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Growing pains, pleasures

'A Higgledy Piggledy Growing Up' is among the new crop of novels for older children that are steering clear of tired tropes and trying to keep it real, and yes, uncomfortable too.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 03:32 IST

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The best way to understand if a particular YA (Young Adult) novel is worth reading or not is to make a young adult read it and observe her while she is doing so. If she buries her nose in it and reads it while stuffing her face with snacks (like the young adult I gave this book to did) you have a winner!

A Higgledy Piggledy Growing Up by Poile Sengupta is among the new crop of novels for older children that are steering clear of tired tropes like fairies, princesses and godmothers and trying to keep it real, and yes, uncomfortable too. Its protagonist, 14-year-old Neel, lives in Bengaluru with his large family. Three months before his summer holidays, strange things begin to happen around him. The story is woven around these occurrences, Neel’s school life and his attempts to play detective and crack the case. In the process, he learns a lesson or two and emerges with a better understanding of himself and the world he is growing up in. This is a book that has its heart in the right place although it could do with tighter editing. Some dialogues are repetitive as are certain scenes.

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Published 30 June 2024, 03:32 IST

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