Swati Daftuar: The Best Indian Children’s Books of the Year

We asked some people who we know read a lot of Indian children’s and YA books to tell us about one (or more) really impressive book they read this year. We will be posting their replies over the rest of the month.

Swati Daftuar is a journalist. She also runs a blog on YA literature, the BookLegger.in.

swati

We are thrilled that Swati’s favourites are Duckbill books, and we promise no arms were twisted–platypuses do not believe in list-fixing.

It’s been a particularly good reading year, and so, I’m quite happy that I can’t pick just one favourite.

To begin with, there was Jobless Reckless Clueless* by Revathi Suresh (Duckbill), an incredibly clever and honest book. Kavya is a disarmingly real protagonist, and even when her decisions infuriated me, I still understood them. Suresh has also tackled some very complex issues in the book, but in a refreshingly non-judgemental way.

The Queen of Ice by Devika Rangachari (Duckbill) is also on my list, and that’s because Didda is one of the strongest protagonists I’ve read in a while. Language wise, this book is deceptively simple, but you learn so much; about people you’d never heard about and rituals and customs you didn’t know existed. It’s set in a time period that’s usually ignored, and is so unapologetically feminist. I loved it!

*The Stern Blog-master, having allowed an earlier 2013 book, is now constrained to accept this.

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