“A room without books is like a body without a soul”

– Cicero

Reading is a habit that should be instigated, encouraged and nurtured by each and every parents amongst their children. A life without books is an ugly, incomplete life. It’s pathetic to watch youngsters grow up today by playing video games or remain engrossed over mobile phones. The colourful pages of the story books and the fairy tales sits still on the dusty shelves. Very few urchins are likely to go to a store and nag their parents to get them a copy of Gulliver’s Travels or Enid Blyton’s series of adventures. They prefer storming on their parents for buying the latest version of a video game.

Gone are those days when gifting books in any social event was accepted with satisfaction and reverence. Personally, books played a significant role in my childhood days. Growing up in an old fashioned way by reading books and hearing stories from grandparents have never been so charming.

Children pick up a lot of useful stuffs from books. Books are a great source of knowledge and helps a child in improving his/her vocabulary, allows them to think and built their own plots, rectifies their grammatical mistakes and amplifies their chance of fantasizing over imaginary things and creatures.

Considering the necessity of reading books, you might wonder which book is sure to impress your child and keep him/her hooked till the very end. Here is a list of famous story books which is admired and enjoyed by children and young adults all over the world.   

1. Famous Five series (Age group: 10+)

The Famous Five

Enid Blyton, an English author is best known for her adventurous plots which are full of marvellous twists and fun. “Famous Five” is a set of 21 novels for children and the stories are centred around a group of young boys and girls who finds themselves in mysterious situations. The first novel “Five on a Treasure Island” was published in the year 1942 and received public appreciation. Georgiana accompanied by her pet dog Timothy and her cousins Julian, Anne and Dick are sometimes after smugglers and at times ends up finding treasure. All their adventures takes place in their school holidays either at Kirrin’s cottage( Georgiana’s home) or when they go for hiking at different places. It’s not just the adventures that are admirable but rather the rapturous description of landscape and country life is equally beautiful. The stories are so skilfully plotted that reading one will tempt you to read the entire 21 set of books

2. Nancy Drew (Age group- 8-12 yrs)

Nancy Drew is a teenage girl, a fictional character who is the protagonist of the Nancy Drew series of books. The books have been written by several anonymous authors and are compiled under a particular pseudonym of Carolyn Keene. It consists of 175 novels and is a detective, mystery series quite like “Secret Seven” and “Famous Five”. The first book featuring the character Nancy Drew was: “The Secret of the Old Clock” which was published in the year 1930. Each of these stories was published in between the years 1930-2003. Nancy along with Drew Crew; comprising of her close friends are drawn towards illegal happenings around them. The homicide case that connects her family is ultimately solved her and she uses her extraordinary wit and sense of self for solving several crime cases.

3. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Age group- 7-9 years)

Written by the famous American author; Mark Twain the novel was published in the year 1970. The story features a naughty boy called Tom who frequently lands into trouble and is often rebuked for his notorious activities. The story is set along the Mississippi river, in St Petersburg where Twain himself grew up. The novel relishes the misdoings of children whose innocence poses them to ask sceptical questions. Tom has his own set of adventures with his friend Huck as they go to the old graveyard to perform mysterious rites. The young children of the novel basically has no endurance towards religion which they often find boring. The book is noted as the best work of Twain of all times.

4. The Lord of the Rings (Age group- 13+)

If you haven’t read J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel the Lord of the Rings series then you have missed the wonder of Hobbit land, fire blowing dragons, wizards, dwarves and elves. The prequel of “The Lord of the Rings” series is “The Hobbit” which was published in the year 1937.p What makes the book attractive is that Tolkien has given the imaginary kingdom of Hobbits and Dwarves a touch of reality by locating them on his own created maps. The story is set in Middle-earth. The prequel is all about the quest of the hobbit, Bilbo who accompanied by the wizard Gandalf and other dwarves goes to reclaim the lost Kingdom of the dwarves. In this adventure Bilbo comes across a ring which gives him the power to disappear completely. “The Lord of the Rings” is all about this ring and Bilbo’s heir Frodo who walks off smelling adventure. It’s not long before he realises that the ring he possesses is sought by Sauron; the greatest and the most evil wizard of all times. The series have been published in between the years 1937-1949. The books have been published in three volumes which are: “The Fellowship of the Ring”, “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King”.

