2016 Must Reads: Books Which Can Inspire School Children

Education tips

Books are your best friend is what we hear all the time. For those who love the written word, two authors—Maulshree Mahajan and Adite Banerjie–feel that the surest way to build these relationships is to cultivate the reading habit from your school years. If you feel the same way too and would like to gift this habit to a loved one, here is a helpful submission from the duo for 2016: 

Simple life stories (Maulshree Mahajan’s recommendations):

A trainer by profession, Mahajan is the author of ‘The Mystery of the Missing Buddha’, the first of the ‘Singh Sisters’ adventures for children. Her short stories and poems were first published in a leading newspaper when she was 15 and since then, she has been writing stories, poems and essays in English and Hindi. 

The seven books on her bucket list are:

1. Malgudi Days by R.K.Narayan:

The book transports the reader to the fictitious town of Malgudi and leaves them wonderstruck at the simplicity and joy of the day to day life.  

2. A Book of Simple Living by Ruskin Bond:

‘This much I can tell you,’ sums up Ruskin Bond in his introduction to this book, ‘for all its hardships and complications, life is simple.’

3. How I Taught My Grandmother to Read by Sudha Murthy:

This collection of short stories carries a motivational facet in Sudha Murthy’s simple and elegant style. It does not dictate right or wrong, rather offers life experiences and leaves the decision-making to the kids.


4. The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru:

This is a thesis on Indian culture and history in the form of philosophical speculations and reflective essays.

5. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson:

A pirate adventure with the story and characters so lively and colourful that they stay with you forever.

6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak:

Thought-provoking and life-affirming, it is an important piece of work, but also a wonderful page-turner.


7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green:

A loveable love story that reminds us that even in a limited time, one can live infinitely. It entertains and educates and offers a jumping off point for young people to explore and discuss important philosophical issues.

Drama and adventure titles from Adite Banerjie:

Author of ‘The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal’ (December 2013), ‘Trouble Has A New Name (2014), Adite Banerjie shifted tracks after a long and fulfilling career in business journalism to screenwriting and fiction.  Harlequin India, the publisher for her two titles, is currently working on a May 2016 release for her third book, ‘No Safe Zone’.

When compiling a list of Inspirational Reads for School Goers, she turned towards mainstream fiction, literary fiction, historical thriller, romance to humour and biography. This is her list:

1. The Tears of Dark Water by Corban Addison:

It is a modern day story revolving around piracy, clash of cultures, FBI agents and all the thrills that one can imagine.


2. Flood of Fire by Amitava Ghosh:

The last in the series of The IBIS Trilogy, this book goes back to 1839 to the times of opium trading, British merchants and wars and raw emotions.

3. Into the Fire by Manda Scott:

This book has two dimensions—an investigative plot set in 2014 and then there are the times of Joan of Arc in 1429. It is a mingling of the past and the present.


4. Yes, My Accent is Real by Kunal Nayyar:

This is a humourous collection of essays by the Indian-American actor. In this book Nayyar shares his journey from a nervous little boy in New Delhi to a mature adult, narrating funny incidents.

5. The Magnate’s Manifesto by Jennifer Hayward:

Here is romance and eternal drama between a powerful man, Jared Stone, and a woman, Bailey St James, who refuses to bow to anyone.

6. The Orpheus Descent by Tom Harper:

This is a book which connects the ancients to the moderns. The greatest thinker of all times, Plato, decides to travel to Italy to seek initiation into the Orphic mysteries: the secret to the Underworld known only to the gods.

7. Recasting India by Hindol Sengupta


This is an India we all live in, the India which is growing economically. The author, editor of Fortune India, reveals the ordinary, enterprising Indians who are redefining the world’s largest democracy.

Ambica Gulati likes to write on education. To read more of her work, click here