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

Mandra Shah, a part-time writer who spends most of her time in the IT world, recently released her first novel, Children of the Hidden Land. An action-packed, coming-of-age novel, ‘Children of the Hidden Land’ tells the story of two girls – April and Shalini Gupta – who overcome their prejudiced views of a nation, ambition and friendship when they meet a are on unusual mission. The book has been shortlisted for the Author Awards 2023 in the Best Children’s Literature category.
Fifteen-year-old April lives in Imphal, where she grew up hearing stories of missing children. And so, when Hanthoiba—her best friend—goes missing, April sets out on a mission to find her. He sees no potential in his new school friend Shalini Gupta, the daughter of an army man and new to Imphal. As April and Shalini search for Hanthoiba, they discover an unknown world where children are trafficked and trained to become soldiers. Not only this, drugs, arms and gold are also being smuggled across the border. Will they be able to find Henthoiba? Furthermore, why did Hanthoiba disappear?

This thriller will take young readers on an adventure in search of Hanthoiba. Through this story, Shah touches on some important topics like insurgency, militancy, child trafficking, drugs, smuggling etc. This is an interesting book for children, which will keep them hooked till the end.

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