‘The Daughters of Mars’ by Thomas Keneally

Image result for book 'The Daughters of MarsThis Book is written by the Australian novelist Thomas Keneally on the basis of the dairy notes written by two Austrian nurses named Judith and Jane during the first world war period.  This is a fictional novel based generally on medical installation period. In this book the two sisters Naomi and Sally, Naomi is the older one and seemed very confident. In their childhood Sally always felt subject to comparisons with Naomi by their teachers and relatives. Most of it was her own sense of being less. And some of it was real. Naomi was good at the outer world.

Naomi was working in the big city and stayed there while Sally stayed behind on the dairy farm looking after her mother who was dying of cancer. Naomi returns to help her mother. And the sudden death of mother makes Sally suspect Naomi. This produces a strong emotional feeling (guilty) that runs through the novel. Later it’s the experience of war which bring them together.

I did like the way how the author shaped the story. And also the simplicity used in the story. The book takes us through a different world .

It is a very interesting book for who loves and enjoy reading. I suggest this book for reading.

Reviewed by Kavya Priya S.

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‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ by J. K. Rowling

Image result for book harry potter and cursedJoanne Rowling, also known as JK Rowling was born on 31st July. She studied in Wyendan School and college with the position as the Head Girl. She graduated   from University of Exeter with BA in French and Classics. On a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990, JK Rowling wrote her initial Harry Potter ideas in a napkin. JK Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression which she claims gave her inspiration for Dementors in the Harry Potter series. Twelve Publishing houses rejected her Harry Potter Manuscripts until a small publisher Bloomsbury gave her a chance. The eighth book is very interesting.

It is a play written by J K Rowling and produced by John Tiffany. In this play there are two parts, part 1 and part 2. Harry Potter,  now married to Ginny Weasley already has 3 children of his own. Eldest son James has already started Hogwarts; school of witchcraft and wizardry and in Gryffindor is teasing his younger brother that he might go to Slytherin house. Albus, the second youngest getting worried that he might go to Slytherin house. Then Ron Weasley, who is married to Hermione Granger and his two children, comes to leave their first child Rose who is going to Hogwarts for the first time with Albus. They got in the train and said good bye. In the next scene they are in the train and Rose says they have to be careful with their friends. Albus gets into a compartment and sees Scorpious Malfoy. Albus makes friends with Scorpious and they both are sorted into Slytherin house and Rose is sorted into Gryffindor. Let us see what happens with this pair?  They make friends with Delphini Diggory without knowing her properly . Who is she? Harry who is a ministry official along with Hermione the minister of magic gets an illegal time turner. Where is the time turner? Albus wants the time turner for bringing back Cedric Diggory  who was murdered by Lord Voldemort. Scorpious helps him. Will they be seen and be muddled in the time?

What I loved the most was the simple but good influence for everybody to be the famous Harry Potter, Brave, Courageous, and Determined. J K Rowling took me to the magical world with Harry Potter and Albus Severus Potter, his son. I rate it 4/5 stars.

Reviewed by Neeraja Unnikrishnan

‘City of Halves’ by Lucy Inglis

‘City of halvImage result for book city of halveses’ authored by Lucy Inglis is an urban fantasy.  Set in London this book starr Lily a girl with extraordinary talents  regarding  computers and their systems . This book is packed with superb characters.
London  is a mysterious city  very old and mythical and it is also  Lily ‘s home but now strange happenings are taking place
When is attacked by a  two headed  dog  She is saved not so quite human Regan. As a guardian of the gates it is his job to protect the city  from  supernatural creatures that threaten it. As Lily and Regan met they must race to find out something that can be a danger to humans and  non humans alike  This book a is thrilling mystery with lots of action.
I recommend this book to all my friends like reading mysteries and I rate this book 4 out of 5.
Reviewed by Ananya B.

‘Wings of Fire’ by Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Image result for book wings of fire‘Wings of Fire’ is an autobiography of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam covering his early life and his work in Indian space research and missile programs. It is the story of a boy from a humble background who went on to become a key player in Indian space research/Indian missile programs and later became the president of India. The book has been very popular in India and has been translated into multiple languages. I recently picked up a copy and read it in a couple of days. It was very engaging initially, but tended to drag a bit towards the end with lot of technical details and procedural information of his space research and missile projects.

