One club: Two Stories
In The Dog Who Wanted More, The Rulebreakers’ Club has just been formed. But, they are a gang of five…without a dog! Well, they are the Rulebreakers and since gangs without dogs are just not cool, they decide to steal a pug named Spike. Spike has his own plans though, and is by no means an easy dog to reckon with. What’s more, he leads them to uncover a terrorist operation! Read on to see how they handle Spike (and the challenges that come with him such as his unsatiable appetite and habit of pooping constantly).
In the second book, The Ghost Who Wasn’t There, the five children are still stuck with Spike and just can’t seem to get rid of him. There is one way, and it involves the following: catch a ghost, rob a bank and save the world. How would The Rulebreakers’ Club pull of this feat? To make things worse, Spike makes a new friend in Subramaniam the accountant and finds an admirer in Prasanna, the world’s greatest bore, and is constantly at war with his arch-enemy, Kunti Devi the pissed-off cat. Well, you’ll have to read to know how they finally manage to sort things out (or do they?)!
Urban Indian youngsters are a special group in themselves and the five child protagonists mirror realistically the language and appearances of this unique readership. This is heartening indeed as is the fact that the book does not fall back on any cliches, especially related to gender! (For example, the two girls in the book, Monica and Keerti reflect the young girls of today, who are intelligent, brave and individualistic in their own right). The boys, Tejas, Rishi, and Jagannathan have their own idiosyncrasies as well. The interactions between the five are fun and interesting, taking the story forward in a humorous manner.
The formula of “secret clubs” formed by kids who then go on to have adventures may not be new, but Rajendran gives it a fresh and unique spin. The result is two hilarious adventure stories that will have young readers in splits even as they try and guess what happens next.