“This book is definitely an adventure, with its mini stories and funny adventures.”



Once upon a time there was a girl named Suraya. One day her aunt Lila gave her an old heavy book. But the pages were blank. Her aunt said to her that the story she wrote would come true. But good stories would do good things and bad stories would do bad things.

Suraya wrote a very bad story and then she felt very bad and threw the book away. After many days she thought of writing a story in the book. But the book was gone.

At night an anonymous old lady came to her. She said to Suraya that she took the book. She also said that the other children had also written stories in it. Suraya again started to write stories in old newspapers.

I am in love with this book. This is the book which is about book.


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Added 18th January 2016


Once upon a time there was a Korean tale about a boy who loved stories and had a different one told to him every night, but he refused to share his stories with the world so the angry stories wanted their freedom.

Suraya’s Gift reminds me of that in some way. It is a simple story meant to entice children to read and as its device, it uses a magical book which has the power to make stories come true.

However Suraya cannot quite understand the purpose of the book nor what sets a good story apart from a bad one. Like most children she tries out a silly story which comes true in a very different way from what she expected and then she tries out one written in anger. Grown up writers do that too, but their stories have different effects.

As mother Malavika Nataraj is also aware that children these days have a different attention span and getting them to sit for long periods of time is difficult. They have enough problems to deal with in class and if not school, then in organised extracurricular activities designed to turn them into positive citizens.

She therefore keeps Suraya’s Gift short and delivers its message simply, using the tried and tested story figures, the wise aunt, the mother and an old woman who smells of mothballs who materialises magically. It is a wise message – children lose what they do not use.

Children with a passion for reading – and there are a few of them still in this materialistic world – might want more of the story. However mothers who need things to read out will be relieved that there is just enough to calm the child down or persuade her – this is definitely girl centric – to read two or three short chapters.


Reviewed by:

Anjana Basu

Added 7th December 2015

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Anjana Basu