Sweetness in the Belly, Redwork, The Paper Bag Princess.

Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb:  Lilly, the child of British hippies, was was born in Yugoslavia, grew up in Morocco, and moved to Ethiopia when she was sixteen. When we meet her, she has lived in England for many years, where she is an oddity as a devout white Muslim in Thatcherite Britain. 

Although I had to refer to the Wikipedia entry on Ethiopia to fully understand the political situation, I found the story fascinating, driven as it was by Lilly’s quest to locate herself and her community. As someone who has lived much of her life as a transplant, the question of how we define “home” is important to me. Is it by ethnic origin? the place of birth? religious affiliations? where we currently reside? the passport we carry?  Sweetness… is a must-read for those who like to think about this sort of thing.

Redwork by Michel Bedard: Mysterious landlord. Curious teenage  boy. Strange old house. Bullies. Intelligent feisty girl. All the makings for a good story, but then Cass (the fifteen-year-old-boy) began to have strange dreams. Books where dreams reveal plot points should come with warning labels “predictable literary device inside”.  Redwork builds up a nice creepy atmosphere, but the climax was rather anti-climactic…heck, I’ll be rude and say boring. I can’t believe this book won the Governor-General’s Award for Children’s Literature. Aaugh!



The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch: I’m probably the only participant in the Canadian book challenge who hadn’t read this one in her childhood. Kick-ass resourceful princess vanquishes the dragon and saves the prince.  Love it, love it, love it, so much that I’d like to do a Banksy and sneak copies into every known edition of Sleeping Beauty.




These three bring my tally for the Canadian book Challenge upto nine; four left to finish by the end of June.

4 thoughts on “Sweetness in the Belly, Redwork, The Paper Bag Princess.

  1. I LOVED Sweetness in the Belly! It’s one of my all time favorites!

    Your not the only one who hadn’t read The Paper Bag Princess. I haven’t. LOL!

  2. I’m not keen on dream sequences in books either.

    As for the Munsch book, I agree it’s one of his best and I’m really glad he’s made an appearance in the Canadian Book Challenge. I like seeing how much Martchenko’s style has changed since that book.

  3. Teddy: That makes me feel better 🙂 And I liked Sweetness… a lot as well.

    John: This is the only Munsch I’ve read, but it’s a great introduction–I now plan to read much more of his work.

  4. Hi Niranjana,

    We have a fest “Umang” which is one of the top college fests in mumbai. We publish the official Umang magazine called “Sans Frontières” and are inviting famous writers and bloggers to give in their contributio for the same.

    You get a complementary copy of the magazine if your article is published.

    Get Published in Sans Frontières!

    Get a parchment, seize your quill and start scribbling! Here’s your chance to get your words in print. Submit original articles in your style and on any subject for Sans Frontières, the official Umang magazine. Creative writing, fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetries are all welcome and the subject matter is entirely upto you. No clue where to begin from? Then here’s your aid…

    1. “I wnt 2 b ur FRAAND!” (The Boons and Banes of Social Networking Sites)

    2. Should we watch the watch dog? (The Media – Hero or Rogue?)

    3. Teen Life Crisis.

    4. OMG! My mom is Angelina Jolie and dad is Brad Pitt! (If I were a celebrity kid…)

    5. 10 reasons why you would want to be a politician!

    6. People ask for criticism only when they want praise.

    7. Streetcorner Symphony – How music exists everywhere.

    8. 40 going on to 20! (Age is only a number!)

    9. Year 2050 – Into the Future. (Fiction)

    10. High on Art!

    11. Girls, Gossip, Shopping – Synonyms???

    We also encourage artwork, photography, trivia and miscallany. Reach out to us at sf@nmumang.org. The last date is 27th July.

    for further details contact:

    ruhi shaikh


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