Thursday, August 31, 2017

eGranth- Anvita and Anika's Book Newsletter - August 2017 (Part 2)

eGranth - The Books Newsletter. August 2017 - Part 2  

(Link to part 1 of the newsletter)

Complete Peanuts Vol. 4 1957-1958

by Charles Schulz

Fiction, Comics
Age: 9+
Reviewed by: Anvita
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle

This one of the most famous comic strip, and almost everyone has heard of it. Even if people do not know the name, they know the main character of the book, Snoopy, the beagle. Peanuts, is written by Charles Schulz, a brilliant, yet insecure artist. He used children to bring out different themes in life like, faith, intolerance, despair, etc. Some of his characters are Lucy, Charlie Brown, Pigpen, Sally, Snoopy, Schroeder, Linus, Marcie, Peppermint Patty, Violet, etc. All of them display these themes with a subtle sense of humour. Charlie Brown is shown as the victim, and it shows how everyone particularly insults him. It shows the bonding between Snoopy and Charlie Brown (the Charlie never goes without the Brown, so I must write the whole name), a very unusual one. It is more like Charlie Brown, is the beagle who wants comforting, and Snoopy the child who takes care of the dog! I have read many of the comic strips, and cannot stop laughing after finishing them. These are my personal favourite along with two other comic strips.

Sherlock Holmes

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Fiction, Mystery
Age: 7+
Reviewed by: Anvita
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN

“Elementary, my dear Watson!” Is the first phrase that comes to our head when we think about Sherlock Holmes. This detective is famous throughout the whole world. This book was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and has the main character as an extremely, clever detective, and I mean it. He was really, really clever, and most of all had very strong observation skills. He could tell a lot of things about you by looking at the manner you talk, the way you make eye contact, your posture, your subtlest movements, etc. His partner is a doctor called John Watson, but mostly mentioned as simply Watson. It is series of short stories, and was very famous earlier, and is still famous now. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote many stories with Sherlock Holmes, but got bored f him one day, so in one of his stories called ‘The Final Problem’, he kills Sherlock Holmes off. He tries writing other articles, but people were clamouring for more, so he brought Sherlock Holmes back to life in an adjoining story called ‘The Empty House’. These series of books have been made into movies, and also a T.V serial. There have been many adaptations made of it. I have read one or two of the stories, and have seen two to three episodes of the serial and three of the movies made on the books. I have thoroughly enjoyed the books, as well as the movies. I am surprised of the ingenious of the author, the mind-boggling mysteries he puts across, and the solutions he gives. None of it seems too fancy, but they are real mysteries, ones that the human mind finds very difficult to solve.
 

ThinkLABS

Education; Science
Age: 10
Reviewed by: Anika

In the July newsletter we had mentioned that we would be adding more content in the All Work No Play section. So here it is. One part of the content is by my sister and the remaining is done by me.

Every year the classes above fourth should pay ₹1500 and they get a kit named Thinklabs. Thinklabs have activities based on your current chapter in Science. It shows the practical way of the topic. Since I am in fifth, I too got a Thinklab kit. This Thinklab was based on our third chapter, Safety and First Aid. In the kit, we had two packets of germ cream, a packet of wipes, an ultraviolet ray plus pen and a reflection sheet. We had to apply the germ cream on our hands and then using the ultraviolet ray plus pen [UV ray] we had to find the germs that would have been transferred to our hands by the cream. To find the germs we had to look for shiny and glittering spots on our hand using the UV ray. After doing this we had to wipe our hands on the wipes provided and then fill the reflection sheet which had questions based on the activity. The purpose of this activity was to find out where germs usually stay on our hands. Places like the back of our hand and the spaces between our fingers have lot of germs so we should wash them extra carefully. If we do this, germs don’t go inside your stomach when you eat food from your hands and make you sick. I enjoy doing Thinklabs because they teach you Science concepts in a practical and fun way.
 

