My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Saturday, April 27, 2013

1121- Life is not only about work...

via Facebook/  Ramesh Kumar Mudiraj

Labels: , , , ,

1120- Space saver

via Facebook / Useful Info

Labels: ,

1119- DUTY

via Facebook/ General Knowledge for all

Labels: ,

1118- LIGHT ANGLE- Sir Chuck Jadeja Norris

From a B-grade action movie star, Chuck Norris became the omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent superhero who could do no wrong. Illustration: Satwik Gade
The Hindu From a B-grade action movie star, Chuck Norris became the omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent superhero who could do no wrong. Illustration: Satwik Gade

Long before the legend of Sir Ravindra Jadeja, there was the chuckle-worthy folklore surrounding Chuck Norris.

It all began in the summer of 2005, when Ian Spector invited people to make up their own fun facts about Chuck Norris for a humour section in his website. Overnight the satirical factoids became e-mail forwards and thus was born the god of all gods.
From a B-grade action movie star, Chuck Norris became the omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent superhero who could do no wrong. Every aspect of his deadpan persona became grist for some rip roaring hyperboles. Here’s a selection of the sparklers that was later recycled as ‘original’ Rajnikant and Sir Jadeja jokes.

Chuck Norris can strangle you with a cordless phone
Violence is an integral part of the Texas Ranger’s charm. Naturally, fans tripped over one another to compose hosannas around his fear factor. That’s how ‘Chuck Norris can hit you so hard, your blood will bleed’, ‘He doesn’t shower, he only takes blood baths’, ‘He can make a happy meal cry’ kind of bombast came into being. The impossibility of taking a panga with Chuck was best captured by this punch line: ‘Once a cobra bit his leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.’

Chuck Norris can speak Braille
To create a megastar aura, the protagonist must breach the wall of credulity. Chuck Norris, by definition being larger than larger-than-life, was credited with absurdly jaw-dropping feats to bolster the image of The Amazing One. Which is why we get to hear of accomplishments like: ‘Chuck Norris can delete the recycle bin’, ‘He can make the onions cry’, ‘He can play the violin with a piano’, ‘He can kill two stones with one bird’ and ‘He can squeeze orange juice out of a lemon’!

Chuck Norris’ blood type is AK-47
Fearlessness is another key element in myth making. Jokesters of the Chuck cult did their bit to perpetuate this misimpression. The story goes that when young Chuck Norris was in middle school his English teacher asked him to pen an essay on ‘What is Courage?’ The little boy thought for a nanosecond, scribbled only his name on the blank answer sheet and submitted that as his piece. The gobsmacked teacher gave him an A+.

Chuck Norris runs on his treadmill until the treadmill gets tired
Incredible physical deeds offer one more valve for generating laughs. Stuff such as ‘Chuck Norris beat the sun in a staring contest’, ‘He once climbed Mt. Everest in 15 minutes, 14 of which was spent on building a snowman at the bottom’, and ‘Chuck Norris grinds his coffee with his teeth and boils the water with his own rage’ provide clues as to why ‘Superman wears the Chuck Norris suit’.

Chuck Norris is the only person that can punch a Cyclops between the eye
Chuck is an icon among nerds as he offers the perfect algorithm for expressing cerebral wit. So, be it the chemistry laden ‘Chuck Norris doesn’t recognise the periodic table, because the only element he recognises is the element of surprise” or the biological ‘Oxygen requires Chuck Norris to live’, or even the very mathematical ‘Chuck Norris counted to infinity, twice’, the geek always has the last laugh.

Chuck Norris doesn’t flush the toilet. He scares the s**t out of it
Word play is on steroids when the subject is Mr. Norris. ‘The only reason Thor is the god of lightning is because Chuck Norris stole his thunder’ and ‘His daughter lost her virginity, he got it back’ are some samplers that go to prove the adage that ‘Chuck can inject some fun even into a funeral’.

(The Hindu, Week's Ends, 21:04:2013) 

Labels: , , ,

1117- Danxia landform.