I loved the initial chapters of Wings of Fire since it gives a vivid picture of our country during 1930 – 1950s. Kalam was born in Rameswaram, a southern religious town in Tamilnadu. The initial chapters provides an interesting glimpse of religious harmony which existed before India’s partition.Through Wings of Fire, we come across some brilliant people who worked behind Indian space research  such as Vikram Sarabhai and Dr. Brahm Prakash.

MY RATING:4.5/5   I hope you will enjoy the book.

Reviewed by Vyshnavi Vinod

 

 

‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ by Roald Dahl

Image result for book charlie and the chocolate factoryRoald Dahl was mostly inspired to write this book because of his own experiences as a child.The reputed chocolate firm, Cadbury would occasionally hand out new types of chocolates to the students and ask the blissful children to rate them. Dahl, who was one of those lucky students, would often fantasize about working in the lab where these chocolates were created. Many years down the line, this childhood fantasy would culminate into the hugely popular, best-seller ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’.

The story begins when Willy Wonka, the great, eccentric chocolate inventor and owner of Wonka’s chocolates decides to open the gates of his amazing chocolate factory to five lucky children. And to get this prize of a lifetime, all you have to do is find one of the five golden tickets in Wonka’s chocolate bars! This news, gives everyone a jolt of surprise and the craze begins. People start hunting for the ticket and four of them are found by spoilt,mean little children.

Charie Bucket, lives with his family in a little house and hardly gets enough to eat even though his father works very hard.  He is a poor, needy but sweet and innocent child and gets a chocolate only once in a year on his birthday. One fine day, he finds a lost coin on the ground, so obviously he bought chocolate, which he loves but rarely gets….

Yes! You guessed it right, he gets the golden ticket and it was completely by accident! When Charlie got the ticket, I did a happy little jig in my head! I had complete faith in Charlie and most importantly, Roald Dahl…

So on the special day, all the lucky children and their proud parents arrive near the gates of the factory and go on a tour in the wondrous factory. They go on a ‘Scrumdiddlyumptious’ (Dahl’s credit) tour through the wonderful factory and see all kinds of sweets like hot- icecream,wriggle sweets, candies,three-course dinner chewing gum, giant lollipops and a huge chocolate river.

Dahl has also showcased his limericks and poems here and there, along with his crazy self invented words.[ gobstoppers, anyone??]

What happen to the spoilt kids? What does Willy Wonka reveal? And what happens to Charlie? To know the answers, read the book. I dont want to reveal everything and spoil your reading experience. 🙂

I am sure kids would love this book. My seven year old brother became a regular reader of Roald Dahl after reading ‘Charlie and the chocolate factory’ and he now keeps a lookout for all of Roald’s books in the public library.

The dialogue is edgy and witty.  There is of course, Dahl’s lovely humour in the books and the ending was also good. I was able to complete the book quickly.

According to me, this is a light- hearted, fun and short book and it can’t be considered as deep and thrilling as some other novels and books. Because, the book is meant for children and it is the natural talent of the writer  which which made him keep the book simple, cute and also interesting enough to be read by readers of all ages. I rate it 4/5. When you read the book, you will find yourself automatically flipping through the pages into the magical world of Charlie.

Reviewed by Kalyani Santhosh

 

‘Catching Fire’ by Suzanne Collins

Image result for book catching fire

‘Catching Fire’ is the second book in the ‘Hunger Games Trilogy’. It was first published on September 1, 2009 by Scholastic. The book picks up after 6 months have passed since the conclusion of the Hunger Games, an annual event in which each District of Panem [the post-apocalyptic North America] sends one male and one female tribute to fight to death in a televised competition to remind the Districts that the capitol can take their children and that no one is safe. President Snow unexpectedly visits Katniss on the day their Victory Tour was supposed to take place and tells her he is angry with her for breaking the rules at the end of the last Hunger Games, which permitted both Katniss and Peeta to live when only one person is allowed to live. Snow tells Katniss that when she defied the Capitol, she inspired rebellion in the Districts. Katniss and Peeta travel the twelve Districts and the Capitol.

