Classic Stories for Boys

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Author: Varied authors Genre : fiction, short stories
Age : 12+ yrs
ISBN : 9780143331490 153 Pages
Publisher : Puffin  
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East and West meet here in a collection of stories by ten master story-tellers, plunging the young reader into a world of fun, intrigue, mystery and nostalgia.

With an interesting array of stories the readers will have a roller coaster experience rising to a crescendo, as in Pterodactyl’s Egg by Ray, and then descend down to earth with the tongue-in-cheek humour of Munshi Premchand. With writing styles as diverse as the authors themselves, it is interesting to note the different approaches to story telling. In the story, The Pterodactyl’s Egg by Satyajit Ray, Badan Babu is constantly looking for inspiration for stories to tell his ailing son. How he is lured into parting money by a conman, who convinces him that he has created a time machine, makes for entertaining reading. In Munshi Premchand’s story, Big Brother, or rather Big B as he is referred to, one empathizes with a not-so-smart big brother, whose younger sibling outstrips him in his studies.

Humour mixed with a tinge of underlying pathos will entrance any young boy – even of today, even though the story was penned in the early 1900’s! Tagore indulges in a bout of nostalgia, in an excerpt of his Boyhood Days, in which he reminisces about his childhood years, spent in the Kolkata of yore. It is an emotion that both young and old alike will understand and appreciate, considering the rapid change of life’s situations, today. Amongst others, the book also has excerpts from the all too familiar Little Men, Huckleberry Finn, Oliver Twist and from an Indian classic Chandrakanta.

The book has been introduced by Paro Anand, noted writer for children.    

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee