Title: Coming Round the Mountain: In the Year of Independence
Author: Ruskin Bond; Illustrated by Mihir Joglekar
Publisher: Puffin Books by Penguin Random House India
Publication Date: 1 May 2019
Genre: Non-Fiction; Children; Memoir
Purchase Link: Amazon
Puffin Books is celebrating summer vacations from school with its #PuffinReadingList #PuffinSummerReads program, as part of which I will read and review their pick of newly-released children’s books. I will recommend the best of the lot on my blog, so you can keep your children mentally engaged with these beautiful books throughout the summer.
Today I’m reviewing Ruskin Bond’s “Coming Round the Mountain: In the Year of Independence”. Read on to know my verdict.
The last of a series of childhood memoirs, “Coming Round the Mountain: In the Year of Independence”, chronicles Ruskin Bond’s memories of school during the fateful year of 1947.
Bond explains how India’s independence and subsequent partition of the country, seriously affected the lives of the children studying in a boarding school up in the hills, far from their homes. He shows how friendships were torn apart and lives were changed forever.
Ruskin Bond is a master of his craft. His simple yet expressive writing skills will appeal to even the most resolute non-reader. The fact that he describes episodes from his own life in this book, makes it more endearing.
Bond takes you on a charming journey through his boarding school life, with the attraction of team sports, the fascination of the only girl student in school, the colourful personalities of his professors, and his heart-warming friendships.
The beautiful illustrations by Mihir Joglekar add a lovely visual appeal, which makes the reader feel a part of the story.
The writing is short and crisp yet evocative. The charming story and subtle message about the futility of war, make this book a must-read. I particularly like Bond stressing on the unimportance of factors like religion, caste and creed when it comes to childhood friendships.
“Coming Round the Mountain: In the Year of Independence” is targeted at young children and pre-teens, but having devoured it in a single sitting myself, I feel that people of all ages will thoroughly enjoy it. In fact, I’m rushing to share it with my father and father-in-law, both of whom studied in boarding schools, as I know they will love it too.
The book made me smile, cry and feel thoroughly nostalgic, and I’m sure it will appeal to you and your children too. Please pick this gem of a book up at the earliest- you will not regret it!
*I’d like to thank Puffin Books and Penguin India for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. The post is not sponsored, but it contains an affiliate link. When you purchase a copy of the book through my link, I earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. Please support my blog by using my link 🙂
**Copyright in all pictures belongs to nooranandchawla.