Soon after the Victory Tour is over it is announced that for the 75th Hunger Games, twenty four victors from previous years will be forced to compete again. This is the third occurrence of the Quarter Quell, an event that occurs every 25th year of the games and allows the Capitol to introduce twist. Katniss [as she is the only living female victor] gets chosen along with Haymitch but Peeta volunteers to save him and also to protect Katniss in the arena. During the Games, set in a jungle with a saltwater lake, Katniss and Peeta form an alliance with two previous victors: Finnick, a 24 year old man who won the 65th hunger games at the age of 14, and Mags, Finnick’s 80 year old mentor, both from District 4.

The party encounters a poisonous fog in which Peeta comes into contact with the fog and cannot walk. Mags sacrifices herself to save Peeta. After Mags’s death, Katniss, Peeta and Finnick join forces with Johanna Mason, sarcastic and often cruel victor from District 7, and Beetee and Wiress, an older couple from District 3 who are said to be exceptionally smart. Wiress soon proves her genius by revealing to Katniss that the arena is arranged like a clock, with all the arena’s deadly disasters occurring on a timed chart. After Wiress is killed in a battle with the Careers [tributes from richer Districts like 1, 2 and 4, who train all their lives for the Games and are usually the winners], Katniss learns of Beetee’s plan to harness lightning in order to electrocute Brutus and Enobaria, the two remaining Career Tributes from District 2.

In the final chapters, Katniss instead directs the lightning at the force field that contains the arena, thereby destroying the arena and resulting in her temporary paralysis. When Katniss wakes up, she is being transported to District 13, joined by Finnick, Beetee and her mentor Haymitch. She learns that Peeta, Johanna and Enobaria have been captured by the Capitol and is informed that there had been a plan among half of the tributes to break out of the arena-Beetee had been attempting to destroy the force field the same way that she did. The book ends when Katniss’s best friend Gale comes to visit her and informs her that, though he got her family out in time, District 12 was destroyed.

I rate this book 10/10. Once we open the book we can’t put it down. This book is not for the faint hearted. I enjoyed all the twists and turns of the story and recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading.

Reviewed by Meera Nair     

‘The Devil and Miss Prym’ by Paulo Coelho

Image result for book devil and miss prymA stranger arrives at a sleepy village high in the mountains and shows the disillusioned barmaid, Miss Prym, a bar of gold he has hidden in the woods and tells her of another nine nearby. She must inform the townsfolk of his offer – if one person in the village is murdered by the end of the week, the village will receive the ten bars of gold.

This book is based around choices, two of them. The first is Miss Prym’s – she can choose to steal the one gold bar she knows the location of and run off to the city to pursue her dreams. This would not only help her live the life she always dreamed of, but also protect her neighbours from having to make an agonizing decision. On the other hand, the more moral choice would be to not steal the gold, and not to tell the villagers of the stranger’s offer so that all concerned could preserve their moral integrity. However, should Miss Prym start down this path, the stranger has promised that he will inform the citizens himself and they will likely resent the barmaid for hiding this information and choose her as the sacrificial victim.

The second choice is obviously that of the villagers – whether they should accept the gold offered to them to save their dying village and murder an innocent inhabitant, or let their home wink out of existence, but stay on the side of righteousness.

Paulo Coelho is an immensely talented author who somehow manages to get right inside characters. He did it magnificently with the stranger who is trying to convince himself there is still good left in the world and with Miss Prym, who is facing the most terrifying decision she has ever had to make. Somehow, nobody in the book felt to me like a bad person – some were unlikable.
To me, the essence of this book is good vs evil, and that perhaps it’s not always as clear cut a choice as it seems. There have been many books on this topic already, but not like this one. This is a very specific, very personal look at what people can do when pushed. Religion occasionally comes into it, as does the Devil, but it’s more in a spiritual way.

Reviewed by Arshia V.

Challenge a Reader, Challenge a Leader.