Sita - Warrior of Mithila

by Amish

Fiction, Mythology
Age: 10+
Reviewed by: Anika
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle
This is the second book in the series. The first book was the “Scion of Ikshvaku”. It narrated all the incidents from Rama’s birth to Sit’s kidnaping. The scenario was all played from Ram’s side and the happenings in Ayodhya. The second book is “Sita – Warrior of Mithila”. The second book narrates all the incidents from Sita’s birth to her kidnapping. The scenario in this book is from Sita’s point of view and the happenings in Mithila. This book is a fictional retelling of the Ramayana so not all the things are the same. In the second book, there is an added war between Ravana and Mithila. The war is caused because Ravana is insulted at Sita’s swayamvara and wanted revenge. The book starts with Sita’s birth. It then comes to her mother, Sunaina’s death. This is also another fictional addition. The book was very interesting and full of suspense at the end. If you read the whole book you will find a very unexpected traitor at the end. I loved this book and it was very interesting. I found it better than the first one. This book is written by Amish. There is a total of four books in the series. The third one is not yet published.
 

Jeeves and Wooster

by P.G. Wodehouse

Fiction, Humour
Age: 10+
Reviewed by: Anika
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN

This series is written by PG. Woodhouse. It is about a bumbling man named Bertie Wooster and his clever butler, Jeeves. Bertie is mostly getting into trouble when he tries to use his dim-witted brain though he thinks he is clever. Most of his aunts and friends think that Bertie is quite nice yet brainless and Jeeves is the clever and resourceful man. It’s like Bertie is only invited to places because of Jeeves and his clever brain. Bertie is only put up with because of Jeeves. Bertie is stung by this and tries to prove that he is clever by coming up with seemingly clever yet dim-witted ideas. This gets him into trouble and Jeeves yet again rescues his master from these situations and gets another round of praise from people. However, if people do follow his ideas they land in trouble and blame Bertie for it. The humour in the books make you laugh a lot yet it is not too much. The way P. Woodhouse describes Bertie is hilarious. The most hilarious parts are when Bertie describes Jeeves expressions. An example is that Jeeves always says “Indeed, Sir” whenever Bertie expresses any of his ideas. Bertie describes it that when Jeeves says this it sounds like “Says you, sir” to him. The book has quite a few sarcastic remarks from Bertie’s aunts. Especially Aunt Dahlia. There are many stories and they all are very comical.

Krishnavatara – V The Book of Satyabhama

by K.M. Munshi

Religion, Mythology
Age: 10+
Reviewed by: Anika
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN

KM Munshi has written a retelling of Krishna's life in a series of seven books. The first starting with Krishna's birth and ending with Kansa' death. In the series, I have read the 1st, 2nd and 5th books. I am going to be giving a short review of the fifth book. The fifth book is about the stealing of the Syamantaka gem and how the blame is put on Krishna by Satrajit. Satrajit's daughter, Satyabhama loves Krishna. She knows that Krishna is not responsible for it. Satyabhama also knows that her father's brother Prasena was somehow involved. She and Satyaki, a close friend of Krishna set out into the forest to find out the truth. Meanwhile, at her house everyone mistakenly thinks that Satyabhama and Satyaki eloped. Krishna is worried about Satyaki and he too sets out into the forest. He finds Satrajit's brother dead. He then finds Satyabhama and she tells him Satyaki is being held by some bear-people. They both find a cave which leads them to the home of the bear people. They find Satyaki but the bears are unwilling to let them go and give them back the Syamantaka. Krishna is now in a fix as the bear king wants Krishna to marry his daughter Jambavati.

This book had a lot of different things that I have not read in other versions of Krishna's life. It is not mentioned that Satyaki is taken captive or that Satyabhama went into the forest with Satyaki to solve the mystery of the Syamantaka. Even with these differences the book was quite nice to read.
 

George and Unbreakable Code

by Lucy & Stephen Hawking

Fiction, Science-fiction
Age: 8-12
Reviewed by: Anika
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle

Do you remember that in the June newsletter I had mentioned that there were three books in Lucy and Stephen Hawking's George series. Well I was mistaken there were two more. They were "George and the Unbreakable Code" and "George and the Blue Moon". I have bought and read "George and the Unbreakable Code". I am going to be giving a short summary of the same.

