Thursday, July 13, 2017

Anvita and Anika's Book Newsletter - July 2017


eGranth - The July, 2017 Books Newsletter

Editor: Our July Newsletter is finally out. I know it has come after a long wait and I’m sorry for the delay but we finally completed it. This time we have added two brand new sections. Hope you enjoy the additions. This time I, Anika donned the editor's cap. My sister provided the content for quite a few books. She has given the content for at least eight to nine books and they are very well written. Well here are this issue's sections:
  • Epic Reading
  • Notable Books
  • Classic books
  • Yikes! I read what?
  • All work no play
  • Horrific Horror
  • Tickled my stomach

Epic Reading

This section contains books on the Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is the first section and has two books. If you are a fan of the Ramayana and all myths related to it, this section is just right for you.

Lanka’s Princess - This is yet another book written by Kavita Kane. This book is about Shurpanakha also called Lanka’s princess. Shurpanakha means hard as nails. She is the sister of Ravan. Ravan is an asura and the villain of the great epic the Ramayana. The first opinion that forms in your head, if you have read the Ramayana is that Shurpanakha is an evil shape shifting monster. She had tried to kill Sita, but had her nose and ears sliced of by Lakshmana brother of Ram. If you are hearing about the Ramayana for the first time, then after reading this you too would have formed a bad opinion about her. This book is different. It portrays the not well-known side of Shurpanakha. Kavita Kane has tried to sympathize with Shurpanakha while being fair to Ram and Lakshman. She has succeeded in doing so. I as a kid think the book could have done well without the overwhelming romance between Shurpanakha and Vidyujiva. Others might find this important or interesting but I didn’t care about this much. In the book Kavita Kane describes the small and trivial yet crucial events in Shurpanakha life that has not been written in other versions of the Ramayana. She has described most of the story from Shurpanakha eyes and concentrating on her emotions too. It has been a nice experience reading this book. You can also visit my blog to know more about this book. [k] [link]

Scion of Ikshvaku - This book is written by Amish, and is his second series which he has written. The first one was the Meluha series, and this is the second one, the Ram Chandra series. I want to give you a small idea on the storyline. The story covers the birth of Rama, his marriage and it ends when they are in exile and Sita is abducted, and Rama sees the Pushpak Vimana taking off with her. This is not the original Ramayana, but it is a fictional retelling of it. Amish has added his own changes to the story, with the basic storyline. I really liked the book. He added so many twists, which made the story one which you will read. I found each change in the story unique. The start of the book is slow, but later you really start to enjoy it. You might have to read some parts of the book again to understand it. It is a worthwhile book to read. It describes many things in detail, making it simple for the reader to understand. It is very different from the Ramayana and has many things that have been changed, but it does not make it unpleasant to read. [v] [link]

Notable Books

This section has all the must-read books. It contains the books that we thought most children would like. Trust me the books in here are totally amazing. Even if you are reluctant to read the books in here, do not miss them out. There is no need to buy them, just get them as an e-book or borrow it from a friend or library. The moment you start reading these books you will fall in love with them and would want to buy them. If they don't spark your interest follow the fifty-page rule before you put it down. They are totally amazing.

Esperanza Rising - This book is written by Pam Munoz Ryan. It was given to me by my cousin. As most of the books she gives me are nice, I started reading it. The story was about a young girl named Esperanza. It talks about how she struggles in her survival in the escape from Mexico to the United States. It starts with the unfortunate and sad death of her father and the way she her mother and servants, escape from the mercy of her cruel uncles to the United States. Even after reaching the United States luck is no better. They must do very tough work to survive and when things could get no worse, Esperanza’s mother falls sick. Can Esperanza stay strong and support her mother in this struggle? Read ‘Esperanza Rising’ to find out. This book was very nice. It gave the message to show hope and strength in even the worst of times. This book was based on the author’s grandmother’s experience on hermove from Mexico to the United States. There ae a few Mexican words in it which you may not understand but otherwise it was an amazing experience reading this. [k] [link]