A.     A unique geological phenomenon known as a Danxia landform.

This is a unique geological phenomenon known as a Danxia landform. These phenomena can be observed in several places in China. This example is located in Zhangye, Province of Gansu. The colour is the result of an accumulation for millions of years of red sandstone and other rocks.

via Facebook/ General Knowledge

Labels: ,

1116- Mantras for better living

via Facebook/ Useful Info

Labels: , , ,

1115- Do!

via Facebook

Labels: , ,

1114- మనిషి పరిస్థితుల్ని ఓడించాలి!

'పరిస్థితులు మనిషిని ఓడించకూడదు. మనిషి పరిస్థితుల్ని ఓడించాలి' అంటాడు వేదాంతి ఎలీనా మాక్స్‌వెల్. మన ఓటమి, వైఫల్యాలకు మనమే బాధ్యులం. నెల్సన్ అనే కవి 'ఇన్ మై సైడ్‌వాక్' అనే కవితలో వ్యక్తుల మనస్తత్వాన్ని చక్కగా వర్ణిస్తాడు. ఒకతను నడుస్తూ నడుస్తూ దారిలో ఉన్న గోతిలో పడతాడు. ఇది తన తప్పు కాదంటాడు. మరుసటిరోజు, మూడోరోజూ అదే గోతిలో పడతాడు. అప్పుడతడు 'ఇదీ నా తప్పు కాదు. నాకు అలవాటైంది' అంటాడు. మనిషి ఏవిధంగా తన తప్పు కప్పిపుచ్చుకుంటాడో చెబుతాడు నెల్సన్.

మన సమస్యకు వేరొకర్ని బాధ్యుల్ని చేయడాన్ని సైకాలజీలో 'ప్రొజెక్షన్' అంటారు. పరీక్షలో విఫలమైన విద్యార్థి 'టీచర్ నాపై కక్ష కట్టింది. నేను బాగా రాసినా కావాలనే ఫెయిల్ చేసింది' అంటాడు. బాధ్యతల నుంచి పారిపోయి ఊహల్లో జీవించడాన్ని 'ఎస్కేపిజం' అంటారు. . ప్రతి మనిషిలో ఆత్మవిశ్వాసం, ప్రణాళిక, తెలివితేటలు... అనే టూల్స్ (నైపుణ్యాలు) ఉంటాయి. అవి మనసనే టూల్‌కిట్‌లో భద్రంగా ఉంటాయి. వాటిని ఒక్కసారి తెరవండి. ప్రతి సమస్యకు పరిష్కారం దొరుకుతుంది. ఇప్పటికైనా సమయం మించిపోలేదు. పలాయన మంత్రం ఆపి,  బాధల్ని ఎదిరిస్తూ, పరిస్థితుల్ని అనుకూలంగా మార్చుకుంటే జీవితాన్ని గెలుస్తారు.

డా. నిరంజన్ రెడ్డి, క్లినికల్  సైకాలజిస్ట్ 
(మనలో మనం , ఈతరం ,ఈనాడు 27:04:2013)

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

1113- A more evolved/ universal religion

An extract from the book ‘Ganesha on the dashboard’ by V. Raghunathan & M.A. Eswaran  (Penguin Books)
‘Ganesha on the dashboard’ by V. Raghunathan & M.A. Eswaran  (Penguin Books) is a book which deals with “scientific temper” and how we Indians are lacking the same, outside the class room. Scientific temper is, accepting a hypothesis, after the hypothesis is put to meticulous tests. We approach many things with fatalistic view and are resigned to our destiny. The invisible hand of Karma makes us a little reactive.

Science has cut across human barriers. There is no such thing as ‘your science’ or ‘my science’. But this is not in case with religions. The individual truths in different religions have not come together to interact with each other to form a greater truth that could result in improved spiritual life and thinking of mankind. Religions have not found a common theme to work together for the greater good of humanity by assimilating within them some scientific temper.

Then what would be a more evolved/ universal religion?
Such a question is worthy of some speculation.

1] First and foremost, FAITH is considered central to any religion. The universal religion would repose 100% faith in human efforts as guiding principle- not passive and fatalistic faith in a power outside of us. It resonates with ‘god lies within us’. Our efforts shall be our 'presiding deity', then 'Work is Worship'. 

