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Welcome to Bookistaan

Bookistaan is India’s first recommendations based online children’s bookstore

As a small town bookstore, we have an inclination towards Indian publishing and writing, that hasn’t been able to find the routes into smaller towns. We believe it’s important for children to be exposed to their own literature for them to grow into empathetic individuals, proud of their own roots.

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Harper Collins

One Half from the East

How things unfold?

Where do you belong? Does belongingness come with birth or is it passed down like many other things? And what if you don’t want to be who are born as? What if you want to be someone else?

One Half from the East by bestselling author Nadia Hashimi is about 10 year old Obayda who’s life is thrown into turmoil along with her family when her father loses a leg in a bomb explosion. The family has to move out of Kabul, to a small village and thus they embark on a journey of changes.

While Obayda and her sisters are still getting used to being girls in a village, their aunt comes up with a scheme to bring them luck. All they need is a boy in the family and since they don’t have one, they have to get one. So, Obayda becomes Obayd, the boy of the family, a bacha posh.

Why read it?

For a girl who wants to be free

If you’re a girl and you’ve wished even for the slightest second that you could be a boy then this book will hit home. Obayda’s transformation into a boy is a reluctant one but what happens when she realizes being a boy is better than being a girl, what happens when she doesn’t want to be girl anymore, what happens when a girl starts enjoying freedom, freedom that doesn’t belong to her in the first place? That is the story of Obayda.

What it means to be a girl

Obayda is a brave character, there were times in the story when my heart went out to her and I wanted to whisk her away for it all but she always maintained to be a character that doesn’t need saving. She is a character who with girl clothes also sheds her limitations, becoming a character who is confident, she finds her fight. Makes one wonder if the girl had it all along!

The bacha posh tradition

This old tradition of Afghanistan is quite a curious one. Families without a son, designate the youngest daughter with the responsibility  of filling the void in the household and bringing them luck. The girl is dressed as a boy, her hair is cut off and Ta da! She’s one of the more privileged.

Change is the only constant, they say

Obayda’s unwavering resolve in the face of all the changes thrown her way is admirable and inspirational. She takes everything in her stride, never giving up. Not once.

For family

It’s what gives the 10 year old the courage to make a sacrifice far bigger than her age.

Who is it for?

Bookistaan recommends this heart touching story to anyone looking for a little inspiration and a little fight.