Gilda Joyce: Ladies of the Lake - Gilda Joyce, a young girl is being unwillingly sent to attend an elegant and exclusive Catholic school for girls. She is a psychic investigator (a person who investigates phenomena beyond the world of reality, e.g. ghosts), and hates anything too girlish. Besides, leaving her best friend Wendy Choy, isn’t a friendly thought. Being a willful girl, she can protest against attending the school, but she doesn’t. On a boring tour of the school, she finally finds something that sparks her interest. They reach a bridge that is constructed over a tiny portion of the stream that passes there. As Gilda asked her guide a question, her guide pinches her and whispers, “Keep your voice down around the dead.” She is later told that a girl named Dolores Lambert had drowned in the same lake at this spot. This statement was enough to make Gilda join this school. Strange things happen in the school. When the school floods with water at times, the school maintenance worker told her that he mostly caught sight of a ‘ghost girl’ walk through a wall at times. Some say that they are haunted by the ghost. She discovers some notes that tell her that the death was not as simple as she thinks it is. She is getting followed and is receiving threatening notes. Has Gilda bitten off more than she can chew? Is her life in danger? This exceptional book has been written by Jennifer Allison is one of her bestsellers. This is her second book in the series and her Gilda Joyce series has been a bestseller. I loved this book, as it is filled with mystery and is full of surprises. I have read this book millions of times and still haven’t got bored of it. [v]

Six Spellmakers of Dorabjee Street - The book is written by Shabnam Minwalla. It was given to me by my father. This is one of the many books Shabnam Minwalla has written, and it is a best seller. It is a simple story, yet a mirthful one. I can promise you a lot of laughs from this. Nivi and her brother Nikhil, have just moved into a dull grey building called Cosy Castle, on Dorabji Street in Mumbai. She adjusts quickly with her surroundings and befriends a girl named Sarita. Their favourite spot was the garden located in the apartment. The garden had two large Bimbli trees which they used to climb and read books on. Two old ladies, Mrs. Braganza and Mrs. Katodia hate to see children laughing and playing, and start to plot together to inflict misery on the innocent children. Nivi, Nikhil, Rehaan, Sarita, Venu and Vijay must save the bimbli trees, their favourite spot. I found this book to be interesting and simple. It was extremely funny. Each character and each scene was described clearly, giving the look and feel of the place. You could almost feel yourself see the whole thing happening. I loved the way Shabnam Minwalla brought a contrast between Sarita and Nivi, one of them is shy and one of them chatters a lot, but both are extremely close friends. [v]

St. Clare's - This is a very popular series written by Enid Blyton and Pamela Cox. It is about a popular boarding school named St. Clare’s. There is a total of nine books. The series start with the arrival of the two main characters of the books, the O’Sullivian twins. It talks about their snobbish behavior at first and then their realization of the fine school that St. Clare’s was. It tells us about how from being the “stuck-up twins” they go on to become two of the finest head girls of St. Clare’s. On their way, they are joined by fiery Carlotta, witty Bobby, calm Hilary, feather brained Alison, and many more. While reading this series you will feel like you are there, cheering in lacrosse matches, eating scrumptious food and lots more. Enid Blyton has written another similar series called Malory Towers and that too is as nice and interesting as this series. Enid Blyton is best known for the St. Clare’s, Malory Towers, Famous Five, Secret Seven and the Enchanted Woods. [k]

The Knowledge: Triffic Chocolate - Chocolate, Chocolate, and more Chocolate. The only thing that revolves around a person’s head is chocolate. The delicious, brown, sweet that sparks everyone’s interest anywhere. Try it. At a boring sermon by your headmaster, if the headmaster mentions that there will be free chocolate samples at the end of the session, see how suddenly, the entire crowd is all ears, not taking their eyes of the headmaster for a second, paying complete attention. This is the magic of this scrumptious sweet. I now present to you a book filled with everything about choccies, the journey of cacao beans and from cacao beans to the amazing thing that is chocolate and is sold in shops. How to eat a chocolate, who was the first one to discover chocolate, the various kinds of chocolates and all the famous chocolate brands. Check the book out for weird dishes made using chocolate. I’d recommend you try making chocolate spaghetti. I can promise you one thing - you won’t fall asleep reading this book. It contains not a single page where you can find boring facts or math equations. Amaze your friends with the health benefits chocolates have. Prove teachers wrong by pointing out how good chocolate can be for your teeth, and don’t worry, you can eat chocolate before exams to boost your brains. If a teacher questions you about it, just reply how good chocolates are. They help boost our brains! A note before I end. I’d recommend you read this book with a bar of chocolate, or two at least, because you won’t be able to resist the temptation the book will make you feel. [v]

