- My Name is Tani by by Craig Borlase Tanitoluwa Adewumi
Just eight years into the world, Tani Adewumi has seen a lot — he’s seen Boko Haram’s terror reign, has fled from his home country Nigeria, has lived homeless in a strange country, and has also won the New York state chess championship. A Nigerian refugee in New York, Tani’s story is the stuff of legends. He and his family had to leave the familiar life of Nigeria to escape Boko Haram’s atrocities. They came to America. While waiting for the rigorous asylum, they all lived homeless. And it is during this period that Tani learnt chess, mastered it and won the NY state championship. His friends didn’t know he had no home.Authors Craig Borlase and Tanitoluwa Adewumi record part of Tani’s life that will surely inspire young readers and adults “to believe in the power of the human spirit to triumph over the greatest adversities”. This young man’s sheer dedication, focus and handwork at a young age is proof that miracles can be created at will.
2.) We are the Champions by Rashmi Bansal & Devandra Tak
This book is an anthology of real-life stories of 15 inspirational children who grew up in dreadful circumstances, but became community leaders. These kids didn’t let their limiting conditions stop them from making this world a better place for everyone. For instance, there is Anoyara Khatun. At 12, she was rescued as a domestic labourer. Upon return to her village in West Bengal, she decided to help all the kids who were getting exploited. Today, she has been recognised by the United Nations where she was a speaker for two years in a row. She is a recipient of the President’s medal. Then there is Jhulima, a young tribal girl, who is fighting against the ills of child marriage. Story of Salman Khan, son of a beggar who has done small roles in films, brings hope.
03) Why is my Hair Curly by Lakshmi Iyer
Our young protagonist Avantika has curly hair. No matter how many times she combs her hair, it just won’t straighten. Why couldn’t she have hair like her Amma and Appa? Thos are a few questions that trouble Avantika who is often called Medusa by other kids, because of hair. She and her brother were adopted by her parents where they were babies. She often wonders if her biological parents had curly hair? But those are not the only issues she has. This fictional tale, made more charming by illustrations by Niloufer Wadia, is a timely book that addresses many things in a way that would make sense to kids. From adoption, to identity issues, to working moms… author Lakshmi Iyer makes it accessible for kids.
04) Oop & Lila Lost in the Scarbean Sea by Olivier Lafont
This fiction, by Olivier, Lafont will take your kids on a rollicking adventure. Siblings Oop and Lila find themselves in the middle of a rousing pirate situation after Lila consumes a candy from the 99wish-fulfilling candies she finds in a bag. This tale has drama, adventure, fearsome pirates, a devious fakir, and a lot of imagination. It will keep the young readers hooked. Take our those eye patches, aye captain!
05) Boys Will Be Boys: Inspiring Stories for Smart Kids by Aparna Jain
This book is a collection of short biographies of 45 men who have achieved success in various fields. And there is nothing boring about any of those biographies because author Aparna Jain has written these in an engaging manner, chopping off frills and keeping only interesting anecdotes. From scientists to army men to artists, and everyone in between, it has men from all fields. Each biography is accompanied by an illustration of the subject. Some of the men in the book are scientist and former President Abdul Kalam, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, nuclear physicist Homi Bhabha, author Ruskin Bond.Title of the book is a delightful use of the phrase — Boys will be Boys, which is often used to justify or ignore behaviour of men that should be otherwise unacceptable. These stories create a pool of an inclusive milieu offering stories of achievers who were once poor, or grew up in difficult circumstances, or queer in a gender difficult society.