George and Annie were feel very bored and longed for another space adventure with Cosmos, the secret, amazing supercomputer. Little do they realize that they are going to get their wish sooner than they expected. This time they must travel into space for a serious reason. A strange thing has been happening in the world. ATM machines are spilling out money, Supermarkets are giving things for free, flights can’t charge for the tickets, etc. George and Annie realize that something has gone and all the computers look like they have been hacked into by an unknown person. The thing that troubles George and Annie most is that Cosmos also looks like he has been hacked into and is now behaving in a very unfriendly manner. The two children must travel into space to find out who has hacked into the computers. Aided by Eric’s look alike robot, Ebot, they try to find out the reason for all this trouble. On their quest George discovers Annie’s secret that she had been trying to hide from him.

This book was till now the best in the George series. My favourite part was when Annie’s secret was revealed. It is so unimaginable because Annie is so cool, unconcerned and clever and the fact she has such a mind-blowing secret totally shocks the reader. I also love the parts where George’s twin sisters Juno and Hera come into the scene. They are so cute and funny. I loved this book.
 

The Mystery of the Silk Umbrella

by Asha Nehemiah

Fiction:
Age: 9-12
Reviewed by: Anika
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle

This book is written by Asha Nemiah. It is the first book of hers that I have read and this book and it totally rocked. I am going to be giving a brief review of this fantastic book.

The mystery all started with the arrival of the silk umbrella. The silk umbrella sets Divya, Malli and Arjuna on such a mystery that they will never forget. Divya and Arjuna’s mother is a director. She rents the umbrella from Malli’s shop as in her film the umbrella was to play a key role. Little did she know the havoc it creates in her children’s life. This mysterious umbrella has a unique story of its own and it introduces them to a suspicious yet nice new friend named T. Satyavan. They also meet several new film crew that includes an athletic artiste named Chackie Jaan. The umbrella is stolen many times by a bumbling villain named Bambaram Jones and a murderous villain named Kharabi. The children in their search for the umbrella race to every nook and cranny of Vellore and on their way several mysteries are found and solved.

I loved this book because it was filled with mysteries. It had the mystery of Kharabi. The mystery of the umbrella and then the mystery of Satyavan. It was very nice and full of surprises. I also loved the way how everything was connected to each other and despite so many mysteries nothing sounded to abrupt. It all sounded like it had been a part of the story from the start. I liked the book a lot and found it very funny.

The Black Stallion

by Walter Farley

Fiction, Animal
Age: 8-12
Reviewed by: Anika
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle

This book is written by Walter Farley. It is the first book of his that I’ve read. It was quite nice and interesting to read. This book was given to me by my cousin. I was reluctant to read it at first but finally when I did read it I was wowed by it. I will tell you a bit about it and hope you like it.

Alec Ramsey was the only survivor of a shipwreck along with a wild, beautiful black stallion. Alec is all alone on an island with the stallion or the Black as he called him. With nothing to do slowly and steady Alec gets the Black’s trust and soon tames him a bit. The Black trusts Alec enough to let the boy ride him and they both soon become the best of friends. They are finally rescued by a ship that passes by the island. After reaching home Alec’s parents allow him to keep the Black. With the help of Henry Dailey, Alec trains the Black and soon he is fast enough to beat the most famous horses of the day. Alec felt the Black would leave Cyclone and Sun Raider eating dust if challenged to a race. Now the problem was how would Alec convince people to let the Black enter a race and prove his strength.

The book was the first one in the series. It has also been made into a movie. It was a pleasant book as it described horses in a very beautiful manner. I learnt a lot about stallions too. This book teaches you a lot about horses and tells you if you show kindness and love to horses

or animals even the wildest of them can be tamed and trained to do something extraordinary. It was a very nice book. It is a must read for anyone who is a fan of horses.



© 2017, Anvita Agarwal. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Thea Stilton and the Legend of the Fire Flowers - Review

Thea Stilton and the Legend of the Fire Flowers (Thea Stilton Graphic Novels Book 15)

