Gupshup Goes to Prison by Arefa Tehsin – A Review

Gupshup Goes to Prison by Arefa Tehsin – A Review

TITLE: Gupshup Goes to Prison

AUTHOR: Arefa Tehsin


PUBLISHER: Duckbill Books (Penguin Random House India)

GENRE: Elementary Readers

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

SOURCE: Received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Khalid’s cat Gupshup has run away to a prison. An open prison, it is called, but everyone knows that prisons are full of horrible, evil people. Or are they? And how on earth will Khalid get Gupshup home?

Did you know that there are prisons where the inmates aren’t locked up in cells but are actually allowed to live freely and even seek employment OUTSIDE of the prison? Before you look at me like I’ve grown an extra head, let me tell you: yes, they’re a thing! They were started in Rajasthan back in the 1950s to help the inmates adjust back to the normal way of life towards the end of their term. How cool is that! Okay, before I go all info-dumpy on you, let me tell you about the book, hehe.

Khalid moves to the town of Sanganer and has heard all about the infamous jail for criminals. So, what happens when, one day, his cat Gupshup runs over the wall of the dreaded prison and hops over to the other side and Khalid has no choice but to enter the prison in order to retrieve her? What follows is a fun, action-packed tale full of new discoveries and jaw-dropping surprises with Shubhangi Chetan’s quirky illustrations making it all the more fun!

One thing about this book that totally had me smiling is how the author has conveyed the fact that people are so quick to judge others and jump to conclusions and assumptions without knowing all sides to a story, in a way young readers can easily comprehend!

There are few books in Middle Grade that discuss serious but extremely important topics and this book is proudly one of them! Discussing topics like prison, crime and law is no mean feat when it comes to inculcating them in books for young readers so kudos to Arefa Tehsin for doing that!

Friendships are one of the reasons why Middle Grade is my favorite genre of all time and Khalid making new friends in this story had me smiling from ear to ear!

And oh, do you love cats? Then, you need absolutely no motivation to pick this one up!

Have you read any Middle Grade books that discuss sensitive but important topics? Let me know in the comments!


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