‘Bringing Back Grandfather’ by Anjali Banerjee


BRINGING BACK GRANDFATHER is a mysterious book written by ANJALI BANERJEE.

The author Anjali Banerjee brings us the kind of book that we need in our libraries and bookstores. A well-written tale from the point of view of a kid. Page after page the reader experiences a new turn and thrill in the book . The story is very well written, magical and heartbreaking. The characters are so real, and the pain of the family in the loss of the grandfather is tender and heartfelt. Ultimately, grief is universal, and that is the point of BRINGING BACK GRANDFATHER. But still, within all that sadness, there still has to be laughter, happiness and joy. This novel handles many aspects of being a young child, of feeling powerless and curious and silly. BRINGING BACK GRANDFATHER was first published as LOOKING FOR BAPU in the US in October last year.

Anu and his grandfather dadu have always been especially close. Ever since dadu immigrated to America from his native India the two have been like peas in a pod. Imagine the eight-year-old boy’s horror, then, when dadu has a stroke right in front of his eyes while the two are watching for birds. Anu is beyond distraught. He keeps having little visions of his grandfather watching over him. By this Anu believes that dadu doesn’t want to leave, so he’s going to do everything in his power to bring him back. This might mean becoming a holy roller. It might mean employing the help of his friends Izzy (a homeschooler) and Unger (money-obsessed). Whatever it means, Anu is going to find an answer to his dilemma, and he’s going to do so in the way that works best for him, be it magic, evoking the gods, or shaving off all his hair before class picture. Anu prays to the gods, tries to become a holy man and visits a fortune teller, but of course, nothing really works.

Anyone who has lost someone suddenly can understand Anu; reading this book brought me right back to when I lost my own grandfather and all the strange things I did right after. This novel does wonders to express grief and loss, without ever losing sight of Anu’s unique experience. Anjali Banerjee’s BRINGING BACK GRANDFATHER tells of an Indian grandfather who’s brought India’s culture to grandson Anu. Anu is lost – until he decides to search for his grandfather’s spirit and enlists in loyal friends to help bring back his beloved grandfather. A delightful story of cross-cultural interaction evolves. In any case, bringing back grandfather is a fabulous book to have on hand. Well-written, engaging, and understandable, it has its flaws and its triumphs. The fact that the hero in this book was eight-years-old was a mighty interesting stylistic choice on the part of the author. Because of its reading level, this book is probably not going to be read by many eight-year-olds. It’ll be read by ten to twelve-year-olds who would normally not find themselves with a protagonist of such young years. BRINGING BACK GRANDFATHER is a masterful combination of grief and humor that transcends ages to be, not only a delightful novel, but also a resource for children as well as adults. I received this book by accident, and am so glad I did. Actually this book was chosen by our librarian sir. Sir told “this is a nice book written by Anjali banerjee.”Thank you sir for choosing this wonderful book. I rate this book 5 out of 5. I recommend this book to all young readers and all Anjali banerjee fans.


Publisher: Puffin Books, New Delhi, 2007

Reviewed by Ashifa S. S.


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