2] Second, the universal religion would be built on the realization that while the potential we are born with may be ‘god given’ or determined by random chance, it is entirely up to us to make the best of the potential taking charge of our own life and assuming responsibility for it. This is the only way to rise above fatalism.

3] The third most important characteristic the universal religion would be logical reasoning, systematic deduction and continuous learning gleaned from observing the nature of the universe. Nobody seriously believes that smallpox was eradicated because we gave the malady a godly status and managed to placate the god-in-charge. We eradicated smallpox, because we learn to reason logically, by making a set of systematic deductions through our power of observations of nature and so on until we arrived at a vaccine to prevent small pox.

4] Fourth, the universal religion would not resort to a ‘god of the gaps’, or the belief that the working of god can be seen in all those things that science cannot explain. In other words, there would be no room for the religion to explain random events s godly interventions. The religion will recognize, as does science, that at any point of time there could be questions that have no answers, or unanswerable, given the limitations of our intellect and knowledge at that point in time. The universal religion shall encourage humanity to keep its mind open and continue its search for answers to such questions.
The universal religion will recognize that there may be no answer as to why this particular baby should perish in tsunami, why this newborn calf in the savannah should be devoured by a predator, or why this particular mosquito should have bitten this noble judge rather than the villainous rogue. The universal religion will recognize the randomness of these events because the baby and the tsunami, the calf and the predator or the mosquito and the judge just happened to be in the same vicinity at the same time by chance. The universal religion will not accept some arbitrary sin from a previous life- an untestable karma hypothesis- as the basis for explanation of how universal affairs are conducted. At least, not until that hypothesis can stand up to the rigour of scientific methods of logical reasoning, systematic deductions, observation and proof.

5] Fifth, our universal religion would not revolve around a hypothetical punishment in the hereafter for transgressions committed in this life. Instead, religion and civic life will be interwoven such that behavior that maximizes the benefit for mankind would be encouraged through religious and civic education. Education in morality and ethics would not be based on arbitrary percepts but on logically reasoned conduct in the best interest of a society. Morals and ethics are not beyond the realm of scientific questioning and rigour.

6] Man seems to need a god as a child needs a mother. Religion is stress buster for large section of humanity. The universal religion may well provide for meditation on the ‘almighty’, with two provisos:
(i) The god of the universal religion will not be anthropomorphic, who will need to be propitiated with offerings. He will be an abstract one, and serve our purposes for meditation aimed at stress reduction.
(ii) Prayers and meditation are primarily aimed at calming the restless or fidgety mind. They should not be mechanism for escaping from the responsibility one has to improve one’s condition through one’s own efforts.
Thus the universal religion would be a religion with a scientific temper.

Labels: , , , ,

1112- 'Ganesha on the dashboard' by V. Raghunathan and M.A. Eswaran

'Ganesha on the dashboard', successfully takes apart the many superstitions and myths that we Indians happily subscribe . 


Review by Maitreyee Chowdhury (Women’s Web)
Ganesha on the dashboard is an uncommon but likely name for a book which deals with “scientific temper” and how Indians are somewhat deficient in the same, outside the realms of the classroom and professional world. Our approach to most things is largely fatalistic and the common man is resigned to his destiny. The invisible hand of Karma hangs over us like the sword of Damocles, rendering us a little reactive. 

Ganesha on the dashboard, the title, succinctly sums up how we put blind faith in the Almighty, unmindful of the simple precautions we ought to take. For instance, we take great pains in consulting a purohit and identifying the muhurat while purchasing a vehicle, so that  it gives us hassle-free service but shy away from wearing the seat-belts unless compelled by law. No amount of statistics proving why wearing helmets are useful can convince us that wearing helmets could save our lives. Interestingly, less than 20 percent of Indian motorcyclists wear helmets when not under legal compulsion.

The authors V. Raghunathan and M.A. Eswaran are undoubtedly erudite and have gained considerable credibility from their other successful book, Games Indians Play. The intent here is to critically examine some commonly held beliefs and ideas in India, where superstition and blind faith reigns supreme. This is contrasted with very real and illustrious examples like the incident of Neils Bohr, who refused to comply his teachers with the traditional method of understanding physics in measuring the height of a skyscraper and tells them instead, ‘I just don’t like people telling me how to think’.

