I am posting this on behalf of my 9 year old son, Divit for #KbcBookBingo2022. It has been fun choosing the books with him though I hardly had a say. We have had long discussions on why his choice is the best. His favourite genre is mystery, adventure and funny books which you can clearly understand from his choice of books but I am glad he has tried some new kind of books going out of his comfort zone. The list shared here are mostly read by him in the last 6 months. The reviews are written by him. Some are a bit long but he wanted it this way so I am sharing it just the way he has written the reviews for his terrific twenty books!
Book Bingo is my favourite highlight of the summer break. I did this last year and got an opportunity to read and write about my most cherished reads. What I love the most about the book bingo is that I can take down all the books while trying to choose one for each category and that gives me a chance to re-read many of my old favorites. Here is my entry for the book bingo of this year-2022.
1. A book by an Indian Author- My Trip to La La Land by Nandita Da Cunha, illustrated by Tasneem Amiruddin
A beautiful book that will take you to the picturesque landscapes of Ladakh. This is about a girl called Tavishi who is my age. Tavishi’s mother is all set to take her to the mountains of Ladakh. Tavishi was super excited but her excitement vanished when she got to know that it was to complete a school library project. While you would think Tavishi was there to enjoy the scenic beauty, there were actually lots of adventures in store for her. I couldn’t keep the book aside till I finished it because I was so curious to know what happens next. What I loved the most in this book is the way the helicopter comes to airlift Tavs, her mother and others after they got stuck when a thunderbolt struck the bridge. I could imagine the thrill and excitement as if I am being airlifted. I loved the simple language, the comic style illustrations and the last part where the pictures from Ladakh are shared. I really want to visit Ladakh on my next vacation.
2. A purple coloured book- My Parents cancelled my Birthday Written by Jo Simmons, illustrated by Nathan Reed
Can you believe it my Mom gifted me this book on my 9th Birthday!! For a second, I thought she is going to cancel my birthday but luckily she had just decided to postpone it.
Tom is extremely excited for his 11th birthday! It’s his lucky birthday after all- he is turning the same age as his birth date and he is super excited about the celebration that is going to be outstanding! Or not? After many wild and ridiculous events his birthday is cancelled by his very kind and loving parents! Reason being a mishap – Meg, his sister, lost her tooth just an hour before his birthday celebration.
But Tom decides to take matters into his own hands. With the help of his friends, his pig Tiny who is painted as a zebra, a TON of chickens and his sister, Tom CREATES his own birthday. What fun it was-they had it in a garden with swords and fighting action! Nothing could go wrong until it started raining! Even the cake Meg made got ruined! OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! And when things could not get any worse, Tom’s parents showed up. Surprisingly, they were not angry at him! Everything seemed to be going good till they realised they could arrested for entering Chas Cheeseman’s garden! Who wants to end up in jail on his birthday! I loved it for the super fun things that happened all through the story but more so because Tom didn’t give up and made sure to have a blast on his birthday.
(Sorry it went a little long, but this was too interesting to not share).
3. An Award Winning Book- A cloud called Bhura by Bijal Vachharajani
This book is a very different kind of book. It is about my city of Mumbai where there is a strange cloud that has created havoc. The media calls it “Bhura” as it’s a blackish grey cloud. The story revolves around four friends, who are trying to make sense of why and how this cloud suddenly encroached into the sky of their city. I learnt about climate change and the diverse and very catastrophic effects it can have. I loved the way this important thing is explained through the story and the fact that Bhura has a voice makes it sound more real. [you can read the detailed review here.]
4. A Book with a male Protagonist- Billionaire Boy by David Walliams
Billionaire boy is my favourite book by David Walliams. Meet Joe Spud, the richest 12- year old boy in the world. If you are thinking he is the happiest as well, let me tell you he is actually not. He just wanted to have one thing that money couldn’t buy – A real friend. He wanted it so badly that he even changed his posh school and started going to a local school. Good decision – because he made a friend called Bob. In his desperation, he tried paying off the boys who were bullying Bob but this made Bob so upset that he no longer wanted to be Joe’s friend. But like they say, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”, Bob proved to be Joe’s real friend when Joe’s Dad lost all his money and it flashed across all TV channels. I loved the book because this reminds me of my best friend Kavan. I know no matter what, we will always be there for each other and be best friends forever.
