaves everything else untouched. Is Artemis as clever as he seems? Will he be able to win without getting killed?

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Mystery of the Gold Coin (Greetings from Somewhere Book 1), by Harper Paris and Marcos Calo

The Mystery of the Gold Coin (Greetings from Somewhere Book 1)
by Harper Paris and Marcos Calo

This book is the first book in the ‘Greetings from Somewhere’ series. It has short story.
It is about two twins called Ethan and Ella. One morning their mother tells them she has a new job, she is the travel writer for the local newspaper ‘Brookeston Times’. In this job she has to travel all around the world, see different places and then write about it for the newspaper. This also means that the whole family will have to move and travel along with her. The worst part is that they are shifting next week.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi

 Aru Shah and the End of Time (A Pandava Novel Book 1) (Pandava Series), by Roshani Chokshi

This book was shown to me by my father. My sister had already read this book and didn’t have a great opinion of it. I however, decided to read it and then form an opinion.

‘Aru Shah and the End of Time’ is about a twelve-year old girl named Aru. Aru always feels left out and the odd one out at her school. Her mother is a famous archaeologist, who works at the ‘Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture’ and is always busy with work and business trips. The result of all of this was that her mother would often forget about Aru, her classes and her activities. Everyone would be dropped by their parents and have fancy cars while she would walk to school alone. Desperate to change this, Aru starts using her imagination and creates stories about the imaginary cities and places she has visited. Since, Aru practically lives in the museum she uses the artifacts and statues around her as inspiration. An elephant statue in the museum becomes a wild elephant that she tamed and rescued from India. This works and slowly but steadily Aru starts finding a place for herself in school.

One fatal day, she is visited by three of her classmates, Poppy, Arielle and Burton. This time Aru is trapped in her own lie of being on holiday in France. To make things worse, they are recording every single thing she does so that they can reveal all of her lies to the whole school. She decides to do something very dangerous and forbidden, she decides to light the cursed lamp.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Ayesha and the Fire Fish by Ajay Chowdhury

Ayesha and the Fire Fish
by Ajay Chowdhury
category: children, fiction
Age: 8-12years
Reviewed by: Anika
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN

Ayesha is on vacation with her parents. One night she was getting bored and was unable to sleep, so she decided to go for a walk along the beach where she was pulled into a hair-rising adventure. A talking dolphin takes her to the Queen of the Seas, Shekina. A huge problem is threatening the ocean world. Firefish, the life-giving source of the ocean are disappearing. If they disappear all the ocean life will die out and there will be chaos. Unable to say no to Shekina, Ayesha has to find out whoever is doing it and make it stop. Along with a surfboarding snail, Caroline, and her geeky cousin, Xander, she travels to many places and finds new things on the way. From shapeshifting killer dogs, to space-travelling giant beads, she discovers the truth behind the disappearing firefish.

I loved Caroline (the snail) aka Caro. I loved Caro’s dry and sarcastic comments and replies. She added a lot of humour and fun to the story. What surprised me was that Caro was so strong that she could defeat the giant killer dogs by herself. The book had a gripping plot and that’s what made me read it till the end. Though sometimes the story would lag a bit. For example, the starting was boring and not very clear when it explained what the firefish were. Another part is at the end when Ayesha meets the aliens, it is tough to understand what they are and why they need the Firefish.

Other than these few portions the rest of the book was fascinating.
© 2018, Anika Agarwal. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Adventures of Stoob: A Difficult Stage by Samit Basu

The Adventures of Stoob: A Difficult Stage
by Samit Basu
category: children, fiction, school, humour
Age: 8-12years
Reviewed by: Anika
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN

This is the second book in the Stoob series by Samit Basu. We have mentioned the first book in our November newsletter. The series is about a boy named Stoob and the hurdles he faces in school. In this book, Stoob is now in middle school. The year he had been waiting for his whole life. He is very relaxed and is finding a whole new world of freedom. With his new phone and no exams what more could he ask for. When the new play comes up it’s time for Stoob to show his acting talent and get the main role before it's too late. Alas, for all his high hopes and his effort, he got the role of a table, a mere table! Adding to his horror was the name of the play, 'Teen Rama Adventurez'. Everyone knew it to be the most boring television show on the planet. Luck changes when his guitar teacher takes over the play and gives Stoob one of the main roles. Will Stoob be able to do it or will he crack under the pressure? Will the play succeed or fail? And what is the nasty surprise waiting for them at the end? Pages of humour and an interesting plot makes this one my favourites.

Now, coming to my favourite parts, the best part in the book is when Stoob carries out his secret mission. It was so funny. I enjoyed watching the Suit (read the book to learn about him) stumble and lose his way and miss the opening night. I just loved it. Every book in the series has a new, comical and fantastic plot. I have re-read the series thrice. I would recommend this series for the age group of 9-12 years.

© 2018, Anika Agarwal. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Middle School: Save Rafe! by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts

Middle School: Save Rafe!
by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
category: children, fiction, school, humour
Age: 8-12years
Reviewed by: Anika
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN

This is another book in the Middle School series. In this book, after being kicked out of many schools’, Rafe was now at Airbrook Arts. Airbrook was bearable compared to the rest of the schools he had been to. Unfortunately, luck was not on Rafe's side. Just before school started, Rafe finds out that Airbrook Arts had closed down and he now had no place to go. One school finally decided to consider him, but to Rafe’s horror it was his old school HVMS (Hills Village Middle School). In sixth grade, Rafe had studied at HVMS. At the school, Rafe had broken almost every single rule in the student handbook, which had resulted in getting him expelled. Now he has no choice but to go back there. However, there is a catch. Before getting accepted, he has to go to a Survival Camp. At the camp, there were a number of tough obstacles. For each obstacle you completed you earned a badge. The goal of the camp was to earn 20 badges. If he didn’t manage to earn the badges he would be left with no school at all. The course was really tough, and they were provided with only one meal a day. Along with the new friends he makes, he must make sure that all of them work together and complete the course.

The book reminded me of when all kids are forced to do things we hate and have no option but to do them otherwise no TV or no IPad. Again, the illustrations were awesome. I also loved the comic strips that Rafe drew. The comic strips were about Loozer, a character which Rafe had created based on his own life. They are always filled with humour. Out of all the Middle School books I have read, this was one of my favourites because it was so different.

© 2018, Anika Agarwal. All rights reserved.