Classic books

This is the third section. It contains two books. The books in this section are the classic books that most people have read. If you have not read them and yet are a voracious reader you should read them. Otherwise most people would be surprised that a reader like you has not read these books. They are quite nice and interesting to read. They have an interesting storyline.

Heidi - This book written by Johanna Spyri. It is an amazing book. It talks about an unfortunate yet spirited young girl whose parents died when she was very young. She is put under the care of her stern grandfather. She is then forced to leave the wild mountains for the prim and proper city of Frankfurt where she was to become a very rich yet ill young girl’s companion. Clara, the rich girl and Heidi become the best of friends, but inside her heart the spirited girl still longed for the freedom of the mountains. Heidi soon grows so homesick that she starts sleepwalking. Clara’s guilty father sees this and sends Heidi to where she really belongs, with her grandfather and nature. This book explains every single of Heidi’s feelings. Her joy at learning to read and her sadness at leaving the mountains. It tells us that no matter how many ups and downs are there in our life, things do turn out well in the end. This experience also teaches us new things along the way. Johanna Spyri is best known for Heidi. I loved this book. It was lovely reading it. [k]

Jane Eyre: I’m sure everyone has heard of this story. It is one of the most famous classic, and is written by Charlotte Bronte. This is one of my favourite stories. The book is full of hardship, courage, strength and a lovely tail of friendship. I loved the way Jane Eyre faced her difficulties bravely, not ready to give up. Though I’m sure most of you must know about the book, I’d prefer to give you all a synopsis of the book, as I usually do. Jane Eyre, an orphan adopted by her aunt, and disrespected by her cousins, grows up to be a headstrong girl, thirsting to seek revenge against her aunt. She is sent to Lowood Institutions, where everything is strict and disciplined, but in a cruel manner. Children are given a measly serving of food, and during winter, the clothing is bot warm enough. Jane befriends a sweet girl called Helen, and gains he trust of a gentle teacher, Miss Temple. She grows up, but unfortunately, Helen catches a deadly disease and dies. Jane filled with misery continues school, constantly missing Helen. She grows up to be a quiet young woman full of knowledge, and now teaches at Lowood Institutions. The story continues with Jane going to tutor a little girl, and how she falls in love with the father of the girl. She cannot marry the man as she is below his status. Jane must earn money and higher her status. I found the book the best when Jane was young, and how she tried to fight her aunt. The book is inspiring, making you want to not lose hope. [v]

Yikes! I Read What?

This section contains just one book. This section is supposed to be for books that we didn't like at all. We felt it was a waste of time and money reading these books. However, feel free to read them if you like as everyone has their own opinion.

The House on Mango Street: This book is written by Sandra Cisneros. One of my cousins gave me the book, as she was too old to enjoy it. Only somewhere around this month, did I pick the book up. I was combing through my bookshelf, searching for a book that I hadn’t read, and came across this book. I decided to give it a try, and honestly speaking, I wasn’t very happy about the book. The book has short two to four page chapters.

Each chapter is different from the other. The continuity that is supposed to be there in a book, was missing, making each chapter to be a different incident, with no relation of one incident to the other. Some parts of a single chapter are unclear. I read the whole book twice, as sometimes you don’t understand something the first time, but you do the second time. I still didn’t understand the book the second time. I found that there was no relevance of one incident in the book to another. I have not written a synopsis of the book, as I can’t describe the book as a whole. It is made up of many displaced parts. [v]

All Work No Play

This is a brand-new section that we have introduced in this issue. The section currently contains just one topic but we shall be adding more in the following issues. As you can guess from the title itself, this section is about our school textbooks or topics that we found very boring and reminded us of the phrase, 'All work no play, makes Jack a dull boy'.

