Everyone has been a new kid (or adult) sometime in their life. So everyone would be familiar with that nervous feeling when one is in a new place and alien surroundings, slowly settling in, trying to make friends. And later becoming so well adjusted that it’d be hard to believe that settling in initially was a problem.
Neha was away on vacation. She is home now, and is excited to meet her friends. Things have changed while she was away. Arun, a bully, is now part of her friend circle that includes Priya, Sasha and Nikhil. And a new kid has moved into their block but they haven’t quite warmed up to him.
The new kid, Mihir, walks with the help of crutches and has trouble speaking clearly – Mihir suffers from cerebral palsy. Neha extends the hand of friendship to Mihir, but in the process risks alienating her friends. Arun makes it a point to mock Mihir, and the others, though they don’t put Mihir down, do nothing to stop it.
Will Neha be Mihir’s friend and still keep her old friends? Read the story to find how it plays out.
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- The children reading the story will make up their own minds about what the message is and derive their own conclusions. It isn’t forced down their throats like a plate of steamed broccoli. Children are innocent but they can be very cruel to the ones who they think don’t fit in or are different. Who they know to be weak, who can’t retaliate or fight for themselves. It is of paramount importance to teach children from an early age to be respectful of someone who is different from them.
- The simple sentences and realistic dialogues are apt for young readers, who are the intended target audience.
- The colourful art done by Deepa Nath is good – realistic, not cartoonish, but it lacked uniformity. The use of thought bubbles in some illustrations added to the story.
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- There are a few punctuation and grammatical errors which could have been avoided with proper copy-editing and proofreading. The author’s young daughter Pell G had done the editing which is commendable but it should have been overseen by an adult.
. . .
- All of us want to fit in. To be accepted for who we are. But what if you can’t fit in? What if you are the new kid and so different from the other kids that it makes you stand out, but not in a good way? The New Kid by Kanika G addresses some of these questions.
- Bullying is a reality for many children. Many times children see what is happening, but do not intervene when a person is being bullied. Though they haven’t actively taken part in it, they haven’t tried to put a stop to it either.
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- We think less of people who are physically challenged in some way. We see only their limitations. We don’t think about the hurdles they have overcome to function independently. And the quiet dignity with which they lead their lives. They are role models in the true sense of the word, who give hope to so many people.
New kid on the block!
A copy of this book was given to me by the writer and publisher, Kanika G, in return for an honest review.
|Title||The New Kid
Amazon Kindle Edition
|Publisher||Self (Kanika G)|