Last week, I received a parcel of books from Puffin India. My joy knew no bound when I saw Ruskin Bond’s hardbound Coming Round the Mountain – in the years of Independence – being one of the books.

The first time I read Ruskin Bond, I was in the first year of college and the story was The Room on the Roof – a masterpiece of coming of age. Sadly, I didn’t read any of his stories thereafter till I chanced upon his children’s stories. I was absolutely delighted and bought quite a few of them for my daughter who was then 5 years old. I read her the Cherry Tree and Grandma’s Glasses, which she enjoyed a lot. I even gifted quite a few of Bond’s books to my nephew and my daughter’s friends who also liked his writing.

Let me talk about the book – Coming Round the Mountain

Plot: Coming Round the Mountain

Ruskin Bond is a 13-year old boy in a boarding school who loves reading, playing football and hockey, exploring secret tunnels with his friends and eating hot jalebis. The book talks about Bond’s friends, the football matches with rival schools, the strict PT teacher and caning from the headmaster, the lone girl in the all-boys’ school, the Independence of India and the partition of the country and the aftermath.

Review: Coming Round the Mountain

Though I never went to a boarding school, I enjoyed the slice of life of a boarding school. The beauty of the book is in its simple storytelling, which is a Bond trademark. The book has lovely illustrations from Mihir Joglekar.

The book: Coming Round the Mountain is targeted towards young children and pre-teens. My 7-year old daughter absolutely loved reading the book. Let alone her, I enjoyed the story as much as my daughter.

I liked the fact that Bond has dealt with the difficult subjects of India’s partition and death sensitively, keeping in mind his young and impressionable audience. This book gave me a good opportunity to talk about the Indian Independence with my daughter.

I would recommend everyone to pick up this book – Coming Round the Mountain for not only your child, but also for yourself and other adults in the family.

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