Studies at School - In the last newsletter, I had written that I would include a section in which I would mention what I learnt at school, so here the section is. This time, I want to share with you an experiment that I performed in school that showed the concept of acids, bases and neutrals. It was given to us before the chapter was taught. They gave us an empty bottle, a stirrer, a pipette, Universal Indicator, Milk of Magnesia, Vinegar, and Sodium Hydroxide. [v]

Tickled My Stomach

This is another brand-new section that we have introduced in this issue of the newsletter. This section contains two books. This section has been made for books or authors that wrote books that we found very funny. They were so hilarious that they made us laugh very hard. This is another must read section for you if you are a fan of comedy books.

Ruskin Bond – Ruskin Bond is a very well-known Indian author. He mostly writes stories about animals, his small yet interesting adventures with his grandfather and hilarious happenings at home. He also writes many books for kids. I have read three four of his children books like, ‘Uncle’s, Aunt’s and Elephants’ and ‘The Jungle Omnibus’. I found the first one rather funny and hilarious. My favourite story was ‘Grandfather fights an Ostrich’. It was described in such a funny way that I couldn’t stop laughing. This is yet another feature in his books that makes me want to read more. The books on animals are described in such a way that you feel all the incidents are just a part of jungle day to day life. I really enjoy reading his books. [k]

Roald Dahl – This is yet another author whose books I love reading. Roald Dahl has written a lot of children’s books and I have read most of them. My favorites were ‘Matilda’, ‘The BFG’, ‘The Twits’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. ‘Matilda’ was so amazing. I wish I could lift things with my eyes and move them around. I also wish I had Matilda’s computer like memory that could store gigabytes of information. Miss Trunchbull was yet another one of my wickedly favourite characters. ‘The Twits’ is also hilarious. I just loved all the Roald Dahl books. The illustrations given side by side are also amazing. They make the horrid people look so funny. Ruskin Bond and Roald Dahl make me laugh like never before when I read their books. [k] [link]

Horrific Horror

This section has just one book. This section is for people who are fans of horror books. If you want to be thrilled and chilled by books, this section is the perfect selection for you.

Dracula – Most people do know about this fictional horror that is Dracula. He is a terrifying vampire named Dracula. He sucks the blood of anyone who is unfortunate enough to become his victim. He however is ten times stronger than a normal vampire. He can control rats and bats. He can race across plains in the form of mist and lots more. There are a few things that can be used to defeat him. They are the sacred wafer {Christian}, common garlic flowers and the Christian cross. These things were the things that Mina and Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Quincey Morris and Arthur used to defeat Dracula. The whole story starts with Jonathan’s visit to Count Dracula’s castle because of some business. It then narrates his terrifying experience over there. After he returns a very unfortunate thing happens. Lucy, a friend of Mina’s becomes Count Dracula’s first victim and eventually dies. It then tells us the race against Count Dracula to kill him before he eventually kills every single person and turns them into a vampire. Everything is written in the form of journals.This book was very interesting and full of suspense. It also was slightly chilling yet thrilling at the same time. I loved reading it with all the suspense and slightly horrifying events in the book. It is a must read for whoever is a fan of horror-fiction. [k] [link]

Links to all books and series included in this newsletter:
  1. Lanka’s Princess
  2. Scion of Ikshvaku
  3. Esperanza Rising
  4. Gilda Joyce: Ladies of the Lake
  5. Six Spellmakers of Dorabji Street
  6. St Clare’s
  7. Knowledge Triffic Chocolate
  8. Heidi
  9. Jane Eyre
  10. The House on Mango Street
  11. Ruskin Bond
  12. Roald Dahl
  13. Dracula
© 2017, Anvita and Anika. All rights reserved.

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