Hello! My name is Colette. Meet my friends Nicky, Violet, Paulina and Pamela. We are the Thea sisters. We love solving mysteries. Do you want to know one of our mysteries? If you want to know then read it! This story is about how we save people from getting killed from the hot lava of the mountain Mauna Loa. The story is when our friend Thea got freedom from her brother to go out on a vacation. You might be wondering why she had to take permission from her brother to go for a vacation? Its because her brother is the publisher and he is even an author. She is only a special correspondent for the Rodent Gazzette. Do you now understand why? So she took a flight to Whale island. She was so very excited to know how we did it. We narrated the adventure. We had come to Hawaii for a dance competition. We even saw our enemy was also participating! When we were staying in the hotel we got a call from professor van Kraken that the Mauna Loa is going to erupt! The next day we went to get information about the mountain but every single mouse said it was not going to erupt. We met an old mouse sitting next to the ocean. We asked him if it was going to erupt he said yes we were surprised that every mouse said no but this mouse said yes. When we were wondering how was this true we saw a white dog. The old mouse sighed.
He said the mountain is going to erupt because there was a legend that if we see a white dog the mountain will erupt. When we got to know about this we thought we had better investigate. In the afternoon it was dark we thought we had better see the observatory lab. When we saw the observatory lab we noticed that the digital selector was connected to professor Crusterson's computer!It was shocking! It meant that professor Crusterson was selecting information about the mountain for the other researchers that's why the other researchers were not able to know about the unknowing eruption. Suddenly a clapping noise filled the room. it was professor Crusterson, Sammy Sharkfur and two fake policemen! They were the dishonest mice. They locked us up in the basement of the observatory lab. Even if we screamed no one could hear us but we heard a noise it was the elderly mouse. He untied all of us and led us out of the basement. The next day we warned every one that the mountain is going to erupt . Our enemy Ruby said that nothing was going to happen but I pulled her and her crew out of the hotel just before the hot lava reached the hotel. The dishonest mice were arrested and all the mice were safe outside. Wasn't it a scary adventure? hope you enjoyed it.
THE END 


© 2017, Anvita Agarwal. All rights reserved.
(this was originally written in 2014, but not posted)

eGranth- Anvita and Anika's Book Newsletter - August 2017 (Part 1)

eGranth - The Books Newsletter. August 2017 - Part 1

Editor: This is the fifth newsletter, and as you all know, it is being edited by me, Anvita Agarwal. This newsletter has sections too, and I have decided to add more in the section where I mention my studies, and what I have been learning at school. I have included books that are good books, and have been recommended to me by my father. All of them are books one must read, and I can guarantee that the person will enjoy it. My sister has provided half of the content and put in a lot of hard work into it, so they are well written. Later on, we might have themed newsletters, so one newsletter will have one particular theme on which the whole newsletter will be based one. Happy Reading! – Anvita



 

Percy Jackson – Heroes of Olympus

By Rick Riordan

Books in this series: The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades, The Blood of Olympus
Fiction: mythology: adventure
Age: 9 – 12
Reviewed by: Anvita
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN
Percy Jackson is the name heard universally. It is one of the most recommended books. Rick Riordan, also known as ‘Myth Master’, has written a wide collection of books with a fictional character named Percy Jackson, who is the son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. This genius has cleverly combined Greek and Roman myths together to form a series of enjoyable books. I had heard of the books but hadn’t read them until now. I started reading his second series of books revolving around a group of eight people – Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Nico, Hazel, Frank and Leo. That series of books is called ‘Heroes of Olympus’. The main storyline is their mission to prevent the Earth goddess Gaia from rising. Gaia seeks revenge against the gods, but isn’t in full consciousness, though she is still able to create the giants, her children. The giants are recruiting the monsters, and getting some good people on their side. Meanwhile, they caused more trouble by chaining Thanatos, the god of Death. This resulted in serious consequences. Anyone who dies, won’t stay dead! They will come back to life because Thanatos is not controlling who comes in or out of the underworld! Percy along with the rest must prevent Gaia from awakening and at the same time free Thanatos to seal the Doors of Death. The first series of books is the Percy Jackson series. This series is before the ‘Heroes of Olympus’. In this series, Percy along with Rachel, Annabeth and Grover, a satyr must prevent Kronos, the gods’ father, from piecing his body together and come back to full power. I loved both series, as they are interesting, and at the same time have many funny bits in them. The storyline has many twists and turns, that you don’t get bored, and long to know what will happen next. The story flows smoothly and each book has a new mystery altogether that you can wait for. This book is categorized as one of my favorite series. I am moving onto his other two series, which I’ve heard are as good as the others.

