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Book Review: The Ship by Ruchita Mathur

The Ship by Ruchita Mathur is an interesting novella for children and young readers. The story is about a crew of the ship called SPEEDY. You would be surprised to know that it is no-human being story, rather all about animals and their conflicts. To understand it better, you need to get familiar with its characters or crew members of the ship, they are:

  • LEGA, spider – she is the captain of the ship.
  • TABA, a spider – later he becomes the husband of LEGA spider
  • YAGA is a bear
  • TIMBLE is a penguin
  • CHIKA, a rabbit – cook on the ship
  • BOBA, a wolf
  • ALAK, a chipmunk
  • OLLY, an owl

The ship is sailing from Burma to India, carrying a cargo of teakwood. As their journey commences, a bundle of adventure and action unfolds. In the book there are around 12 chapters and each chapter promises a new adventure and thrill. Kids that love adventure and treasure hunt like stories will definitely find this book a treat to read.

Soon after the voyage begins, they are accosted by pirates. The crew fights bravely and shoos them away. Soon after this, a ship monster begins causing havoc in their hearts, but luckily they were saved by a lunatic wizard.

Their journey is long…it might take many months. So, in between the crew has to fight off the sea challenges, but the most entertaining and adventurous are whenever they land at any island for repair or rationing. In one instance, a cat –probably the king of an island – captures one of the crew members for sacrifice to appease the rain gods. Chapters are short, so do adventure thrills. The best aspect of the book is that is highly fast-paced and type of adventure differ from one chapter to another.

The author has added all spicy aspects that could have happened with a ship crew; there are sea monsters, wizards, hostile islands and animals there, treasure hunt, tsunami, and much more. The ship remains in the sea for several months and at different places. Their journey is an exciting one. Other than the boarded crew members, there are other animal characters as well, though auxiliary but play significant role in pushing the story ahead.

Ruchita has stitched this story using a sheer web of imagination. Character sketching and world building has been done superbly. The narration is simple to understand; in fact the book is well balanced. Parents must consider this for their growing children’s reading habit.

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