I am Deeksha and I am stepping into Grade 8. To be honest, I have not participated in any reading challenges so far. I normally keep a TBR ready for each month and try to complete it as and when I find some leisure time. I don’t adhere to any number of books to be completed. So, when my mom informed me about this challenge at KBC, I knew it was going to be a fun ride. Initially, it was difficult for me to nail down titles for a few categories but the KBC community helped me curate a fun reading list. Here is my list and I breezed through them in a jiffy because everything mentioned below is a gem. It is like traveling through the multiverse like Dr. Strange. Each book takes you into a new fictional world. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did. These books are for 10-14 year olds, unless specified differently.
- A book by an Indian author
This story is about two run-away sisters who find shelter on an abandoned bridge. Here, they meet two boys Muthu and Arun, and a beautiful friendship blooms. These four youngsters fight hard with grit to survive in the dangerous world. This is a poignant tale that is heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time. The author casually gets you hooked on the plot and from there it is a pleasant journey. This is a story about young people who must bravely survive against all odds.
- A purple-colored book
Ace who is an anonymous texter is revealing secrets about two students. Someone is out there to get them. This anonymous texter is holding all the aces and starts a terrible act and everything from there is a twisty thriller. This book is a heart-racing thriller story that takes you on a wild ride till the very end. This book has a powerful message against racism. This is a young adult contemporary thriller that can get anyone out of their reading slump. Striking – Powerful – Enlightening.
- An award-winning book
This tale is about two boys and two girls who are not friends until a boy (Chet) pulls a prank that traps Virgil (another boy). This accident leads the other three to go on a quest to find the missing one. This book is funny and also sad. It is told from four different perspectives about unexpected friendships. It won the 2018 Newberry Medal. This book is perfect for book discussions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fabulous book.
- A book with a male protagonist
This is a story about two pro-basketball-playing brothers Jordan (who has no hair) and Josh (who has dreadlocks). They are trained by their dad. Things change when a new girl – Miss Sweet Tea enters the equation. Jordan is smitten with her. This creates is a rift between the brothers and it becomes bigger when Jordan chops off Josh’s locks by mistake. Things soon start to unravel. Will the brother unite for the big championship? The Crossover is a 2014 children’s book by American author Kwame Alexander and the winner of the 2015 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award Honor. This is an emotional read that is rich in character and emotion. My favorite part about this book is that the entire story is told in the form of verse.
- An adventure book
This is a story about Chola Empire that involves Sudara Chozan, Arul Mozhi Varman, and Aditha Karaikalan and the political drama around it. . This is just mind-blowing. The stunning story, stunning graphics, and extremely engaging and fun read. I got this book set as a gift for winning my declamation competition and I am so glad that it turned about to be my absolute favorite. Historical fiction delivered in a breezy comic is just perfect.
- The first book in a series
Laia’s grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother is arrested for treason. She decides to ask the only people she has left with – the rebels. But in exchange, they demand her to spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff. She has to succeed if she wants to save her brother. Will she? An Ember in the Ashes is a fantasy novel written by Pakistani-American author Sabaa Tahir. It is the first book in the Ember Quartet series, followed by A Torch Against the Night. This is an epic fantasy book that everyone is talking about. This is one such book where I kept saying one more chapter at the end of every chapter. I could not wait to get my hands on Book 2.
- A graphic novel
This is about two girls Emmie and Katie who are extremely opposite in nature. Emmie is quiet and shy, whereas Katie is outgoing and popular. Their lives intersect when an embarrassing letter falls into the wrong hands. This book is great for many reasons: Quirky illustrations, easy on the eyes, beautiful message, relatable, and very engaging. From here I went on to all of Terri Libenson’s creations. I have read it million times and enjoyed it every single time.
- A Scholastic book
The Imperial Japanese army invades British India through the east. A fortnight before the main invasion a Japanese officer massacres an entire village and its leader. The leader’s son Uti is also dead. His best friend Goenka goes on a journey to seek revenge. This is Siddartha Sarma’s debut novel. He vividly brings a snippet from the past – from the time of World War II in Asia. I couldn’t warm up to the plot because I hate wars and what it does to everyone. I also felt it ended abruptly. However, it was nice to read a story with a different storyline and setting.
This book can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.
- A non-fiction book/encyclopedia
Solomon Northup is born a free man of colour. He lives happily with his wife and children. on the day an employment offer at a circus he gets tricked, drugged, and kidnapped, Northup gets sold as a slave and for 12 years he suffers as a slave. This memoir is Haunting – Deeply Hurtful – Much needed – Must read
- A book about school stories
This is about BFFs-Mallika, Sunaina, and Lara and the Ghost that lives in the Model highschool and their eerie and funny experience in getting to the bottom of the issue. This is a simply amazing read. This book is all about awful rules, ghosts, nasty teachers, and many more. This is written very neatly and in a simple manner.
This book can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.
- A classic
It is about an old, Cuban fisherman’s (Santiago) three-day struggle in the sea as he tries to catch a large fish. At the beginnng of the book he goes through an 84 day unsuccessful fishing period that makes Santiago restless and sad. His attitude is changed by a young boy who accompanies him but is later forbidden by his parents to accompany Santiago as they want their son to learn fishing from someone who isn’t struggling. Santiago’s luck changes after that. This is a great novel with a great narrative that leaves a great feeling in the minds of the reader. I was deeply touched and fascinated reading this.
- A rib-tickling book
Friends and admirers of Tughlaq gift him with sweets and many valuable items. One among them is his favorite sweet that he normally savours and devours. When his favorite dessert goes missing on day, he is furious and orders his guards to find the thief or be punished. From then on, it is a laugh riot. Will the Sultan get to eat his favorite sweet is for you to find out. The cover of the book is humorous and instantly likable. I also love the illustrations by Adrija Ghosh. With the illustrations, I was able to visualize that particular time period, soldiers, their clothes and the palace, etc. The story was even more interesting and amusing. I first thought that this book would be boring since I wasn’t in the mood to read about history, but when I started reading, I realized that it was a fictional book! This is one of the most wonderful and funny books I have ever read.
- An inspiring book
This is about a deaf girl (Iris) and a whale whose song cannot be heard by anyone else. Being a deaf girl in a school full of children with hearing capability, she is able to relate to the whale and goes on a quest to help the whale that is miles away. This is a heart-warming tale of a young deaf girl who is determined to make a difference. This is amazing and very realistic. This is a very character-driven book and makes an impact on the minds of young readers.
- A fantasy book
Amulet Series – A young girl discovers an amulet in her grandfather’s house. This series follows two ordinary kids on a life-or-death mission. Amulet is a graphic novel series illustrated and written by Kazu Kibuishi. This is fun, enthralling, and extremely engaging. It is just like watching an anime on Netflix; you get transported into the world. I read this series in a jiffy. I always pick this up when I am bored and in need of recharging myself.
The Amulet series can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.
- A book on being eco-friendly
Savi and the Memory Keeper by Bijal Vachharajani
A girl named Savi and her family move to their dad’s town after his demise. Strangely Savi starts to hear her dad’s 42 trees talking to her. He cannot believe what is happening around her. This is a story of loss, climate change and the magical power of nature. This book was one of my favorites as it talks about issues like global warming, climate change; deforestation, etc and is highlighted throughout this witty tale. This is an absolutely unforgettable read that tugs at your heart.
- A book on any place in the world
‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit’ is based on the life of Judith Kerr during her and her family’s time in Germany. Her family fled Germany just before Hitler came to power because the country was becoming more dangerous for Jewish people at the start of the Second World War. This semi-autobiographical classic is a gripping tale of a Jewish family escaping Germany said through a young girl named Anna. This is a suspenseful novel perfect for middle graders.
- A biography
Helen Keller’s triumph over her blindness and deafness has become one of the most inspiring stories for everyone. This book is the best example of the relentless and unfaltering determination of a woman who won overall odds to create a permanent place for herself in history.
- A book by your favorite author
Tessa Gray enters a supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. Soon, she realises only the demon slaying shadow hunters can help her. That includes Will and Jem whom she is attracted to. Tessa and her allies have to fight all odds to save her brother. Truly astonishing, makes you flip pages in nanoseconds and blur the line between the fictional world and reality. I am inside that book traveling with the characters listening to the magical voice of Cassandra Clare. This is a trilogy that is a prequel to mortal instruments. You will never regret reading this spine chilling, romantic fantasy.
- A new author you were introduced to
Fire Keeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley [Please note that this book is a YA book meant for older teens]
Being a Fontaine (mother’s side) and a firekeeper (father’s side) is hard as eighteen-year-old Daunis can’t balance her family life. When a new tragedy strikes, Daunis becomes enveloped in an FBI investigation of a dangerous drug, called meth that may be coming from Sugar Island which results in murders. Once she joins the operation to find out about the murders which are connected to the hallucinogenic drug meth, she realizes that the corruption runs deeper and much closer to home than she ever could have imagined. How will she prevent her loved ones from getting hurt? Firekeeper’s Daughter is so much more than a thriller. It shows how far the author’s love for her culture is engraved into the books. After I picked the book, I couldn’t stop reading it. I can’t believe I finished it already! I found myself breathless and hard-pressed to believe that the book was already over. This book is for adults/ teens as it contains some parts about drug use, racism, murder, and sexual assault.
A book that was gifted to you
Nimona joins up with villain Lord Ballaster Blackheart as his sidekick. He does not seem to want a sidekick at first but changes his mind when she reveals that she is a shape-shifter with the power to transform into any living creature. They both plan to infiltrate the King’s parade and kidnap him for ransom. But everything changes when a lab auto-destructs and Nimona escapes with a number of secret plans. Is her power truly natural? Will they kidnap the King? Nimona is the New York Times bestselling graphic novel sensation from ND Stevenson, based on his beloved and critically acclaimed web comic. I really enjoyed this graphic novel! She is funny and brings more chaos than anything. Her character is different, wild, and quirky. It is not like any superhero you have read. It is a beautiful story with so much character and zero stereotypes.
Hope you all liked my reading list. Which among these is your favorite?
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