Can a nine-year old girl be a super hero? Yes, says Shabnam Minwalla in her chapter book The Shy Supergirl by showing us one.
Nina, all of 9 years, is very small, shy and barely noticeable. But she has a superpower in that she can see into people’s hearts. She would see a person wrapped in dirty yellow smog, or gentle pink puffs, or in purple, or in some other shade depending on the person’s nature. It did not matter whether the person was friendly or not. She could always look through people.
Nina and her stick-figure-like 10-year old friend Buggy, live in Venus Towers. One of their neighbours, Mrs. Khanna has a precious collection of owl figurines which is her claim to fame.
During the Christmas holidays, Buggy’s cousins Krish and Tania visit him from America. Though they are friendly outwardly and shower him with gifts, Nina’s super power senses cunning and sneakiness in them.
On Christmas Eve, there is a treasure hunt organized in the colony. Fourteen children take part in the treasure hunt conducted by Mrs. Chandela, the secretary. Amidst the chaos of children running about finding clues to hunt the treasure, there is a power failure.
Once the power resumes, it is found that Mrs. Khanna’s silver Mexican owl is missing. Nina and Buggy get into action and make a list of suspects. How do the children nail the culprit? Nina’s super power comes to her aid. Read the book to find how she does it.
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- Simple whodunnit for young readers. Simplicity in the plot and language. Just perfect for ages 6-9.
- Characterization that lends well to the story.
- Tanvi Bhat’s enticing illustrations.
- I like the point made that shy children can be smart too! In today’s world, where the importance of being an extrovert is stressed a little too much, it is comforting to know that there are still people who believe that shyness/introversion does not equal stupidity.
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- I agree with the point that the author makes: Friendly people may not all have a golden heart and appearances can be deceptive. But I take exception that every single character who is friendly/jolly has negative traits and those who are unfriendly have positive traits. Isn’t that stereotyping as well?
Shy, Smart, Super!