Book Reviews · Publications · Srishti Publishers

Review of ‘Leatherback and the Strange World’ by Shubhra Shah

This review has been written in correspondence with a 11-year old. All the thoughts presented regarding this book are of the 11-year old reader.


What is this strange place? Leatherback was a hundred and something years old and this place gave her the jitters! The only thing pleasant about this place was Sara Seed! Sara was the girl with no confidence, whose biggest challenge was to speak fluently. She was teased and ridiculed mercilessly by Mona the monster and her gang. How Sara turned her weakness into strength a story to tell. Sara’s brother Neel had stopped talking some years ago; his talking parrot Loro did all the talking for him. What was the secret behind Neel’s silence? Then one day Lolita, Sara’s mother had vanished into thin air! No one seemed to know what had happened! The animals decided to solve the mystery that had left the Seed household frozen. Amidst all the chaos, two suspects stood out clearly. Mr Clutterbick, second in command to Mr Seed seemed edgy and restless, his house was guarded by an unleashed dog who could tear apart anyone who tried entering the house, a sweet melodious song crying for help could be heard from inside. Who was that? Malannna, pretentious and a know-it-all was trying hard to show herself as humble and helpful. Her house was being guarded closely, what was she hiding? Leatherback and her team of animals decide to investigate both the houses to look for Lolita. The secret and the stories that they discovered in the houses left them shocked and startled. But where was Lolita? Who had taken her? All Leatherback had wanted was a quiet summer but she had no idea that she was about to enter a whirlwind of mysterious secrets and adventures.


It should not have been named Leatherback and the Strange Place rather it should have been named Leatherback and the Revenge. All the stories are based somehow on revenge and all characters have been wronged somewhere. Yet, all the stories are quite interesting to read.

The inclusion of puzzels, sketches, etc. after every chapter and also in-between the chapters makes the reading more interesting and entertaining. It also helps the reader remember events in the story. They make the whole book a attractive as well as interactive read.

Another important thing which is good for kids is the inclusion of word meanings in the book which will boost their vocabulary to the next level.

The writing style of the author is quite simple and captivating for all the kids. They can read it easily while learning new things. The whole plot is based on the life of a turtle and told through the turtle’s eyes.

Overall, it is a very good read for all the kids out there and you should buy this book for them.

Author Bio
Shubhra Shah is a single parent to two children, so every night used to be a storytelling night, where both her children would eagerly await for a new story. That is when she developed a keen interest in making up fictional characters and situations and converted them into tales. She was inspired to write a book after she finished her psychotherapy course. She realized that children respond and learned faster through stories; steering young minds towards the greater good, to make them realize their duties and make them responsible, which can be done through stories instead of lectures. She feels stories create a special bond between parents and children and that is why her first book “Leatherback’s Big Win” is a tale through a tortoise which would enthrall both adults and children, it encourages many conversations in the house as it addresses issues like “ Substance Abuse”, “Cheating in Sports”, It encourages children to speak out their problems either to a counselor or to their parents, it speaks about leadership qualities etc. and at the same time it has a keen insight to human nature through the eye of a tortoise. She has been called to many schools in Kolkata and in Mumbai where she talks to the children about “Courage” and “Honesty”, according to her kindness is depleting in this world and people are getting more and more self-serving and no one is willing to help others without a reason, she likes to promote doing good for others and taking nothing in return, her stories are therefore built on these thoughts and most of all her stories depict perseverance and tell children never to give up. Her second book “ Leatherback and the strange place” is another tale through the tortoise who already has a keen insight into human world, in this story she has added few villains as she feels the children should read about the negative forces present in this world, children should not be made to feel that everything and everyone is good they should read stories and know that there are all kinds of people in this world and yet one has to follow the path of honesty and not give in to corruption. Her stories encourage children to fight all odds and come out of their miserable comfort zones and move forward. Her books hold mothers in a special place and she has shown the mother as a a person who can make mistakes and does her best for her child. Her books hold interesting information about animals and her characters are named in foreign languages so that the children can learn a new word in a different language, her main intention is that the kids should read books along with their parents and have fun at the same time take home some important thoughts. Her sessions in schools are very popular and she has had parents come up to her to express their appreciation. She has addressed over twenty thousand children in the last two years; her main aim is to empower children and parents through tales. “Stories can change lives it helps you uplift your mood and sometimes it restores hope and faith- something which gets worn out in this competitive world, stories should be able to change one’s inner voice, from a defeated person your own voice can tell you to become a warrior in life ” she says.

Link to Buy the Book:

Leatherback and the Strange Place

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