Ju's Story
Paul Zacharia
Asma Menon
age group: 
7+ yrs
Number of pages: 
value education mothers livelihoods domestic workers
Picture book, fiction


Ju’s Story is a sensitive and touching tale of the young daughter of a widowed domestic worker.

What for most people would be a drab and dreary world, Ju succeeds in transforming into a joyous experience by enjoying the simple pleasures in her life. Her sense of happiness and equanimity pervades throughout the story, even when the books and clothes she receives are only hand-me-downs. “They were entering her life for the first time and therefore were brand new as far as she was concerned.”

The narrative beautifully crafts the sense of anticipation when Ju discovers a letter in a book, a letter that had not been posted. She had never ever held a letter in her hand before, and so this mundane object becomes a great source of speculation and anticipation for her. 

Ju's character is well developed and our hearts warm to this lovely young lady, so much so that one finds oneself ardently wishing that her simple desire to receive a letter gets fulfilled, but alas!

The author has succeeded in subtly highlighting the trials and pressures of those invisible people around us –  domestic workers.

Through Asma Menon’s bold and unique style, Ju emerges as a strong, spirited and confident young girl and yet one senses the stoicism in her expressions. The story is very much off the beaten track and is certainly a worthwhile read.                                                                                                                                                                              

This book is also available in Hindi, Gujrati, Bangla, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Marathi.

Reviewed by Rama Bishnoi