Some 450 years ago, Francis Bacon was very apt when he observed that “the root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.” This book does precisely that. One case at a time, it tries to dispel myths and show the reader, the misses “also.” Vaastu, the rain God, roadside places of worship are among the many ideas and practices that the book attempts to debunk and does convincingly, at most times. Does Science have an answer to everything, is a challenge which is oft put up by the superstitious-minded. Well, no, but at least Science makes an attempt.

The language is lucid, thus making it an easy read. The ideas are rather complex and some chapters may require more than one reading to comprehend the line of argument. For instance, the chapter on Astronomy vs. Astrology is one which derives its premise by leveraging mathematical concepts like Probability, Permutation and Combination.

The only area the book falls short on is delivering to a clear target audience. For someone who is a casual reader of Science and scientific ideas, the book does get a bit dense at times. For someone who is already steeped in Science and has a natural inclination towards the subject, it may seem rather simplistic. What is commendable about the book is its size. Almost nowhere does it get didactic and retains its brevity throughout. It was never going to be easy to argue against age-old beliefs and challenge ideas which are sacred to us. As a primer, this book does wonders and certainly creates an avid sense of interest, to read up further on any of the designated topics.

The appendices in the end are noteworthy because the authors are able to capture millions of years of development of major scientific ideas in a tabular form restricted to a few pages.

Not a book that your grandmother or even your mother might agree with or even those who believe that there are things in this universe that are beyond a scientific explanation, or maybe for many of those Indians who still relish an unexamined life that allows them the adrenalin rush of not wearing a helmet while cycling downhill!
Publishers: Penguin Books

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

1111- Children! Celebrate the world of books!

April 23 is World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day. We asked readers to send in reviews of their favourite classics. Some of them sent in reviews of great books that are not technically classified as "classics". Since they are good reads, we have decided to feature those reviews too.


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

A ten-year old orphan, adopted by her uncle, leads a miserable life in her aunt’s house, after her uncle dies. Of course, it’s Jane Eyre. The book is a storehouse of values, and took the world by storm when it was first published.

Though written in 1847, it is a good read even today. Jane Eyre, the protagonist, fights her way out of difficult circumstances with a great deal of courage. First, it is the ill-treatment meted out to her by her aunt, then it is the death of her best friend Helen Burns, and finally it is the revelation that her lover Mr. Edward Rochester is already married.

She completes her studies and then works as a teacher. Yearning for change, she applies for a job as a governess for a little French girl, Adele. It is here that she falls in love with Mr. Rochester. They plan their wedding meticulously, but at the deciding moment, it is revealed that Mr. Rochester is already married and his wife is still alive. From this point the story takes many twists and turns. It is for you to read and find out: Does Jane Eyre marry Mr. Rochester?

This novel tells readers about the need for boldness, courage and adjustment contributing to a prosperous life. It is both an entertaining as well as a realistic novel. It is a must read for everyone, young and the old.

Simran, X, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Tirumalgiri, Secunderabad , Andhra Pradesh

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

A funny and unique children’s story of Alice's confrontation with an eccentric world. The events that take place in a bizarre “Wonderland” are spontaneous and fantastically unplanned. The characters are remarkably amusing and entertaining. The language is figurative that takes the reader to the realm of true imagination. Enchanting!

Anand Mishra, X, Jindal Vidya Mandir, JSW Township, Bellary, Karnataka

The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond

This is the story of Rusty, a 16-year-old Anglo-Indian boy who is orphaned and has to live with Mr. Harrison, his guardian. He lives in the European part of Dehradun. But he wants to embrace the Indian culture and lifestyle.

He is enchanted by the festivals, people and the bazaar. He meets many people and develops a liking for Meena, his friend Kishen’s mother.

This story keeps you hooked with the many unexpected incidents. The story is a bit similar to that of the author himself. One incident in Rusty’s life is when he goes to the unkind Mr. Harrison after playing Holi with his Indian friends and shows him what he really wants — his friends and the culture.

