A couple of months ago I glanced at a few books listed in the Hindu’s Literary review supplement. I had almost forgotten about the book, when the catalogue search of my local library threw up ‘Mayil’. As it rang a bell, I ordered the book “Mayil will not be quiet” by Niveditha Subramaniam and Sowmya Rajendran. Mayil’s diary is woven very well into an engaging story by the authors. The story is about Mayil, a chatterbox of a girl and her escapades in school and outside. She writes her thoughts and her secrets in a diary. What happens in the life of this school going girl when she writes her diary is in short the crux of the story.
Mayil is the typical tween ready to step into her teenage years, who at the behest of her dad writes a diary recording her observations about people and fellow classmates in school and her surroundings. The writing style of school kids is well captured in the story without exaggeration and totally in sync with the times. Reaction of kids to adult behaviour is nicely portrayed and makes you realize that Mayil actually lives with us in our houses.
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- The positive points in the book is that children might be tempted to keep a diary, which could also help them express their feelings on paper.
- The book’s tone is very casual and has snippets culled from day-to-day lives that sound very real.
- Adolescents are casually introduced to the birds and bees, tween crushes in school, transgenders et. al. in a very engaging manner.
- The chapter ‘Guess I look Ok’ reiterates the fact that being brown or black is ok without harping on being fair.
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- I am amazed at this coordinated effort by the authors in bringing out this gem of a book.
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- The chapter on transgenders is portrayed accurately as it happens in our country. However, I did feel that the authors failed to mention that it is ok to be humane with the LGBT community. As the chapter ends abruptly, I get the feeling that it gives confusing signals to the kids. This could have been avoided.
- The book makes you smile at the childish humour, pranks and the language used by Mayil. We also begin to understand what goes on in the minds of all the Mayils we get to meet in our everyday life.
Mayil is a must read for children (10 and above) AND their parents.