5. A Mystery/Adventure Book – Peril at the Bake Off written by Ruth Quayle, illustrated by Marta Kissi
This book is from the Muddlemoor Mysteries and I absolutely loved reading this. Joe Robinson and his cousins are planning to spend the summers with their granny in Muddlemoor Village. Sounds interesting right? But the problem is it is a hotspot for crime. Everything is going great when granny finds a secret recipe that she is sure to win her the great village bake off! And the trouble starts after a couple of days when the secret recipe is nowhere to be found. This is a mystery that the boys and girls can together solve in their vacations. They are super duper excited and after a lot of spying on their neighbours, they find out the real thief. The trouble doesn’t end here because finding the thief isn’t enough. They needed evidence to get the thief arrested. Was it the real thief or they got it all muddled up?? Did granny win the Bake off? This will hold on your interest with nail biting adventures (I bit off all my nails really) through the story.
6. The First Book in a series- The 13 Storey Tree House written by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton
I was gifted this book by Amardeep Aunty last Christmas. This book is about two boys – Andy and Terry who live in a grand 13-storey tree house. Let me tell you it’s like a dream. The tree house has a marshmallow machine that pops marshmallows into your mouth whenever you are hungry, a lemonade fountain, a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a tank full of man eating sharks, vines they could swing on, an enormous games room and last but not the least, a vegetable vaporizer. What a paradise they lived in. But they had a big task at hand. They had to submit the final copy of their book to Mr. Big Nose, their publisher. Their last book was delayed by a year. Unfortunately they are not able to make any progress. There are too many distractions – a giant mutant mermaid sea monster is here to destroy them all, a gorilla who is an uninvited guest tries to break their tree house. Luckily they are saved by their friend Jill and her twelve flying cats. Amidst all this, they manage to write at super speed and submit the book on time!
7. A Graphic Novel – The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids – Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots by Pearl Low based on the novel by Marcia Thornton & Debbie Dadey
This graphic novel is about the Bailey School kids who think that their new teacher is a vampire! There are a few reasons why they think this, like she said she used to live in Transylvania which is where Count Dracula lived and she had a weird coffin in her house. And they are determined to solve this mystery. I really like the part where the two friends, Melody and Eddie go into their teacher’s house at night to find her true identity. Will they stop the mystical beast, or get their blood sucked? The suspense is so gripping that I could not keep it down until I read every word. And the beautiful illustrations will surely amaze you.
This series can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.
8. A Scholastic Book- The Notebook of Doom – Charge of the Lightning Bugs by Troy Cummings
This is the 8th book in the notebook of doom series and it is about three friends, Alexander, Nikki and Rip who are the S.S.M.P which is short for “Super Secret Monster Patrol.” One day while Alexander is eating his snack, he notices a group of lightning bugs! The next day, there are electrical problems all over the city. They think it’s the lightning bugs as wherever they go there is a problem with the electricity. Turns out they were right and together they fought Thunderbug who was the strongest of all the monsters they had ever fought. This creature had shocking powers, so it was a hard task to defeat it. Will they get electrocuted or find a way to destroy it once and for all? This book is a perfect combination of mystery and adventure.
This series can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.
9. A non fiction book/ Encyclopedia – Wicked World Tour, written by Anita Ganeri, illustrated by Mike Phillips
Let me take you on a wicked world tour with this wonderful book from the Horrible Geography series.
Visit monster mountains, vile volcanos, odious oceans, isolated islands, crazy coral reefs, roving rivers, leaky lakes, deadly deserts, groovy grasslands, steamy rainforests, wild woodlands, cold poles, wicked world countries, Awesome Asia, Amazing Africa, Enormous North America, Sensational South America, extraordinary Europe and astonishing Australasia. Yes Australasia includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and other tiny islands scattered around the Pacific Ocean. The continents come with a planned tour which is day wise and I am sure this will come very handy when I actually travel to these places. This wicked book comes with an ancient cities guide, a modern city guide and fantastic fun facts associated with each topic! I really like the interesting fun facts that is there in this book and the pictures are absolutely fantastic. Did you know volcanoes are named after Vulcan, the hot tempered Roman God of fire??
The HORRIBLE GEOGRAPHY, HORRIBLE HISTORY, HORRIBLE SCIENCE series can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.