It’s a book worth reading! It will be enjoyed by readers greatly. This book is also the winner of the “John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize”.

Nivedya S.,VI A, Devagiri CMI Public School, Kozhikode, Kerala

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

It is the story of a boy named Mowgli and his friends Bageera, the panther and Balu, the bear.

Mowgli grew up in the jungle with a wolf family. They called him the “Man-cub”. Once a tiger named Sher Khan came to the jungle. He wanted to eat Mowgli . So Bhageera thought that he will take Mowgli to the man-village to keep him safe. At night, they climbed a tree and fell asleep. A snake called Kaa came to eat Mowgli but Bageera saved him. That morning they heard trumpeting of elephants. Mowgli didn’t want go to the man-village because he thought that his house was in the jungle. So he walked away. Then he met a bear named Balu and they became friends. When they were swimming in the river some monkeys took Mowgli away to their king. Balu dressed like a big monkey. He fooled all the monkeys and saved Mowgli. That night Sher Khan saw Mowgli and was about to eat him. Smart Mowgli tied a branch full of fire to Sher Khan’s tail and he ran away. Bageera and Balu took Mowgli to the man-village. Mowgli saw a little girl taking water from the river into a pot and became friends with her. Mowgli and the girl went to the man-village. Bageera and Balu returned happily to the jungle.

My favourite character in this story is Mowgli because he is very cute and very naughty.

Muhammed Saleel, Grade -1, Al-fajr International School, Chennai

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

Main Characters: Harris, George and Montmorency

Description of a main character: Harris is the funniest of all three men and he is the only one who is not pleased with any work except his own. He misses the boat in the dark. He tries to cook for his friends using a sack full of vegetables and falls into the Thames. He tries to speak in monotone forever.

Setting/Theme of the story: Three men decide to travel in a boat in search of rest and a change of scene.

Part I enjoyed the most: When Harris is compared to Uncle Podger as he is ready to take the burden of everything upon himself and put it on the backs of other people. He says: “Now, you get a bit of paper and write down, and you get the grocery catalogue, George, and somebody give me a bit of pencil, and then I will make out a list.”

Sandhya Varadharajan, VIII, PSBB, Chennai

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

This imaginative book is set on two islands, Lilliput and Brobdingnag. The main character is Gulliver; the other characters are the Lilliputians and the giants of Brobdingnag. Gulliver sets sail to the South Seas for adventure. He gets lost at sea because a storm wrecked his ship. First he finds himself in a land of little people and then in a land of giants. I like the story and characters because they are creative and original. I love adventure stories and this is a very interesting one.

Ishaan Trivedi, V, Primus Public School, Bangalore

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

I enjoyed reading Robinson Crusoe. This story tells the hardships of a man who finds himself in an unknown land and how he struggles to live there, his courage and determination. It is an inspiring story of one man’s struggle to make a living.

Arya Murali, X, MMARS, Chengannur. Kerala

The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne

Shipwrecked, three teenagers, Ralph Rover, Jack Martin and Peterkin Gay, find themselves on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. Ralph is the narrator and he recounts some extraordinary adventures as the teenagers become accustomed to life on this remote Coral Island. What begins as a paradise idyll soon becomes harsh reality as the boys encounter both pirates and Polynesian tribes.

A story of survival and dependence. A story that is full of adventure.

Gopika. G, XI, Carmel School, Thiruvananthapuram

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March are four sisters living with their mother in New England. Their father is away serving as a chaplain in the Civil War, and they struggle to support themselves and keep their household running despite the fact that the family recently lost its fortune. They become close friends with their wealthy neighbour, Theodore Laurence, known as Laurie.

In the end all the loose ends are tied up and the story ends on a positive note.

Anjali. P. Nair, XII, Bhavans Vidya Mandir, Eroor, Tripunithura, Kerala

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This book, which provoked the sophisticated Victorian society, was released in 1890. In our present day world, it is widely acknowledged as Wilde's masterpiece, his unparalleled Magnum Opus. It centres around three characters, the noble Lord Henry Wotton, the artistic Basil Hallward and the handsome Dorian Gray. It is about how society is obsessed about the way they look to the rest of society. It focuses on how Dorian is obsessed with his beauty, who is indeed the Narcissus of our age. The story begins with Basil introducing Dorian to Henry. From there onwards, it soars into magnificent heights of indescribable literature. Basil paints Dorian’s portrait on his wish so that he may remain youthful and his picture may grow old. What this brilliant book reflects is the mind of society and indeed, it deserves to be called a great work of art.