5. Harry Potter (Age group: 14+)

You are still a Muggle( non wizard) if you haven’t read the famous Harry Potter series yet. Written by the British author J.K. Rowling, the books are an amazing work of fantasy and fiction. It chronicles the life of an orphaned wizard; Harry Potter who grows up to fulfil the prophecy by killing the dark lord, Voldemort. The first book of the Potter series is “Philosopher’s Stone” which was published in the year 1997 by Bloomsbury Publishing. As Harry learns that he is a wizard, he is admitted to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy on his 14th birthday. Each part of the series is an unfulfilled attempt of the Dark Lord and his followers, the death eaters to kill Harry. However, “The boy who lived” was saved each time either by his closest friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger or by the greatest wizard, Albus Dumbledore. The 7 parts of the bestselling series are: “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, “Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban”, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, “Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix”, “Harry Potter and the Half blood Prince” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”. The novel celebrates good over evil as Voldemort is killed in the final part. The books have won a million hearts and has been adapted into films which too saw a great success.

6. The Twilight series (Age group 15+)

This is the perfect series for young teenagers who dreams of a daily dosage of love. The series is all about a human girl; Bella who falls in love with a vampire; Edward. The American author Stephenie Meyer have written the perfect tale of mythical creatures of dark as they dwelled in the human world. The first part “Twilight” was published in the year 2005 and saw a major success. The other parts of the series are: “New Moon”, “Eclipse” and ends with “Breaking Dawn”. Bella’s journey from a human to a vampire and finally to a mother is told from her point of her.

7. The collected short stories by Satyajit Ray (Age group 8+)

Bengali literature is rich and has a variety of novels written in different genres. Satyajit Ray the famous filmmaker and novelist has written several short stories in Bengali. Many of his stories have been translated in English to make it available for readers world wide. Published by Penguin publishers, the book is a compilation of stories dealing with ghosts, adventures, time travel or science fiction. It’s a must read for children as they are sure to love the gorgeous detailed description of Bengal heritage followed by funny characters like aliens.

8. Falling in love again: Stories of love and romance (Age group- 10+)

The author of the hills; Ruskin Bond is famous for his novels which are known for their simplicity. His stories are mainly centred on hill stations and the serendipity of quiet hillside stations and the innocent hilly people are his reader’s favourite. “Falling in love again” is a collection of short stories and the common theme binding them all together is, love. Bond writes about incomplete love stories which touches a reader’s heart and leaves them grasp for more. His stories ends in a didactic tone and often has hidden moral values in them. The way he describes his characters is intimidating. His stories have a therapeutic side and has the ability to calm down a reader.

9. The fault in our stars (Age group- 13+)

A boy and a girl falls in love but are not meant to be together has been a favourite topic for many authors. However, John Greene changes the tone of the story as he deflects from the usual end of bidding goodbyes. He brings in death which sentences a relationship to an abrupt end. Hazel Grace Lancaster suffers from thyroid cancer which has affected her lungs. Forced by her parents she takes part in a support group where people like her speaks about their own lives and hardships. Here she meets a boy Augustus Waters who has survived osteosarcoma and falls in love with him little and then all at once. Published in the year 2012, the amazing love story of these young souls which falls apart leaves the readers astounded. The words of Augustus still rings in our hears as we choose to accept the inevitability of death which brings an end to all beautiful moments.

 10. Diary of a Young Girl (Age group 12+)

We all are aware of the brutality of the second world war that devastated people mentally and spiritually. Hitler’s hatred towards the Jews took an inhuman turn as Jews were killed mercilessly. This novel is actually a diary entry of a young girl called Anne Frank. The entries are of the time when she went into hiding with her family as Germans took over Netherlands. She recounts the horror that seized the Jews as they managed to survive with bare minimum. Anne finally dies of typhus in the year 1945 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The diary fell in the hands of her father; Otto Frank who was the only survivor of the family. Published in more than 70 languages the book is not just about the experiences of a young girl but rather gives a historical account of the second world war. It was first published in the year 1947 and received the attention of readers all over the world.

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