Since my last post on Saturday School was on getting our teens to read, I thought I’d share a review of a book I recently read- “Dreams on Fire?” by Shyamala S.
“Dreams on Fire?” won First Prize in the category ‘Fiction’ in the competition for writers of children’s books organised by Children’s Book Trust.
Dreams On Fire?
The book relates to all the angst of being a teenager- having crushes, wanting to be popular, dealing with peer pressure, dealing with parental pressure…
The story is told by two friends, Jazz and Shelly, each very different from the other. The author had managed to bring out this difference in their characters beautifully.
As one reads the book, one gets the impression that either the author has not forgotten what it is to be an adolescent or that she works with teenagers a lot.
The story deals with a very realistic fear that most parents of teenagers have – that of their child being vulnerable because of the internet.
That eternal search for more friends to prove your popularity and then have it explode in your face. That is exactly what happens to Jazz, who wants to be part of the ‘hep’ group, whose parents allow her unsupervised time on the net.
Luckily she and her friend Shelly have a habit of sending message to each other in code and this is what helps Jazz.
It took me back to my teens, when my best friend, Maya , and I would write secret messages to each other trying out new codes to see if the other could crack it.
This book is a wonderful book to read together as a family and discuss internet safety. I know I keep harping on the fact that we need to have conversations with our kids. But I truly believe this is very important.
It helps you to know each other better and one day when they are adults, your kids can become your friends. Not now, because now they need you to be a parent. They need boundaries and even though they rebel against them, they look at you to set them. They may not always “like” you , but they will respect you and deep down they know that you love them enough not to be “nice” .
Do you think you can crack this code? This is what helped Shelly save Jazz.
You can buy the book from any of these Children’s Book Trust outlets
Nehru House, 4, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg,
New Delhi – 110002
Ph: +91 11 2331 6970–74
18 B, Rayala Towers, 781, Anna Salai, Chennai – 600 002
Ph: +91 44 2852 1850
G-14, Kamalalaya Centre, 156 A, Lenin Sarani, Kolkata – 700 013
Ph: +91 33 2215 5094