When I met the Mama Bear- A Forest Guard’s Story

This book is the story of Priya, a young woman who works as a forest guard in Melghat National Park. Priya tackles loneliness and fear, and living away from her daughter. One day, she encounters a mother bear and cubs while on her rounds leading to a fearful adventure with an unexpected ending. A special book for young readers that not only tells an exciting story but gives the context as well, which makes it a cross-genre book in many ways.

an imprint of Speaking Tiger, Talking Cub 2022 Prerna Singh Bindra Maya Ramaswamy

Misfit Madhu

This breezy novel has in its heart a classic non-conformist teenager, Madhu. She develops a computer app that goes viral and she is soon caught in a maelstrom of conflicts with peers and adults, with hilarious consequences. This book is warm, empathetic and energetic, with Madhu possessing far more agency than teenagers portrayed in Indian fiction. A girl who loves to code and is good at it serves to highlight the serious, gendered perception of coding abilities in India.

an imprint of Penguin Random House India, Puffin Books 2022 Divya Anand Vedushi Sinha

The Enchanted Cottage

A beautifully illustrated and designed storybook from the master storyteller Ruskin Bond. The story does not hold too many surprises or too many ghostly encounters, but there is tremendous atmosphere. As the author describes the cottage, the surrounding jungle and the greedy crow, we visualize it all and get pulled into the world where something is waiting to happen. And something is not quite dead because life was cruel…

HarperCollins Publishers India 2022 Ruskin Bond Sucharita Sengupta Suri

When Blackbirds Fly

Set against the backdrop of the struggle for independence in Mizoram, this heart-wrenching story takes us on a journey with the protagonist from just wanting to lead a peaceful life to inevitably getting almost overwhelmed by the circumstances that are not of his own making. A coming of age story, a tender reminder that no one remains unaffected by war and strife, least of all children.

Duckbill an imprint of Penguin Random House India 2022 Hannah Lalhlanpuii Canato Jimo

Online Encounters and More – 12 Teenage Stories

This book fills an important gap, that of reading material for teenagers that is about their lives as they lead them today, surrounded by technology, stark economic inequalities, and fast changing social norms and priorities. The stories depict teenagers from different strata of Indian society, girls and boys, urban and rural, rich and poor. Real issues are dealt with without preaching or judgements, and real dilemmas are presented frankly.

Children's Book Trust 2021 Multiple Authors Ajanta Guhathakurta

Reva and Prisha

In this story, Reva and Prisha are two children sharing a home with two mothers, Runu and Pritam. A sensitive portrayal such as this one, capturing a glimpse into the lives of queer people by a queer author does not feel tokenistic at any point in the book and in fact underscores that life is a rainbow in its multifarious dimensions. The illustrations add a different dimension to bringing the characters alive, highlighting some unique sides to this family.

Scholastic India 2021 Shals Mahajan Lavanya Karthik

Pinkoo Shergill Pastry Chef

A story about an 11-year-old would-be pastry chef. Narrated in a lively tone, the play on words and font-sizes adds to the humour. Pinkoo Shergill would much rather make raspberry cheesecake, than practice shooting like a good Punjabi boy, much to the disappointment of his Papaji. So, will Pinkoo win the baking contest and justify his passion? Find out, as you delight in the witty language, taste all the sinful delights conjured up by Pinkoo and meet blabbermouth Tutu, annoying Nimrat and coach Aalu!

Scholastic India 2021 Vibha Batra Shamika Chaves

Monster Folktales from South Asia

This is a thrilling but thoughtful collection of monster folktales from all over South Asia. A giant ogre who eats people, a fire demon and a sea monster – all create havoc. The language is evocative and the illustrations are quite flamboyant as monsters leap out of the pages. The stories can be read aloud to younger children. As with most monster tales, these too end with victory over the monster, which can be external or internal. Is there anyone who has not fought monsters?

HarperCollins Publishers India 2021 Musharraf Ali Farooqi Michelle Farooqi

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