This story about refugees highlights their painful journey of losing home and hope, of living with several uncertainties without family, familiar neighborhoods, known cultures. The refugees are often left questioning where they belong. The illustrations add beautifully to the story and support the questions it raises about the meaning of home and hope, of belonging and being.

Pratham Books 2021 Shweta Ganesh Kumar Annada Menon

Coming Home

The book is a fictional account of a true story of a young boy in the Sittilingi Valley of Tamil Nadu. The children of the valley, led by 11-year-old Selva, attempt to build their own school so that they do not have to choose between migrating for elementary education or giving it up altogether. Inspiring the young to find their own voice and confidence, this book is a part of an iconic set of five.

Karadi Tales in partenership with PARI 2021 Priti David Cover Design- Tanvi Parulkar

Kashmir! Kashmir!

This is a refreshing anthology of short fiction set in Kashmir. The stories are varied and multi-layered, and they talk about people living there, people who were compelled to leave and about visitors who come and go. The book is set on a cord where beauty and pain run in the same vein. The stories bring in the reader to the daily experiences of struggle, dissent, helplessness, love, compassion and courage of people living in Kashmir, and to the uncertainty that constantly looms.

Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd. 2021 Deepa Agarwal

My Name is Gulab

This powerful story tells of an act of courage of a manual scavenger’s daughter. Young Gulab takes the first step to ensure her father does not have to use bare hands for work. Addressing caste issues sensitively and sensibly, the book presents a world that many children are insulated from. Oppression and people living in the margins are portrayed through the narration. The illustrations are evocative, with a choice of colours that align imagination with reality.

Tulika Publishers 2021 Sagar Kolwankar Sagar Kolwankar

No Nonsense Nandhini

This is a fictionalised account of the experience of a single mother in Tamil Nadu. Nandhini balances parenting and work – flower picking in a farm. She not only defies stereotypes but is also an icon of revolution. The book takes the reader through her life, struggles, grit in overcoming challenges and moments of joy. It presents a world that is unknown to many children but one they need to be aware of. The cover illustration is fresh and attractive. The book is a part of an iconic set of five.

Karadi Tales in partenership with PARI 2020 Aparna Karthikeyan Cover Design- Tanvi Parulkar

Noon Chai and a Story

This heart-warming story has an underlying spirit of resilience and love. The book indeed feels like the dried rose petals that Deidi, Amiya’s grandmother, preserved within the pages of a book. The story of Deidi flows gently through the book, shared over a cup of noon chai. The book is a reminder that a story is waiting to be told and a book waiting to be written by each of us if only we care to look, listen and write.

Tulika Publishers 2021 Adithi Rao Ghazal Qadri

That Night

The book addresses the real and palpable fear of a riot with much sensitivity and subtlety. This is a must read in today’s predicament of uncertainty, violence and injustice that enter the lives of children, directly or indirectly, in the garb of social media. The role of the adult in unpacking this book for children is vital. The book offers great scope to begin a dialogue about fear, anxiety and what lies within experiences.

Pratham Books 2021 Bijal Vachharajani Shrujana Niranjani Shridhar

Have You Met the Parsis

This book gives readers a peek into the cultural element of the Parsi community. The book also gives mention to noteworthy names of the community across various fields. The information supported by illustrations makes this book special.

Puffin Books by Penguin Random House India 2021 Anastasia Damani Anastasia Damani