At 11am today, at a library in Bandra (West), children will gather to discuss prophecies, Greek mythology and a curious pair of magic, winged, flying shoes. “I wish I had magic shoes,” says Divya Kailash, 12, “All the things I could do with them.”
Kailash is talking about one of her favourite books, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief, a young-adult fantasy fiction about a 12-year-old who discovers he is a demigod. The discussion will be held at the first session of a new book club at MCubed library in Bandra, a programme where children will be invited every month to discuss a common book.
“We set up this club to get children back to books,” says Bandra resident Vibha Kamat who along with friends revamped the Maharashtra Mitra Mandal’s public library in September. The library has a membership of 170 children. “We also plan to dedicate sessions to authors. Children can soon expect a Nancy Drew Week where we will dwell on her technique of solving mysteries.”
While this book club is the latest to be launched, several others have been altering children’s reading habits across the city.
On a Saturday, seven-year-olds are trying to understand how mysteries work at a book club in Breach Candy.
Rupal Mehta, 40, a child psychologists and parent counselor who also runs Creative Reading, a children’s reading club is helping children with the process.
“My daughter, Saanika, disliked books,” says Manori Shah, 38, a CA, who regularly sends her ten-year-old to Mehta’s book club. “I have never been a reader so my daughter never picked it up. But my husband was worried she will never develop a liking for it.”
“Roald Dahl’s Matilda is my favourite book,” giggles Saanika, “I like how she teaches all the bullies in the book a lesson.”