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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews by Students’ Category

The Tale of Despereaux

In Book Reviews by Students on June 27, 2014 at 10:30 pm

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‘The Tale of Despereaux’ is written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering.  The adventure starts with Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, a Princess who he loves, a servant girl who longs to be the princess, a jailor, and a rat determined to bring them all to ruin. Despereaux was put in mouse prison for coming in contact with a human Princess. Despereaux Tilling followed the music played by Princess Pea’s father into her room where he was reading her a story. Despereaux loved the Princess the moment he saw her. He goes to the Royal Library to find a book on love and so on.

But one of the mice finds this out and complains to the mouse council who decides that he should go to prison. There he meets a rat who wanted to rule the kingdom all by himself and he meets Gregory the jailor who has been in prison for ages. Despereaux tells him about the world above, and in turn the jailor tells him about the Royal family and about the tragedy that happened to the Queen. On hearing this, Despereaux pines for the princess more and more, and he promises to get out and meet her. The rest of the story is about how he gets out and fulfills his wishes.

I recommend this book to readers between the ages 8 and 12 as they would enjoy it.

A few other books by Kate DiCamillo – Because of Winn – Dixie, The Magician’s Elephant, The Miraculous Journey of, Edward Tulane, The Elephant Rising.

Reviewed by Aditi Nair, VII A

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The Kalam Effect

In Book Reviews by Students on October 30, 2011 at 9:04 pm

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by

P.M.Nair

In this book,the author describes his experience with ‘Kalam Sir’ that he had during his time. He describes the humbleness and great qualities of A.P.J.Abdul Kalam that he recognised while working for him.

A.P.J.Abdul Kalam was known as the "people’s president", and the correct reason behind this has been penned down in the book.He was the man who worshipped and believed in God a lot. He had such a strong  belief in n god that,I think, he could communicate with him.

For, once, there was a programme in the Rashtrapati Bhawan,that was to be  visited by  a great mass of people,approximately,2000-3000. That  day,the rain started pouring in the morning. The author i.e; the secretary started to panic for how the programme would be held. He talked to Kalam , but he, in response, teasing him, told not to  worry. If it is raining out,we can keep the programme inside. P.M.Nair  went hysterical and told that the Bhawan could hold only 700-800  people. To this, the reply came from the President in a rather cool and calm  way. He smiled and pointed towards the sky through  the window and said "I  have spoken there. Do not worry" And believe it or not, at 5 o’clock the  programme was to be started and the rain had stopped at 4:30 pm!!!  And, as if it was not amply surprising to digest,the rain had started  after the programme.

Well, this is only one of the incidents written in the book.This book  tells a great lot deal about him.I loved this book and would like to recommend it to all.

Reviewed by

Himabindu Bhardwaj, VIII C

Digital Fortress by Dawn Brown

In Book Reviews by Students on October 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

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By

Dan Brown

The story revolves around an international decoding organization named NSA (National Security Agency). Their cryptophers prided the organization not only because the NSA was the most secretive and intelligent organization in the world, but also for the $2million   TRANSLTR (the best decoding machine) that they possessed. In the final years of the World War II, when USA dropped the atom bomb in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a boy named Tankado mysteriously survives the war with three fingers in each hand and a layer of skin highly exposed to radiation. He later overcomes all his disabilities and proves his talent in mathematical reasoning and decoding. IN no time he joins the NSA and designed the model of the TRANSLTR along with commander Strathmore. After building the TRANSLTR, commander Strathmore lied to the world that the TRANSLTR was a complete failure that the NSA were devising plans to make it work, while in reality the TRANSLTR was intercepting coded E – mails from terrorists and drug lords, and warned detective agencies like the CIA. But Tankado was against hiding the existence of the TRANSLTR and so he was fired. IN the hope of taking revenge he warned the NSA that he would one day build a coding machine that will confuse even the TRANSLTR. No one paid any heed to him because they knew that according to the Bergofsky principle every code is breakable. What they didn’t know was that one day they would have to take it all back.