10. A book about school stories – Tom Gates Spectacular School Trip (Really…) by Liz Pichon
Spectacular School Trip from the Tom Gates series is about a boy called Tom who already has 3 sad faces on the achievement chart. This was worrisome as he won’t be able to go on the school field trip if he had 4 sad faces!
Marcus Meldrew, the class bully keeps pointing out Tom’s mistakes which is not helping. Good news is, the Fossils, Tom’s grandparents, are getting remarried! So, Tom made a “Happy Being Married Again” card, but the ink on the paper spread right onto mum’s vintage dress! To make things worse, Tom accidentally sat on Grandpa’s top hat, a precious family heirloom. Every page is so funny that I was laughing all the time. Things get better in a messy way when they get a leaflet from school to do a doodle art on wall but they end up doing it on the wrong wall. Turns out that the lady who called the police was the owner of a biscuit factory where the school field trip was planned. And Tom’s doodling skills pay off because she loved it so much that she decided to use it for wrapping paper of the most famous biscuit factory in the word! There is a lovely biscuit song as well in this super funny book.
Tom Gates books can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.
11. A Classic – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
I have read quite a few classics but I chose this one because this was the first one I read. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is about a girl Dorothy and her faithful dog Toto. When they get caught in a cyclone, the two of them land up in the mystical land of Oz. I love the way the story goes from here where Dorothy travels through the yellow brick roads making new friends – the scarecrow who wanted a brain, the tinman who wanted a heart, a lion who was looking for courage and together they have many adventures on their way to find the Wizard of Oz. This book is about friendship and I loved the way Dorothy helped her friends not thinking about herself. I learnt a very valuable lesson that there is a lot of happiness in helping your friends.
12. A rib tickling Book – Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Joke Book, illustrated by Quentin Blake
I love books that are funny that make me laugh and this book gives me the chance to make others laugh. So this one is a collection of absolutely belly bursting, rib tickling, head buzzing jokes that will give you a tummy ache after you have read just a few pages. I will just share one and you will know what I mean.
Ques-Why did Bruce Bogtrotter eat his homework??
Ans- Because Miss Trunchbull told him it was a piece of cake. Hahaha!
There are lots more and I really like to read this book when I feel low.
13. An inspiring book- Wonder Kids- 100 children who grew up to be champions of change by Anu Kumar
As the name suggests this book is about 100 such great humans who had a different way of thinking, had a different dream and the courage to follow it. I loved reading about these very known names like J.K. Rowling who is the author of the famous Harry Potter series, Mark Zuckerberg who created Facebook, Satyajit Ray- an award winning movie director, Rabindranath Tagore- a poet, an artist who wrote our national anthem, Mozart who couldn’t see but played so beautifully and Bobby Fischer who is a chess legend and I follow him. Reading such life stories of these famous personalities motivated me to never give up and follow my dreams.
14. A sci-fi/ fantasy book – Loki, A Bad God’s Guide To Being Good by Louie Stowell
Yes this book is about Loki and Thor from the avengers. Loki has been banished to earth to make up for his misdeeds. He needs to score 3000 points to make it back to Asgard or he will be thrown in a pit full of venomous snakes. Unfortunately, by day 2, he has -3000 points! Will he survive, or die? I liked the book because in this book Loki changed from a bad guy to a good guy so much so that he stood up for his friend, risking his own life. The book will take you through the world of fantasy- Loki and Thor, frost giants, giant rainbow slide that comes from Asgard to Earth, shape shifting and lightning powers and so much more.
15. A book on being eco friendly- Naturalist Ruddy by Rohan Chakravarty
Naturalist Ruddy is one of my very favourite books. This is about a very inquisitive mongoose Ruddy who is always busy solving mysteries found in the nature. The book has many cases that Ruddy sets out to solve and through this I learnt about many fascinating mysteries about our nature. I love the style of writing which is like a comic book and will certainly keep you entertained! My personal favourite among all the cases of detective Ruddy was the one where Ruddy discovers a ghost! Well, he thought it was a ghost but it was a black panther with glowing green eyes! I love the jokes Ruddy cracks at the end, which make the book funny and interesting to read while learning the many facts about our nature and the animals that live here. I love to give the cases to my parents and my brother to see if they can crack it like Ruddy and me!
