Simply Nanju
Zainab Sulaiman
age group: 
9+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Duckbill Books
disability adventure humour



Set in a school for children who are differently abled, this funny, fast-paced whodunit will keep you guessing till the very end.

Whenever we talk of disabilities, our voice gets that unmistakable sorry tone, and pain gets written all over our face. We are, after all, talking about 'them.' But Zainab Sulaiman’s ‘Simply Nanju’ is different. She writes about Nanju and his friends who are funny, real, and hugely entertaining. You are transported to a world where life is as normal as it can get with children. They do their very best. They find the best wheelchair for their best friend. They play detectives like in a TV serial. They try to hide their poor academic performance from their parents. There are not many people to applaud the ingenuity with which they battle their disabilities.

The story opens up a whole new world for the reader, who soon discovers that this world, despite the odd wheel-chair or the missing socks, is not so different from theirs after all.

To quote Zainab, “I’d been working as a volunteer teacher at an integrated school and everyday I’d practically float out of there, high on the energy generated by a bunch of kids who lived life to the hilt in spite of many of them being severely disabled.” This same energy is reflected in her book which will attract readers of any age.

Reviewed by Donna Reen