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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Book Review: Beyond school by Chitra Anand

About The Book:

Beyond School centres upon the weeks leading up to 17-year-old Shail s final board exams, as his world becomes a pressure-cooker and the weight of preparing for the exams sends him fleeing rebelliously in the other direction. Along with Shail s journey from boyhood to manhood, Beyond School vividly weaves between the narratives of four main characters, seamlessly uniting the past and present of Shail, his parents-Urmila and Sushil and his mentor-Gladys, in a story that is honest, funny, heartbreaking and ultimately, incredibly human.

About the Author:

Chitra Anand was born in Mumbai. She is a postgraduate in Physics and holds an Education degree. Beyond School is her first novel inspired by her journey as an educator.

My Review:
written in a lucid, and friendly narrative, the book seamlessly follows the story of Shail, a 17 year old, who is torn between his parents' expectations of him to perform well in Board exams and his own ambition to ace the soccer tournament.
Frog Books, an imprint of Lead Start Corp, Is churning great pieces. (Unconventional ones like The Devil's Gate). The writing is very real. And so is the plot. Very relevant. Very apt. Identifiable.
With just a little scope of improvement in editing, the plot and  story is ironically and undeniably tickling, heartbreaking at one time and so full of hope at another.
Above all it is so real, so bare and so open that one can almost dive into the book and look at things from Young adult's perspective.

Gladys' (mentor and teacher of the protagonist) character elicits a special, special mention. He character and its stort gives fodder for thought while simultaneously letting the plot seamlessly stretch, spanning two generations dealing with tgeur adolescence issues.  What Gladys is to Shail, her father was to her.
Her charcters probpem is quoted as "The girl worried: you needed to be nornal to exist peacefully in the school world-squint free eyes, twist less nose, correctly sized ears, unclipped lips, straight arms, stammer free speech, stupidity free brain ..."
Which makes us think, isnt this stuff we battle through our teenage. And then it strikes us dumb how real these stories are. Which is also the best part of the novel.

In the portrayal of Shail's skirmishes with his parents, advises lie with him for an untold gestation period and then at the least expected time, they come to fruitition.
His thoughts are an echo of this age of young-adult. When a teacher chides him calling him a terrorist,  he ponders why appreciation is never as intense as censure. And that such insults are too serious to get over, no panacea works for the wounded ego of the young-adult. No pacification, no compromise, no redemption.

More of such insights into the mind of people this age and more examples of how these are indeed our formative years, grab your copy. Although I doubt if this is temptation enough to buy a copy of ones own, but I would still have all school library shelves and all teachers and parents have a read.

Copies Available at all online stores:

1.    Flipkart:

2.    Amazon:  

Know More Inside Stories, Connect with The Author:
Twitter: @chtranand

Read the book? Write a review on Goodreads:

“This review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Blog Tours.  To get free books log on to

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