International Reading – Books from other countries

Six Spellmakers Minwalla, Shabnam. The Six Spellmakers of Dorabji Street. Hachette India, 2013. 112p. E-book $12.49. ASIN B00B86G8DI. English.

As this book is only available thru Hachette India, ACL cannot put it in our regular reviews. It is available from or directly from the author:

The Six Spellmakers of Dorabji Street feels like a breath of fresh air, and is already creating a lot of buzz in Mumbai India. The author is a freelance journalist in her own right, and in her interview with the Times she states the reason for writing this book:  she wants to create magic right in her children’s backyard , so they don’t have to go to London to feel magic.

To this reviewer the book is like going down memory lane as I grew up in that area. For example, I remember the streets she mentions, so this will appeal to many adults of East Indian ethnicity, living in the U.S. now, but who spent their teen years in Mumbai.

As far as the story goes, six children want to save Bimbli trees that two old ladies in their apartment building want to cut down. This would appeal to 4th through 9th graders who are interested in magic.  Also, along the way it gives a lesson in friendship, faith and believing in having a guardian angel.

The ink sketch drawings of illustrator Kohli go perfectly side by side with the text to bring this witty heartwarming story alive. Could be suggested as a read alike to “Harry Potter,”  “Encyclopedia Brown,” or “The Penderwicks.”  When children are clamoring for more of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and copies are not available, this would be a good alternative to offer them. Adding a glossary or index would be helpful.

MaryKurwa, Richmond Public Library

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