Rohan Gopakumar, VII D, St. Thomas Residential School, Mukkolackkal, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Life is complicated and mysterious. No, wrong. It is simple and wonderful. This is what The Alchemist taught me. By Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, this book has been on the best selling lists since it was written over 20 years ago. It has been translated into many languages too. Through a story of a young shepherd on a quest for treasure, it tells us the importance of following our dreams and writing our own destiny. It is an inspirational book and is written in rather simple and easy to follow language. Even after two reads, I couldn't get the most of it. Every time I read it I learn something new. A life changing book, definitely worth a read, if not two!

Shashank Rao Palety, XII, Delhi Public School, Vijayawada

Geronimo Stilton by Elisabetta Dami

My friend told me about this book, and I wanted to read it. I was waiting for this book to come.

I felt sad for Geronimo Stilton because nobody came to help him. I was surprised when Trap brought all Valentine's things to his friends. Trap made me laugh at the silliest things. I liked the jokes and the way the story is written. This book was easy to read. Geronimo Stilton reminds me of a friend of mine. My favourite part is when Benjamin hugs Geronimo. I wish I could meet Geronimo Stilton.

I loved this book and asked my father to buy more books of Geronimo Stilton!

Zarah Mathew, III, Trivandrum International School, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Thomas the Tank Engine by Rev W. Awdry

The book is about an engine named Thomas. It is a cheeky little engine. He pulls coaches for big engines. But what Thomas really wants is his own branch line. Thomas always plays tricks on other engines. He helps his friend James and finally he gets his own branch line.

The line I like the most in this book is “Wake up Lazy bones! Do some hard work for a change”. I say this whenever I get an opportunity.

I gifted this book to many of my friends and cousin and they also like it very much.

Gozan Zerlinda, LKG C, Alpha Matriculation School, Chennai

1000 Great Lives by Plantagenet Somerset Fry

The book is exhaustive. It contains the illustrations of 1000 great lives which include not only British but also Indian rulers. I was interested in this book because it gives a life history of great people who made history and their achievements were recorded for posterity. The entries were arranged in the order of date of death because in the lives of famous persons great importance is given to the date of death. This arrangement makes it possible to find nearly all the great lives of one period in history together and place them more accurately in relation to other prominent figures of that age.

This book is a treasure for all history lovers.

M. Sreekar, VII, Narayana E Techno School, Varadaraju Nagar, Tirupati

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Written over a span of about two years, The Diary of a Young Girl is full of thoughts and expressions of a young, ordinary Jewish girl living in extraordinary conditions. She starts her diary when she is 13 and called it Kitty — her ever patient and understanding friend who stood by her through good and bad times. Anne wrote about her daily activities and also about the changes taking place around her during World War II. The diary provides a vivid historical and social background to her life and thoughts. The diary reveals Anne’s innermost thoughts, feelings, frustrations and ideas. The diary records all that happened in the 25 months that Anne and her family were in hiding. Her recordings of her emotions and moods are touching. In August 1944 their hiding place was discovered by the Gestapo, the German Secret Police. All the eight members in hiding were sent to concentration camps in Germany where all, except Otto Frank, died in the hands of Nazis. When Otto Frank came back to the hiding place after war, he found Anne Frank’s diary and letters. He circulated the diary in memory of his family. The book is a major piece of world literature and brings home the excesses of the Nazi regime. The book is easy to read and can be completed in a couple of sessions.

M. Vasudha, X A, Kendriya Vidyalaya No1. Tirupati

Last week we asked readers to send in reviews of their favourite classics. Most of the entries were not reviews, but simply retelling of the story. Here are some tips on how to write a review.