A Mauryan Adventure

by Subhadra Sen Gupta

Fiction: History: Mystery
Age: around 9-12
Reviewed by: Anvita
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle

This book is written by Subhadra Sen Gupta. She has set thus fictional story in the time of King Ashoka, and the storyline talks about a girl named Madhura, and about a conspiracy that wants to overthrow King Ashoka. It is how Madhura and her brother Karthik, a spy, along with the help of Kamalika, a dancer who is also a spy, find out about the conspiracy and catch the culprit. I really liked this book as it portrayed Madhura as a girl of strong character, which rarely any books do. She describes whatever is happening in the story very well, and one can vividly imagine what is going on. My favorite part of the book was when Madhura helped Princess Sanghamitra sneak out to the bazaar alone. Sanghamitra longed to visit the bazaar alone with Madhura without the large entourage of guards who would escort her anywhere outside the palace. The guards wouldn’t give her the space she wanted and she couldn’t sit and chew paan, or eat the delicious, mouth-watering food from the roadside shops. This brings out another characteristic of Madhura. She is observant, and was the only one who noticed that the guards never checked the maids, who would pull their fine muslin dupatas over their head, and cover their face. This made it easy for Madhura and Sanghamitra to escape unnoticed. The story is written in simple, understandable English, and an age group between 9-12 would enjoy it because it has a mystery and adventure, which this age group enjoys.


Secrets of Zynpagua: The Return of the Princess

by Ilika Ranjan

Fiction: Fantasy
Reviewed by: Anvita
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle

Like most children, I love books which take me to fictional worlds which I can explore and enjoy. Reading such books allows my imagination to run wild. Not all books are that great, and can’t create the same vision the good ones do, but this one did. ‘Secrets of Zynpagua’ is written by Ms. Illika Ranjan. She was one of the authors who visited our school. Every year, my school calls one author to our school to talk about one of their books that was recently published. Apparently, Ms. Illika Ranjan had come to our school before when her first book in the ‘Secrets of Zynpagua’ series had been published. This year she came to our school as her second book in the series had been released. Standard 7 and 8 were called to attend her session. During the session, she handed out free books to a few students. I managed to receive one of the books. I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. She described everything in detail, and each part of the story is clear. The story involves many characters, and keeps switching from one scene to the other, but it is very smooth, and one doesn’t get confused. The whole book talks about a land that was once on Earth, and was called Zynpagua. The ruler of Zynpagua was Queen Sussaina. There were good times in Zynpagua, until Sussaina neglected her kingdom when she was pregnant and allowed Drudan, an evil scientist, come to power. The three stars- Sun, Venus, and Mars, that made Zynpagua happy and rich, didn’t bestow their light and allowed Drudan to rule. Drudan created a light called the Violet Light, that would kill anyone if it entered the person’s veins. The violet light was so strong, that it pulled Zynpagua from the Earth’s surface and threw it into space. This scared the people and they accepted Drudan’s rule. Drudan locked Sussaina in the shadow of the Moon, so she couldn’t escape. At that time, she got pregnant with a baby girl who would save everyone from Drudan. This girl was sent to India to protect her from Drudan until she was old enough to return to Zynpagua. The rest of the book talks about how she returned to Zynpagua and drove Drudan out.

Vicious Vikings Here We Go (Horrible Histories)

by Terry Diary

History, Humour
Age: 9-12 years
Reviewed by: Anvita
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle

A book on Vikings! Why on one of the most disgusting races on Earth? Well, that is part of the story, as Vikings are also one of the fiercest creatures on Earth, but also extremely gruesome and violent. This book is based on the life of the Vikings, their expeditions, Viking myths, and their wars. Caution: People with a bad stomach, or no tolerance for violence should not read this book. I repeat, they should not read this book. This book has a lot on Viking Myths and stories. It is a perfect way to learn about Vikings. These books are always filled with illustrations that are there side by side the information. The illustrations are extremely hilarious. Don’t worry! These are not your boring history textbooks, they are extremely funny, and have a lot of information that will interest you. This book may be filled with a little gore, so you can skip the parts that you don’t want to read. It conveys information in such a way that you do not forget it easily. The books are short, about 200 pages, so they do not bore you easily. There aren’t a lot of words on the page, so it will feel less like a history textbook, which is filled with words and dates. How frustrating!


