It is that time of the month when the readers come forward to share book recommendations based on what they have read during the whole month. This time at the Young Readers' Club gives plenty of opportunity not just to discover new books and authors but also to discuss what makes some books very different from the others.
A young reader was a little disappointed that he did not quite enjoy the first book in the Diary of the Wimpy series. Having heard so much about it from his peers, he had wanted to read for a long time and was thrilled when he first got his hands on it. He started reading it only to realise that the book was very different from the books he was used to. As a matter of fact he was puzzled. "What kind of a book is this? There is no beginning or end!"
As a matter of fact he was puzzled. "What kind of a book is this? There is no beginning or end!"
Although this child was disappointed with the book, he learnt that this kind of books do not fascinate him much. As a matter of fact they don't fascinate him as much as the mythology does. Mythological stories have a beginning that starts in some place and the main characters are introduced gradually. Every one of them has a meaning to convey which he liked to derive from the story. He also discovered that he likes Roald Dahl, in particular, the story of The Enormous Crocodile was something that he thoroughly enjoyed. Good winning over evil was a concept that he found endearing. Clearly, Diary of the Wimpy Kid did not suit his interest.
The Diary of the Wimpy Kid fans on the group were startled that there could be someone who actually disliked these books. They learnt that a popular book need not be necessarily liked by every reader. It is just not possible.
They learnt that a popular book need not be necessarily liked by every reader. It is just not possible.
Science fiction vs fairytales vs stories with morals- Which one do you choose?
A science enthusiast recommended the book George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt. He was so excited to share that through the story written by one of his favourite scientists, he learnt a lot about space. He asked the group if they had ever heard of Stephen Hawking. His query was met with silence. No one knew. Those moments of silence are golden as it forces us to find information and know more. This was added to our "to be found" list and we will be following it up in the next few weeks.
The Castles of Equestria took the group on a different tangent. The girls on the group declared that the book is not for boys- "Unicorns are not for boys. Only dragons are!"
That statement set the ball rolling about gender stereotyping. A few boys on the group protested saying that they like reading about unicorns and dragons. Does it really matter as long as the reader is having a good time with the book?
"Unicorns are not for boys. Only dragons are!" Does it really matter as long as the reader is having a good time with the book?
Sudha Murthy's Grandparents' bag of stories was highly recommended by two readers this time. While one of them said that the book was easy to read and even better reminded him of the stories that his own grandparents told him, the other reader said that she liked the way in which every story in the book conveyed a different message. Being a dog lover herself, she spoke at length about one particular story in the book, in which the protagonist understood the language of the dogs. Through his eyes and narration, she got a peep into what canines think and feel. This story made her realise that stories with dogs make her feel happy.
This story made her realise that stories with dogs make her feel happy.
Reading to feel happy is such a great way to enforce a positive connection with reading
Raising a reader and enabling a child to reap the benefits thereof is as simple as enabling them explore the world of books and find the genre that makes them happy. Thankfully today, there is no dearth of children's books across genres. Plenty of enthusiastic readers who work towards making information about these books available easily (Reading Racoons group on Facebook, Myth Aunty, helpful librarians such as Neha Jain from Kahaani Box, to name a few.
When reading a book makes a child happy, they would pick up books to read by themselves. If they are not picking a book by themselves, it simply means that they do not know what they like to read.
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Executives' Club program offers spoken and written communication skills development course for the 12-14 age group.
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