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I can’t remember a day in my childhood that went by without me reading a book. A habit that my parents instilled in young people and that my teachers have helped me maintain over the years, reading is that comfort zone that I can find anytime, anywhere. I just need to take my book (my safety) out of my bag, and no background noise will bother me, much like when I was a kid. Fortunately, back then, we had no distractions (reading phone, phone, and phone) and could read for endless long hours.

In today’s digital world, while it is so convenient to consume information and entertainment through videos, the importance of the written word is often overlooked. But reading is a powerful tool in your skill box that cannot be offset by anything else. Reading books can transport us to fantastic lands created only with the words of the author and the power of our own imaginations. The power of reading can bring seemingly lifeless marks to life on a page.

Today, June 19, is National Reading Day. The day is celebrated in honor of the father of the library movement of India, PN Panicker, who died that day in 1995. Panicker was responsible for the cultural movement to advocate reading in the state of Kerala, playing a role important in the rise of the state to a literacy rate of 100%.

To celebrate the occasion, the wonderful BYJU team sat down with several teachers to choose must-read readings to nurture young minds. (Well, the older ones can try them too, they are magical!)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Ages: 8+
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice’s weird and fantastical adventures as she travels the Rabbit Hole and Wonderland have captured the imaginations of children and adults alike. While it has been adapted for the screen a number of times, reading the original as Lewis Carrol originally wrote it can be a fairly enjoyable process. It is best to read the book aloud (especially for young readers), especially because of its many rhythmic and poetic passages. It is also full of absurd lines of poetry and the many words with strange sounds are sure to delight young readers! If you like to read this you can also try the sequel, On the other side of the mirror.

Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels
Ages: 8+


A timeless classic for children, Gulliver’s travels is a book that operates on two levels. The original unabridged version of Jonathan Swift is actually an eighteenth-century political commentary on Britain skillfully masked in a series of fantastical adventures that Gulliver sets out on. For younger readers, an abridged version would be more appropriate and revisiting the original as an adult might show them a perspective of how some books are more than they seem.

Charlie and the Roald Dahl Chocolate Factory
Ages: 8+

Charlie and the Roald Dahl Chocolate Factory

Perhaps the most fascinating way for a young reader to learn about Morals, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from Roald Dahl is the story of five children who win the chance to visit Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory. Throughout the vividly illustrated scenes in the book, we learn about bad behavior and its consequences, all told in the impeccable style of one of the greatest children’s storytellers of all time.

Charlotte’s canvas by EB White
Ages: 8+

Charlotte's canvas by EB White

One of the best-known works of children’s literature, this touching story is as popular today in the digital age as it was when it was first published in 1952. A tale centered on the life of animals in a barn, the hero of the story is a spider named Charlotte who tries to save her friend, a pig named Wilbur from being slaughtered. Addressing timeless themes, the book prompts readers to reflect on the true meaning of friendship and is a great way to understand how we humans should treat each other while learning about animals.

Good night stories for rebellious girls
Ages: 6+

Good night stories

Who doesn’t love a good bedtime story? Especially the one that leaves you full of hope and confidence! Good night stories for rebellious girls is a collection of short stories about 100 inspiring women from different walks of life. Illustrated by female artists around the world, the book features stories of pioneering women, including famous pilot Amelia Earhart, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, rockstar Joan Jett, former first lady Michelle Obama and Indian Olympian Mary Kom . While the book is ideal for young girls, it would also be suitable for young boys, who might also be looking for another book in the same series titled Stories for boys who dare to be different.

Swami and his friends by RK Narayan
Ages: 9+

Swami and his friends

For those of us who are constantly immersed in a technologically hyper charged world, RK Narayan’s novel Swami and his friends can provide respite by bringing us back to a simpler time. But that doesn’t mean that Swami and his band don’t have their own issues to deal with. A coming-of-age tale that touches on the many aspects of growth – friendship, school life, beliefs and morals – it’s a master class in storytelling. Told with a simplicity and plot typical of RK Narayan’s style, Swami and Friends is the quintessential Indian children’s novel, one that will make you want to retire to the idyllic city life of Malgudi.

Ruskin Bond’s blue umbrella
Ages: 9+

The blue umbrella

You could say that children’s literature in India is synonymous with Ruskin Bond! If you are looking for a good place to delve into the works of great children’s writers, The blue umbrella is perfect. A short but punchy short story that tells the story of Biniya and the joy found with her new umbrella, it’s a touching story of hope and sacrifice. The book was also adapted into a National Award winning film of the same name.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Ages: 9+

The Hobbit

A wonderful starting point for exploring the genre of fantasy fiction, The Hobbit is the precursor of the legendary JRR Tolkien the Lord of the Rings series of books. While The Lord of the Rings might prove to be difficult read for many young readers, The Hobbit is more accessible and even pre-teen readers can follow the tale without much difficulty. A tale of bravery, personal growth and heroism, The Hobbit is an ideal book for developing a fertile imagination and introducing children to the world of fantasy fiction. The book has also been adapted into a film trilogy, which makes it a great exercise in comparing the same story across different mediums.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
Ages: 9+

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling

The Harry Potter series took the world by storm about two decades ago, and for good reason! While fully immersing the reader in a fantasy world where magic is as real as the witches and wizards who practice it, the books take us through a heartwarming story of friendship, bravery, overcoming adversaries and adaptation to school life during adolescence. While many of us may already be familiar with the hit movies adapted from the novels, reading the book allows readers to dive deep into the wizarding world, covering many more subtle aspects that were left out in the movies. .

The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé
Ages: 10+

The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé

An ideal entry point into the comic book world is through The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé. Each comic in the series follows the young detective Tintin and his intelligent dog Snowy as they travel the world (and even once on the moon) in search of answers to dark mysteries. A timeless classic series that has been adapted several times for the screen, Tintin’s books are also a great way to introduce young readers to the captivating genre of detective fiction.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Ages: 11+

Anne Frank

When it comes to non-fiction, few books are so widely recommended to young readers as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Written in a series of notes in her diary which she receives as a gift on her thirteenth birthday, it documents the life of Anne and her family as they were in hiding from Nazi forces during the occupation of the Netherlands . The book offers a child’s perspective and field-based vision of WWII, covering serious topics such as war, isolation, hardship and fundamentalism, making it a reading experience. powerful for all ages.

I am Malala from Malala Yousafzai
Ages: 11+

I am Malala from Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai was just an ordinary girl in Pakistan until the fateful day she was shot dead by a member of the Taliban on her way to school. Refusing to back down, she continued to promote the need for education, especially for girls, and won the Nobel Prize for her efforts. In his memories I am Malala, she tells the story of being inspired to stand up for what is right at a young age, the atrocities of living under a terrorist regime and overcoming challenges under the most difficult conditions. Written in a captivating, yet easy to follow style, this is a book that will leave an impact on readers of all ages. Full Disclosure – While there isn’t too much graphic detail on the violence, this book might be a bit too much for the more sensitive or younger readers.

Read also : 5 Indian authors to read if you are interested in the country’s rich history

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