16. A Book on any place in the world- A Cello on the Wall by Adèle Tariel, Aurore Pinho E Silva; Translated from the french by Nakashi Chowdhry
This is a book from the One Day Elsewhere series. The story is about the fall of the Berlin wall that happened in 1989. On a normal afternoon in West Berlin, a boy called Charlie discovered his grandmother’s cello in the attic. Charlie learnt from his mother that his grandparents lived in East Berlin and years ago his parents had left East Berlin with this cello to start a new life in West Berlin. The wall not only divided Berlin into two parts but also broke many families. I felt very sad to know that Charlie could not meet his grandparents whenever he wanted. But thankfully that wasn’t for long because after many protests the wall came down leading to the freedom of Berlin and reuniting Charlie’s family. What I loved the most is that the book had a full history about the whole thing that had happened at the end. [You can read the reviews of the other books in this series here.]
17. A biography – A.P.J Abdul Kalam-When Dreams Take Flight- An Amar Chita Katha Book
I always wanted to read about Shri A.P.J Abdul Kalam ever since I watched a wonderful movie called I am Kalam. This book from Amar Chitra Katha gave me that opportunity to know about the life of a person who was a legend. A. P.J Abdul Kalam- a scientist, a teacher, a poet, a writer, a visionary and the 11th president of our country was known for being simple and humble. I loved this book so much because it is written in a comic style and I got to know about this legend, his early years and about the hard work that made him so loved by all. I read in this book that he missed being an IAF pilot by just one rank, he was ninth and there were only 8 seats. He was heartbroken but he met a holy person in Rishikesh who told him this was not a failure and will lead him to his true path. This touched me the most.
Quoting my favourite lines from the book is this letter that he wrote to Jalal, his cousin-
“This was not my dream but I am going to put my heart and soul into it. Every setback teaches me new things and I have to look for courage within and move on. If I cannot fly planes, I can at least help to make them”.
After knowing about this legendry person, I feel so happy and I know that I won’t ever lose heart with any failure in life.
18. A Book by your Favourite author – Billy and the Minpins by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake
I love all of Roald Dahl books. This fabulous tale is about a boy called Billy who wants to go through the garden gate into the dark forest and disobey his mother. After all, he has been good for AGES! So, ready for an adventure, Billy goes into the Dark Forest, even though he knows there are many beasts. There Billy meets little fairy-like creatures called Minpins but they are in grave danger. The deadliest beast, the terrible blood sucking, tooth plucking, stone chucking splitter haunts the forest, and killing millions of Minpins. Does Billy find a way to stop the gruesome beast, or will he be frizzled like a fritter?!! [Billy and the Minpins Book & CD is also available!]
19. A new author that you were introduced to – Frazzled: Minor Incidents and Absolute Uncertainties by Booki Vivat
Meet Abbie Wu who believes that she has finally learnt how to survive Middle School. But wait was that too soon?!! When she comes to know there is a week long camp called Outdoor School, she was excited and nervous at the same time. She didn’t know if she would be able to fit in. With things not going in her favour she feels all “FRAZZLED”. When the worst hits and the golden pig gets stolen from their game where they had to keep it safe, she finally gathers the courage to tell everyone of her plan to get the golden pig back. It works out well and they win the game. I loved this book because it has this beautiful message of never giving up on yourself and talks about the importance of teamwork. Of course the illustrations are fabulous and best part is there are more in the series.
20. A Book that was gifted to you- Two Epics in one- The Girl who chose and The boys who fought by Devdutt Pattanaik
This is a very different book than the ones I usually read and enjoy. Mom gifted this to me last Diwali when she wanted me to learn about mythology. I was expecting to be a very boring book trust me. But when I saw it I was so excited to see that this was flip book. Read about Ramayana in the most fun way, flip the book and read about Mahabharata on the other side.
I loved the way these beautiful epics are written in the way. The language is very simple to understand and the illustrations make it even more interesting. I loved to read about the Pandavas and Kauravas and how the brothers fought against each other in a fight for 18 long days. I never imagined things could happen like this in those days but Mom told me that was a different age altogether. But I loved the way the brothers always helped each other in Mahabharata. I knew a bit of Ramayana from the stories of Diwali but this gave me a new insight and I enjoyed reading it.
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