Writing a review is like taking a person to a place he or she has not been to before. It is up to you to paint a picture that not only appeals but also evokes an interest.
Begin with a description of what the book is about. But make sure you do not tell the whole story and spoil it for other readers. So keep it brief. If the book is a part of a series then mention that too.
Discuss why you liked the book. What appealed to you the most. Your favourite character? Suspense? Descriptions? What emotion did the book evoke?
Make a mention of what you did not like about the book. Did you find the ending too tame or did you think the protagonist was not powerful enough? 
Summarise your opinion of the book, making suggestions as to what kind of person the book would appeal to – like young adult, or those who love mystery or romance or drama and so on.
 You could also grade the book on a scale of ten.

Children's books:

Look forward to the holidays with these fantastic titles at hand.

Dorothy lives in Kansas and has great dreams. One day a cyclone lifts her and drops her in the enchanted land of the Munchkins. Here she meets some fantastic characters — the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, the Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch of the West. A book full of adventure and fun it has brought joy to generations of readers since its first appearance in 1900.

JUST SO STORIES by Rudyard Kipling
Have you ever wondered about the nature of things? Like the elephant’s trunk, the leopard’s spots, the song of the whale and oh! so many more things? This book will answer most of those questions. It is best to read the Just So Stories aloud, because the prose is lyrical, sing-song and sometimes even with made up words. These 12 stories were written for Kipling’s daughter and they were so named because she wanted them “just so”.

The world of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table are magical. It is a chronicle of the adventures of King Arthur as he draws the sword Excalibur from the anvil and proves his claim to the throne. It is a story of love, treachery, scheming but also of victory, chivalry and drama. Pyle tells a forceful tale bringing alive the past vividly.

The story is set in the late 1800s. Buck, a large dog, lives a comfortable live on an estate in California. One day, he is kidnapped and transported to the Yukon to be a sled dog during the gold rush. He tries to rebel but is beaten into submission. This is a story of survival, of a call to the roots and also of finding your inner dignity and what it takes to be a leader. It is interesting to read how Buck reverts to his Wolf ancestry when the need for survival kicks in.

PETER PAN by J.M. Barrie
The Darling nursery gets a visitor one night. It is Peter Pan. He meets the Darlings — Wendy, Michael and John. He becomes friendly with them, and teaches them to fly and takes them to visit the Lost Boys in Neverland. They have a lot of adventures and get into a fight with Captain Hook, the evil leader of the pirates. But they also have a friend in little Tinkerbell, the fairy.
Interestingly written, Barrie takes you into a world hitherto unknown. You fly in the night sky with a wonderful friend and get to meet exciting characters. Barrie’s prose is a mix of wit, sadness, excitement and poetry. A fantasy story that you would love to read.

Roberta, Peter and Phyllis live a happy life with their parents in a villa in London. Then one day everything goes topsy turvy when their father leaves them to “go on business” as their mother tells them. They have to leave the home they love and move to the countryside to a much smaller house. They discover a railway track that runs behind their new home. Everyday they wave at the 9.15 train, as that is the train that goes to London, and they believe their father works there.
A lovely story that revolves around the small happy family – always hoping that the father would come back. There is adventure when they discover stones on the track, a house on fire and an accident in the tunnel. It is beautiful, told in simple language and sure to touch your heart.

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS by Kenneth Grahame
The story opens with Mole who is doing some spring cleaning. He makes friends with a few others who live by the riverside. There is Toad, Ratty and Badger. The four friends have a wonderful time living as they do on the banks of the river. Toad has an obsession. He loves to race in his horse and cart. And then one day his obsession gets him arrested. Portraying typical English humour this is a wonderful story of friendship and how friends make a difference in one’s quality of life. It is the very epitome of British, Gregorian upper middle class and though the characters are completely humanised, they still retain some of their animal characteristics. Be ready to laugh aloud every few pages.

A lovely story of friendship and love. An inspiring story for all as it tells us the importance of friends and how we should be treating one another. A tinge of sadness sets in at the very end but then there is still the message of hope.
Charlotte is a spider and with the help of a rat, they manage the save Wilbur the pig from the knife. A must read for every child.
(The Hindu, Young World, 23:04:2013)

Labels: , , , , ,