Price: Rs 250
As a book on the state of schools, Toppers paints a fairly accurate picture of the incredible competitiveness and scramble for seats that are an integral part of the Indian schooling experience. The protagonists — students of an elite school called Woodsville — are as ambitious and ruthless as any child needs to be today in order to excel. They also easily fit into the roles of most popular guy, his arch-rival the school nerd, the spunky girl with the chip on her shoulder, a member of a royal family (this is India, remember) and other stereotypes. The story is about the manipulations of the toppers as they attempt to win the title of head scholar.
The book stretches credulity, for instance, by placing the improbably named school in the central reserve forest behind Rashtrapati Bhavan. Parents and children will identify with the portrait of the schooling system, while also serving as a cautionary tale for would-be parents. So pick up this YA novel to read while you wait outside the principal’s office. You’re going to be waiting a while.