Coming to the present, Susan Fletcher wakes up one morning with a call from Strathmore asking her to come over to the NSA in the light of an emergency situation. Strathmore also tells her that he has sent David to Spain to get the belongings of the late Tankado.  Later she finds out that Tankado succeeded in developing not an unbreakable code as they initially suspected but a super powerful worm that was supposed to infiltrate the databanks of the country that destroyed Japan in the final years of the deadliest war ever. As Susan Fletcher tries unsuccessfully to deactivate the worm by inserting possible combinations of the kill code, David obtains Tankado’s ring on which is engraved a puzzle that ultimately leads them to the kill code – 3 (the number of fingers on Tankado’s hand). It has a thrilling climax.

I really liked this science novel. The ideas expressed are profound and exciting. There are many twists and turns in the story which present humorous thoughts and ideas. It is quite ironical to know that such a secretive agency actually exists. Digital Fortress is closer to truth than any of us dare imagine. 

Reviewed by

Firoz Baker, IX A

Homecoming

In Book Reviews by Students on September 16, 2011 at 8:54 am

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by

Shashi Warrier

This is a book I have read recently. The story basically revolves around the moral conflicts as well as the material losses experienced by the people in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Line of Control region. The political side of the story is extremely sensitive as one may defy the arguments put forth by the author in many occasions. And its personal side is quite disturbing. The central character of the story is Javed Sharif, a businessman, based on Bangalore who retires from the family business and decides to settle in his home state Kashmir. As the events unfurl , his homecoming which was expected to be a peaceful one turns out to be a tragic one as his younger son was arrested and alleged to be part of the terrorist activities and elder one betrayed him and left him bankrupted for the rest of his life.

The story beautifully presents the feelings of 3 generations in a family of which one was associated with the freedom movement. It also shows how a family bound by the bond of love disintegrates under changing political and social circumstances . The bleak picture of the indifferent attitude of the authorities to the layman is also well presented . Intertwined with the main theme is the vivid description of the scenic beauty of Kashmir. The author often draws comparison between the scenic beauty and the political unrest prevalent there. In the story the drastic turn of events start in a very auspicious occasion. This story does not end in an optimistic note. Although bloodshed is mentioned in a few places the story has very less elements of violence. This book helps us to judge the so called ‘single reality’ from different perspectives as it is said that there could be more than a single reality.It is a book worth reading as it takes us to a different world from which we would not return till we finish reading it.

I would like to conclude by quoting these lines from the book–‘ I WONDER HOW THE FABRIC OF MY LIFE CAME APART SO QUICKLY . IT WAS A RICH FABRIC, SOMETHING I HAD TAKEN GREAT PAINS AND OVER 3 DECADES TO WEAVE. WE MIGHT EACH RECOVER INDIVIDUALLY , BUT THE RICHNESS OF THE FABRIC IS GONE.’ 

Reviewed by

Arya S., XII A

Indomitable Spirit: Book review

In Book Reviews by Students on November 10, 2010 at 6:41 pm

by

Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul kalam was born on October 15,1931and has the unique honour of being the recipient of the country’s top civilian awards : the Padma Bhushan in 1981, Padma Vibhushan in 1991 and the Bharat Ratna in 1997. Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam became he eleventh president of India in July 2002.

The book Indomitable Spirit is an awesome book written by Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam.It is the experience from his own life’s journey from the shores of Rameswaram to the hallowed portals of  Rashtrapati Bhawan. In this book Dr.Kalam has showed great respect towards women and says that "womanhood is a beautiful creation of God" and this is explained in chapter-9 (Empowered women) which particularly depicts examples of women who have defied society norms and have done well to rise beyond their expectations. According to him, "there is no other profession in the world that is more important to society than that of a teacher" which is explained in chapter-2 (My Teachers).  And this is what is liked the most as I aim to become a teacher. It gave me more interest towards that profession. He has great hopes towards the youth of the nation.  Indomitable spirit has two components. The first component is that there must  be a vision leading to higher goals of achievement.The second component is the ability to overcome all hurdles coming in the way of mission accomplishment.

In this book he tells the young men and women, "success can only come to you by courageous devotion to the task in front of you". Since I conclude that the youngsters should read this book as it is very inspiring, and by reading this book one becomes self – confident courageous and determined.

Reviwed by

Anuja S.S. (XI A)