Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Adventures of Stoob - Testing Times - Samit Basu

Anjali read this book and listed Samit Basu among her favorite authors. More importantly she put the book on my desk and told me to read it. So I did.
Rupa (Red Turtle), 116 P, rS. 195

Stoob is, Subroto, who is studying class five. He has a bunch of friends like Rehan, Ishani, Prithvi (who somehow prefers the easier and the dark side) and several other characters that include Caveman Kaushik and some Balvinder and even the ancient Francis. His life is full of his parents, the crow who drops stuff on his head, teachers, games and stuff. Into his happy life comes a challenge, the school has changed the testing system so he has to pass one big test instead of several small ones. Stoob finds this a big challenge and so do many others but Rehan and Ishani help Stoob along to study. Prithvi also tries to help him along but by finding out ways to cheat. In the end Stoob helps Prithvi by thwarting all his attempts to cheat, secures a decent percentage and heads home for holidays. All's well and that ends well. Including a well avoided dropping by Crowdelmort. Stoob is now officially grown up you see.

So this is what Anjali and other kids like. Samit Basu nicely gets into the mind of a ten year old, their fears, their aspirations, their likes and dislikes, their thoughts and their words. Stoob's mind is constantly wandering, looking for ways to add fun to his life, making up stories, dreaming and fantasising. The humour is what elevates the book, the illustrations are perfect, the story rather thin but good enough and overall you end up feeling like you know Stoob and his friends and want to know them some more. Samit Basu is an accomplished writer at a young age and looks headed to greatness. I liked it and I am glad Anjali liked it too - the book has spunk and irreverence and mostly has its heart in the right place.

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