Title: The Story School
Author: Nandini Nayar
Illustrator (Cover): Aradhana Rawat
Publisher: Talking Cub (an imprint of Speaking Tiger Books)
Age Group: 11-14 years
The protagonist of The Story School, Maymo, who just turned 11 years old, feels a sudden stab in her stomach. She assumes her birthday cake to be the culprit, but least did she know that the agony is from the bearing of an untold story inside her. But what made/makes her resist telling a story? Why is she holding back? Will she ever get to tell a story? To unveil the mystery, welcome to the kingdom of Songarh where telling stories is banned.
Stories are an intrinsic way of expression, especially for kids. But what happens when they are not allowed to tell a story? Can their imagination be contained? Can the kids be resilient enough to break the law and convince the rulers of the land of the importance of stories? Quite intriguing right? I must admit, I was intrigued too.
The unique plot got me hooked right from the start. Be it the warmth in which Maymo and her other orphan friends grow up under the care of Joshi Ma or the intriguing encounter with the Rani in an unexpected turn of events, the story keeps the reader enthralled. The writing is lucid and the story, thrilling.
Here are a few things that particularly appealed to my 10-year-old, Miss. M:
- As someone who is talented enough to weave stories from every thread of her day-to-day experience, M could very much relate to the protagonist’s urge to tell stories.
- Also, M could equally empathize with the pain of story-seeking curious kids of Songarh from being denied of stories.
- The way Maymo made up stories in a flash from her current experience and entertained everyone around her was something M could relate to instantly.
- The courage shown by the protagonist and the adventures that come along her journey fascinated my 10-year-old.
- The mystery behind the fearsome Story Sensors kept her hooked and made the book a page-turner.
- Above all, the story or rather, stories, made her laugh and kept her entertained.
Summing up, this book has the perfect mix of adventure, mystery, laughter and emotions to keep the reader fascinated and lost in their world of imagination.
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Disclaimer: We got this book as part of #kbcReviewerSquad and we feel happy and privileged to be part of it as we are free to have our opinions and give an honest review of the book.