Gita for Children

by Roopa Pai

Religion, Philosophy
Age: 9-12
Reviewed by: Anvita
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle

The Bhagvad Gita, the book that every Hindu says is the wisest, and the one with all answers. What is so important about it? Why do people refer to it so much? The answers to all of this is found in this book. It is written by Roopa Pai. She is also the author of the Taranaut series (refer to the May newsletter for information on this series). As the name suggests, it is the Gita for ‘Children’, so it naturally isn’t very difficult to understand. Roopa Pai has written this book in the casual language children use nowadays, to make it more interactive, and interesting for children. She has translated the main points of the Gita into a book. Children of the present time, deign to touch the Gita. Her writing style is so good that even children nowadays will want to read it. To give you a glimpse of the book, I have listed a few lessons the Gita teaches us, that she has mentioned in the book. Some of them are:
  • Your work is your duty. Don’t feel any emotions when you receive the results of your actions. You should neither feel happy, nor sad. A man who has understood this, is the most contended of all.
  • You should do what you work is, and not want any reward for your work. Your duty is to do work, and not expect rewards. The shloka below rightly explains this in its two simple lines:

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते माफलेषु कदाचन| 
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि || 47 ||
karmaṇy-evādhikāras te mā phaleṣhu kadāchana 
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo ’stvakarmaṇi
You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.

Personally, I loved the book, and learnt a lot from it. I could read it like a storybook, because it was so simple and interesting. The chapter names itself are so catchy and interesting. It was much easier to read than the other translations of the Gita in English.


The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat

by Theoni Pappas

Math, games
Age: 9-14
Reviewed by: Anvita
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle

Maths! Oh my god! So many problems to solve. I need to memorize these problems! So basically, Math class is the class of semi-consciousness, and confusion. How about a fun math storybook? Most reply, “Nah. Can’t be.” You had better believe it, as I present before you a book that has explains Math in a simple manner, without writing so many equations. After each chapter, or in between a chapter, there are a few problems to check your understanding. To check the answers, go to the end of the book (Don’t cheat just because I revealed this juicy bit of information!). The whole book helps you explore Math concepts from the eyes of Penrose, a cat, and the main character in the story. The writer, Theoni Pappas, says she got the idea of creating Penrose from her on cat who would sprawl himself among the papers kept on her study, to take a nap (you will notice this scenario many times in the book. Penrose will spread himself on his mistress’s papers to take a nap). I really loved this book, as it was so simple, it cleared of the Math concepts that refused to get inside my head. Classes 5 – 8 can read this book, as the Math concepts in this book go up to this standard.

The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures

by Malba Tahan

Math
Age: 10-14
Reviewed by: Anvita
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN

As the name suggests, this is another mathematical book, is written by Júlio César de Mello e Souza, who also went under the pen name Malba Tahan or Breno de Alencar Bianco. The whole book talks about the journey of a man called Hanak Tade Maia, and his friend Beremiz Samir, who is none other than the Man Who Counted. It shows different situations and problems that Beremiz Samir. Each problem brings out the beauty of numbers, or it shows one of the properties of numbers. Most of the problems are extremely confusing, or almost impossible problems to solve, but notice how Beremiz Samir cleverly solves all the problems. I really enjoyed this book. Each problem is unique, and helps you look at problems differently, helping you solve them. It isn’t very difficult to understand, but you might have to look at a few problems again, as they involve a few concepts that are a little confusing. I found the book interesting, and I did not get bored. It helped strengthen my Math concepts. Standard 6-8 can read this book.

School Studies

Science, Education

Age: 12-13
Reviewed by: Anvita

In the July Newsletter, very little had been told about what we have been doing in school. In this newsletter, I am including a little more on the chapters we are learning at school. Till now, my favorite subject has been Science. I am enjoying all the chapters as they are interesting, and I am learning a lot from them. I have completed four chapters in Science, including all the parts of Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Last time I gave you a glimpse of what I had learnt in Chemistry through one of my science experiments provided by my school, so this time I will focus more on what I did in Biology. In Biology, so far, I have learnt nutrition in plants and nutrition in animals. I enjoyed the second chapter more, where they explain how food is ingested*, digested**, the nutrients are absorbed^, then they are assimilated^^, and lastly the undigested food is excreted~. I have learnt this process in three kinds of living organisms – amoeba, ruminants (like cows), and humans. I found the way amoeba digested their food the most interesting of all, and I would like to share it with all of you. Amoeba are single-cellular organisms, and their digestion process is pretty simple. Amoeba do not have a lot a very complex body structure, so they more or less look like unshapely blobs. When Amoeba find the presence of food near them, they form pseudopodia, false feet, that completely enclose the food. This creates a space, called the food vacuole, where digestive juices are secreted, and the food is digested.

