Title: The Hidden Children
Author: Reshma K. Barshikar
Age Group: 12+ years
The Hidden Children is an interesting fantasy book, about Shyamukuthy, or Shui, a 17 year old girl that suffers from dyslexia. It focuses on the simple life she leads, that seems no different from one of a regular teenager.
The most magical parts of the book, in my opinion, are when she escapes into her dreams, leaving even the slightest trace of reality behind. The story line is unique and covers a wide range of topics. The inclusion of children with different disorders spreads awareness about what they have to go through. I really admire the way the author, Reshma K. Barshikar describes Shui’s insecurity about her disorder. The part where she isolates herself from her friends and family and associates herself with her new found friend Anya, who Shui is very drawn to, explains how one feels more comfortable with people who are like them.
Her adventures with Anya really make the storyline very interesting. Several secrets are revealed during this time. She grows astray from her old life, but makes sure she explains herself before committing her support to Anya, who sometimes has trouble staying in control. I believe the entire book is an extended metaphor for what children go through today. Including mental health issues and peer pressure. This is really enlightening.
The author has managed to lighten the topics, making it easier for younger crowds to read and enjoy. I am not usually interested in casual-fantasy books like this one, but this was a wonderful read. The book becomes more and more gripping as it progresses. The twists and turns in the plot make it a really exciting book to read. I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy simple, relatable yet peculiarly wonderful pieces of art!
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