Wild Child and other Stories
Paro Anand
age group: 
12+ yrs
Number of pages: 
adolescence rejection rebellion
Realistic Fiction


Like a conductor, conducting a symphony orchestra, Anand seems to wave her baton in the air, conjuring up stories that although, grim, are though-provoking and gut-wrenching, stories that lurk in every corner of our land, but few dare to articulate.

Story after story brings forth the trauma and pain of children who have suffered for no fault of their own - by the cruel hands of intolerance, injustice, prejudices, sedition and social ills.

In Wild Child, she talks about young Bela who was shifty-eyed, smelly, and just plain difficult. Shunned by one and all, she was also the bane of the teachers. Where her behaviour stemmed from, no one cared to find out. Until, on that one dramatic occasion, the truth was revealed to the chagrin and deep sense of guilt felt by one and all.

In a similar vein is the predilection of Fatima, in ‘They Called her ‘FATS’, another story of how important it is to reach below the self-imposed withdrawal by a hurting child. A child who has donned an armour of insolence as a shield against the jibes and taunts of others penetrating the soft and injured inner core.

What is the remedy? How does one help such children? Or, more important how does one prevent young and vulnerable kids; innocent kids, who should have been laughing and playing, but instead have become hapless victims at the hands of politics, injustice, prejudices and intolerance - seems to be the questions that the writer is asking us to mull over.

A must read at home and at school.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee


“Teenage” the word itself means so much , so many different feelings and emotions . bullying , peer- pressure , competition , jealousy and a thirst to prove yourself better than so many others.These problems are part of the daily routine of a teenager.

This book “Wild Child and other stories” taught me to think out of the box, to think about the causes of these problems. There were stories where teenager’s got mercilessly bullied just because they differed in tradtition , appearance or habits from the others . What the bullies don’t realize is that there might be a cuse for this different behavior. In some cases an unhappy past, in other cases a troublesome present.

The ten stories are each very different though the focus on the same central theme. These stories tell you about many of the everyday problems teenagers have to face and how to overcome these problems. At times you might feel you are absolutely lonely in this world, sometimes you may feel you are surrounded by your friends and family.Reading this book reassures you that the feelings are perfectly normal for a teenager.

I would definitely suggest that you read this book . Once you begin reading it , you get so engrossed , that you wont even come to know how time flies by.and before you know it you’ve turned the last page of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and am sure that you will too.

Satvika Char
Grade 8 C
Arya Vidya Mandir

Bandra (E)