Micro review: ‘Children of the Hidden Land’ by Mandira Shah

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Mandira Shah, a part-time writer who spends most of her time in the world of IT, released her debut novel ‘Children of The Hidden Land’ recently. An action-packed, coming-of-age novel, ‘Children of the Hidden Land’ follows the story of two girls– April and Shalini Gupta– who overcome their prejudiced ideas of a nation, ambition and friendship while they are on an extraordinary mission. The book is Shortlisted for AutHer Awards 2023 in Best Children’s Literature category.
Fifteen-year-old April lives in Imphal where she has grown up listening stories of kids disappering. And so, when Henthoiba- her best friend- goes missing, April sets on a mission to find him. She finds an unlikely in her new school friend Shalini Gupta, who is the daughter of an army personnel and they are new to Imphal. As April and Shalini search for Henthoiba, they discover an unknown world where children are trafficked and trained to be soldiers. Not just this, drugs, arms and gold are also being smuggled across the borders! Will they be able to find Henthoiba? Moreover, why did Henthoiba disappear?

This thriller will take young readers on an adventure in search of Henthoiba. Through this story, Shah has touched upon some important themes like those of insurgency, militancy, child trafficking, drugs, smuggling etc. This is an exciting book for children, which will keep them hooked till the end.

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