*when a living organism eats food.
**when the food is broken down into simpler substances.
^when the soluble substances produced by the body during digestion are absorbed by the tissues of the body.
^^when the body uses simpler substances to build more complex substances for the body to use.
~when the undigested food is taken out from our body.
(... to be concluded in Part 2)

© 2017, Anvita Agarwal. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 2017 Newsletter - Secrets of Zynpagua by Ilika Ranjan


Secrets of Zynpagua: The Return of the Princess

by Ilika Ranjan

Fiction: Fantasy
Reviewed by: Anvita
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle

Like most children, I love books which take me to fictional worlds which I can explore and enjoy. Reading such books allows my imagination to run wild. Not all books are that great, and can’t create the same vision the good ones do, but this one did. ‘Secrets of Zynpagua’ is written by Ms. Illika Ranjan. She was one of the authors who visited our school. Every year, my school calls one author to our school to talk about one of their books that was recently published. Apparently, Ms. Illika Ranjan had come to our school before when her first book in the ‘Secrets of Zynpagua’ series had been published. This year she came to our school as her second book in the series had been released. Standard 7 and 8 were called to attend her session. During the session, she handed out free books to a few students. I managed to receive one of the books. I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. She described everything in detail, and each part of the story is clear. The story involves many characters, and keeps switching from one scene to the other, but it is very smooth, and one doesn’t get confused. The whole book talks about a land that was once on Earth, and was called Zynpagua. The ruler of Zynpagua was Queen Sussaina. There were good times in Zynpagua, until Sussaina neglected her kingdom when she was pregnant and allowed Drudan, an evil scientist, come to power. The three stars- Sun, Venus, and Mars, that made Zynpagua happy and rich, didn’t bestow their light and allowed Drudan to rule. Drudan created a light called the Violet Light, that would kill anyone if it entered the person’s veins. The violet light was so strong, that it pulled Zynpagua from the Earth’s surface and threw it into space. This scared the people and they accepted Drudan’s rule. Drudan locked Sussaina in the shadow of the Moon, so she couldn’t escape. At that time, she got pregnant with a baby girl who would save everyone from Drudan. This girl was sent to India to protect her from Drudan until she was old enough to return to Zynpagua. The rest of the book talks about how she returned to Zynpagua and drove Drudan out.


© 2017, Anvita Agarwal. All rights reserved.

August 2017 Newsletter - A Mauryan Adventure by Subhadra Sen Gupta

A Mauryan Adventure

by Subhadra Sen Gupta

Fiction: History: Mystery
Age: around 9-12
Reviewed by: Anvita
Buy from: Amazon US, Amazon IN, Kindle

This book is written by Subhadra Sen Gupta. She has set thus fictional story in the time of King Ashoka, and the storyline talks about a girl named Madhura, and about a conspiracy that wants to overthrow King Ashoka. It is how Madhura and her brother Karthik, a spy, along with the help of Kamalika, a dancer who is also a spy, find out about the conspiracy and catch the culprit. I really liked this book as it portrayed Madhura as a girl of strong
character, which rarely any books do. She describes whatever is happening in the story very well, and one can vividly imagine what is going on. My favorite part of the book was when Madhura helped Princess Sanghamitra sneak out to the bazaar alone. Sanghamitra longed to visit the bazaar alone with Madhura without the large entourage of guards who would escort her anywhere outside the palace. The guards wouldn’t give her the space she wanted and she couldn’t sit and chew paan, or eat the delicious, mouth-watering food from the roadside shops. This brings out another characteristic of Madhura. She is observant, and was the only one who noticed that the guards never checked the maids, who would pull their fine muslin dupatas over their head, and cover their face. This made it easy for Madhura and Sanghamitra to escape unnoticed. The story is written in simple, understandable English, and an age group between 9-12 would enjoy it because it has a mystery and adventure, which this age group enjoys.


  © 2017, Anvita Agarwal. All rights reserved.
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