“Minawala puts together a potpourri of all the school experiences guaranteed to appeal to youngsters in a co-ed institution.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Nimmi is suffering 6th Grade angst. She returns from the winter holidays expecting to catch up with her bestie Sophia only to find that everything has changed. Sophia has wintered in LA and has American gloss and made friends with the evil Alisha who sneers at people like Nimmi. Nimmi’s schooldays are filled with bullies like Sumit who makes fun of her surname Daruwala – something that does not affect her elder brother Tarun who has become a Senior School prefect.

Nimmi has to learn how to make new friends and make the most of her schooldays – teachers in 6th Grade too are different. The class has to endure the evil Ms Atmaja who has Nimmi pegged for a trouble maker because the springy bug she brought back from HongKong for Sophia escapes and lands squarely on Ms Atmaja’s nose. And from Sophia’s reaction it is quite obvious that the new Sophia would never have entertained the bug in the first place.

Nimmi however tries to remain friends, even though Sophia is often downright rude and prefers to do cool things rather that the odd ones she and Nimmi used to enjoy together.

Minawala puts together a potpourri of all the school experiences guaranteed to appeal to youngsters in a co-ed institution – bullying boys, nose in the air girls, embarrasing encounters and the problems with finding new friends. She also throws in an unusual kind of anti litter ad campaign with Nimmi as the ‘face’ of the advertising. In the beginning Nimmi shows a fondness for creatin portmanteau words like ‘spectabulous’, a mix of ‘spectacular’ and ‘fabulous’ but gradually that aspect of Nimmi fades out of the book – though she does join the Scrabble Club. The other point is, should poor RL Stephenson really be condemned as unreadable by the 6th Grade? Even though it was obviously done to raise a sympathetic snigger among the ten and eleven years olds scrambling to read the book?

 

Reviewed by:

Anjana Basu

Added 9th September 2018

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Anjana Basu