Posts Tagged ‘Young Adult’

2004120500160202

Book : Letters From A Father To His Daughter

Author : Jawaharlal Nehru

Publisher: Puffin Books

Pages :154 pgs

Category : Non Fiction, History

My grandfather was a very avid reader. He was the one who recommended books to me when I would spend hours just surfing bookshelves in our local library. It was through him that I got familiar with the works of Tolstoy , Pearl S Buck , Charles Dickens and some great Indian authors like Mulk Raj Anand , K.M.Munshi and Jawaharlal Nehru. I had read Glimpses Of World History by Nehru and loved it but somehow never read this beautiful little collection of letters Jawaharlal Nehru sent his 10 yrs old daughter Indira ( later known as Indira Gandhi ) when she was spending her summer at Mussorie , a hill station and Nehru himself was busy working in his home town Allahabad.

This set of letters he sent , tell the story of creation of Earth and its evolution. Nehru covers them chronologically with letters on First Living Things , Early Men , Civilizations , Trade, Great Cities and many more. Such is  the lucidity of his writing that at one point I felt , wish all books were written in this way.

Another intresting  point to be noted is that Nehru didnt spoon feed his daughter with all  the facts . He just told enough to make her curoius , so that she was initiated in to the quest of knowing more about them. Now, that is what process of learning is all about.

Here is my fav part of the book

Boys and girls, even grown ups are are often taught history in a peculiar way. They learn the names of the kings and others , and dates of battle and like. But surely history does not consist of battle and few persons who became kings and generals. History should tell us of the people of the country , how they lived , what they did and what they thought .It should tell us of their joys and sorrows , of their difficulties and how they overcame them..

 

With some really great illustrations , it makes a wonderful read not just for kids but also for adults. I can say its a refresher course on things we should know but hardly make an effort to think about..

Highly recommended..

 

sara zarrBook : Story Of A Girl

Author : Sara Zarr

Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages : 208 pgs

Category : Young Adult

My Rating : 4 out of 5

Summary ( from Goodreads) :

When she is caught in the backseat of a car with her older brother’s best friend – Deanna Lambert’s teenage life is changed forever. Struggling to overcome the lasting repercussions and the stifling role of “school slut,” she longs to escape a life defined by her past. With subtle grace, complicated wisdom and striking emotion, The Story of a Girl reminds us of our human capacity for resilience, epiphany and redemption.

My Views:

As a teenager Deanna has endured much more than her friends . She has to live with the fact that the whole school knows that she was caught in the back seat of  a car having sex with Tommy, her elder brother’s best friend. Different takes of this event are circulating in her school ,where people have given her some nasty nicknames . Tommy himself has fueled some of these rumours .She could have tolerated all that if her father too hadn’t given up on her. She hasn’t had a decent conversation with her dad since . Her life revolves around her 2 friends  and her  baby niece. When Deanne takes up a job in summer ,little does she know that Tommy is going to work with her. If life seemed difficult before , it isn’t getting any easier for Deanne.

Deanne is one of those few characters who touched my heart. She isn’t perfect. She has made some really wrong choices . But don’t we all?  But  the price paid by her is too heavy. When she handles her problems we see her hurt  , we see her need to gain acceptance. Need to be in a place where she isn’t judged by her previous mistakes. Need to see people whom she cares about ,understanding her. Her effort to attain financial independence so that she can get out of the town where people see her for not what she is but what her past follies are.

Deanne was a strong voice , though sometimes a confused one . I liked her for her honesty and also persevering in conditions , when most other teenagers would have broken down.  I am sure she is one character I am going to remember for a long time.

This is my first Sara Zarr book and after finishing this one I decided that I did want to read her other books. The main reason being ,her ability to bring out emotions that are completely honest without pretensions.

Awards:

2007 National Book Award Finalist

ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers

American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults

Even though I used to read lots of comics and fairy tales , in real sense the First book that got me hooked for life would be my all time favorite Louisa May Alcott’s ‘Little Women’. It was a hand down book for me. My cousin had received it as a gift on his 11th birthday and he had stashed it in the corner of his cupboard . After a few years when he went off to college to complete his B.E ,my uncle had his cupboard cleaned and found some books which were handed over to me( Ya my love for books was known to all). I must have been 9 years old at that time..I lost no time to start reading and I got so engrossed in to the world of books that I made my parents get me all the books written by Louisa Alcott in the next 15 days and I finished them all..This was how I got introduced in to the World of Classics..

Book Review:

This is a story which endears itself to every girl ,young or old who reads it. It represents the joys and the hazards of growing up through the eyes of the 4 protagonists namely Meg , Jo , Beth and little Amy. These sisters go through their everyday activities cheerfully during the American Civil War with the support of a caring and loving mother and the companionship of their neighbour Laurie. Its all about their attachments , their problems ,family crises and more importantly their love for one another..

My favorite among the sisters is Jo.. She is the man of the family.A tom boy who loves to read . Anything girly is repelled by her instantly. I always considered her as the heroine of the story and rightly so as it is her story that is carried forward in the sequels..
It will definitely cheer up the spirit of one who picks this book to read..

Happy reading..