These are the five books shortlisted in the ‘Children’ category:
The Beast with Nine Billion Feet
By Anil Menon
IT is 2040AD. The place is Pune, India. For thirteen-year-old Tara and her elder brother Aditya, it's a world full of tough questions and infinite possibilities. Why are Tara's new friends, Francis and Ria, so freaked by the night sky? Is their strange and beautiful mother, Mandira, friend or foe? Where is their father? Is he a terrorist or a genius? And what, exactly, is the beast with nine billion feet?
Tara and Aditya find themselves caught up in a deadly game -- a struggle for power and control, a fight for the genetic code to life itself. In this brilliant and disturbing debut novel, the future itself is at stake.
Anil Menon is a computer scientist and software developer, an editor, a science-fiction author.
The Magic Store of Nu-Cham-Vu
By Shreekumar Varma
CHOCOLATE cakes made of potatoes and cream, toffee rolled around sugar cane sticks and beetroot ice-cream garnished with tomato-chilli jam. A flute that can sense seasons, a toy bird that always speaks the truth and a doll that can do translations! But the strangest creature at the Magic Store is the monstrous Nu-Cham-Vu, who loves tormenting parents and teasing the kids who come to buy his toys. When the grown-ups decide to kick him out of Anchan Bay, the children don’t want him to go!
The battle is on… Will Nu-Cham-Vu be thrown out? Or will the children be able to save the Magic Store of Nu-Cham-Vu?
Shreekumar Varma is a novelist, award-winning playwright, poet and newspaper columnist. The book has fantastic illustratrions by Vinayak Varma
103 Journeys, Voyages, Trips and Stuff
By Siddhartha Sarma
THIS is a compendium of 103 travellers from around the world, whose journeys were worthy of some note. However, it does not include only the famous people we remember from history books, but some unexpected ones as well, such as animals & birds, trips induced through narcotics and other kinds of journeys.
The book brings out, in each two-page spread per traveler, some interesting sidelight or little-known fact behind the journey. It is, far from being a textbook, a sort of diary which celebrates the spirit of journeyers down through the ages.
Siddhartha Sarma is associate copy editor, Outlook Money, Delhi and was a reporter with various national newspapers
Taranauts: The Quest for the Shyn Emeralds
By Roopa Pai
SHYN, Dazl, Glo, Shimr, Lustr, Sparkl, Syntilla, Glytr… are bright, shining worlds of a whole different universe called Mithya. But now, all eight are in darkness. Mithya’s 32 stars have been seized by Shaap Azur, the wicked twin of the Emperaza Shoon Ya. The people of Mithya are horrified and heartbroken, until three brave and gifted Taranauts – Zarpa, Zvala, and Tufan – come to their rescue. Time is short. And the young Taranauts are up against many challenges, including the Bottomless Well, the Castle of Confusion, and the Jungle of Jeopardy, as well as mindboggling mazes and riddles.
Roopa Pai is a writer and journalist and has lived, worked, and traveled in three continents, writing for some of India’s best known publications.
The Grasshopper's Run
By Siddhartha Sarma
THIS is a war novel for young adults set in the North-East during the Japanese invasion of India in 1944. It is the story of the friendship between an Assamese and a Naga boy, and how the tragic fallout of the invasion leads to the Assamese boy being involved in the reprisal by the indigenous people against the invaders.
The story is less about the soldiers who fought in that war and more about coming of age during events which bring out the best, or worst, in men. The book also examines the social and political situation in the Naga Hills during that period, and the beginnings of the Naga insurgency.
Siddhartha Sarma is associate copy editor, Outlook Money, Delhi and was a reporter with various national newspapers.