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How to Win an Election (A Most Unreliable Guide) | A humorous story about two best friends navigating school elections by Menaka Raman (Author), Pia Alizé Hazarika (Illustrator)

My take on the book:

Sachin Samuel Ramanathan always dreamt of contesting in the elections for Primus Academy and become captain of the Red House. But he accumulated four discipline slips though the school reopened only a month back and had a cumulative of fifty-two slips from the time he joined this school. He was a day late for filing his nomination papers, the papers smelt of Gobi Manchurian after a dabba leak and turned to an unpleasant shade of brown after being smothered with Sachin’s muddy cricket shoes.

Though Sachin was initially disheartened that his nomination was rejected, he decided to become the campaign manager for his best friend Meenakshi Madhavan a.k.a Mini who was also contesting the elections. Mini though is the exact opposite of Sachin – always got A+ grades, favorite among the teachers, and is responsible. Mini’s promises for her school mates if she won included reduction in food wastage, composting and giving back to the community. Sachin’s tagline for Mini was Taco Tuesdays to entice the kids to vote for Mini.

However, Mini’s path to win in the elections is laced with hurdles at every corner — lizards, bathroom graffiti of other contestants, funny videos of the school Principal and blondies laced with laxatives. Is Sachin as Mini’s campaign manager at fault for all these mishaps or is someone intentionally sabotaging Mini’s campaign forms the rest of the story.

How to Win an Election is the story of two middle grade pre-teens who are contrasting personalities but best buddies, trying to win a school election. The family backdrops of Sachin and Mini, Sachin’s ADHD, Mini’s struggle to meet everyone’s expectations of her, are very sensibly portrayed by the author.

Sachin’s naughty antics complement Mini’s smartness perfectly, especially when they turn young detectives. Sachin’s habit of using fidget spinner and Mini’s to turn to poetry and rap in the middle of a crisis is interesting. The story also highlights how the opinions of the teachers will shape the kids thought process while growing up and hence it is important for the kids to have the right influences in their lives. The illustrations giving each of the election candidates a peculiar personality will catch the reader’s attention.

With election fever gripping the nation right now, How to Win an Election is the perfect pick for young kids this summer holidays. It is unputdownable till the end and thoroughly entertaining.

My rating: