Bookwatch: Four young readers share their favourite reads

In this special edition of Bookwatch, PrintWeek asks four young readers to share what they have been reading during the lockdown and their favourite reads

19 Aug 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

(clockwise) Aisha Agboatwala, Sarah Rose, Teesta Rai and Ashreya Sriraam

Aisha Agboatwala, age 15, from Mumbai, lists five titles. Among them, Aisha includes the classic American novel Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

The novel, first published in 1868, which was turned into a movie last year, follows the lives of the four March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy — and details their passage from childhood to womanhood. It is loosely based on the lives of the author and her three sisters.

Sarah Rose, age 10+, from Delhi, is also one of India's youngest children's author, who, in 2019, cowrote with Paro Anand, her first book, A Very Naughty Dragon. The book tells the story of Draco the komodo dragon, who wants to be a great hunter like his father. But those rude squirrels and mean monkeys sure don’t make it easy. What will Draco do?

Among the 12 titles she suggests, Sarah also includes the absolutely brilliant What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky by Kelsey Oseid. Combining art, mythology, and science, the book gives readers a tour of the night sky through more than 100 magical pieces of original art, all accompanied by text that weaves related legends and lore with scientific facts.

Ashreya Sriraam, age 12, from Chennai, loves JK Rowling and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in equal measures. Among the five titles, Ashreya mentions, there is the timely Refugee by Alan Gratz.

This powerful novel tells the story of three different children seeking refuge — Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015. All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. But there is always the hope of tomorrow.

Teesta Rai, age 8, a voracious reader, mentions 12 must-read titles. Among them, Teesta includes Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls Vol 1 and 2 by Elena Favilli.

The book introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama.