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Smash It, Butterfingers by Khyrunnisa A

This is an entertaining and hilarious story. Smash It, Butterfingers is Khyrunnisa’s seventh book in the Butterfinger’s series (Puffin books, Penguin Random House). Meet Amar, all of 13 years who invariably gets into trouble as he is clumsy. He is not called butterfingers for nothing. Accident prone Amar Kishen has the ability to drop or bang into anything and everything. The 8th grader studies at the Green Park Higher Secondary School. Much loved by his gang of friends he has also somewhat gained the respect of his teachers. 

This time butterfingers has sprained his right hand after a nightly fall on his father’s badminton racquet and hence has to wear a sling. But before Amar can show-off at school, Principal Jagmohan makes an important announcement. An inter school doubles badminton tournament is going to take place. Furthermore Mr. Brijesh K. Singh, a light-hearted eccentric millionaire in town is sponsoring the tournament. More surprising is the fact that only the 8th graders who are 13 years old can participate.                          

A unique announcement indeed! There’s excitement all around with only one question on everyone’s mind- Why is it that only the 8th graders can play and not the others?  Mr. Singh is unhappy, unhappy for he feels the town folk believe in superstitions. According to him then these irrational beliefs are passed on to children. The commonest superstition being number thirteen is unlucky and Friday the thirteenth brings bad luck. Since Mr. Singh loves badminton, a skilful sport, he wants the tournament to take place on Friday the thirteenth of the next month. He believes that with education and reading books people can dispel the notions of superstitions. Hence the winning school’s prize money will be gifted to the library for buying new books.                                                     

There are many takers to the competition but who will be finally selected? Green Park is sports crazy….but badminton? Do the children really know how to play the sport? Badminton may look easy to the eye playing a volley of shots but is skilful too. Amar too is excited and wants to compete. But how will he….with his arm in a sling? 

With practice full on and days drawing closer to the tournament there are many surprises good and bad awaiting Amar and his gang of friends. Mysterious incidents with many twists and turns take place. Will Green Park get to participate after all? Not to forget the adventures of Ozymandias the black cat, a new visitor, at school and Chuhaa the gardener’s pet mongrel.   Also, what does the ‘K’ stand for in Brijesh K. Singh and how bad can it be? How and what will butterfingers do to try and solve their predicaments? 

Smash It, Butterfingers is Khyrunnisa’s seventh book in the Butterfinger’s series. Once again it is a rib- tickling fun novel of chuckles and guffaws on mad escapades. It throws light on relevant topics of playing, taking up badminton as a sport and trying not to simply follow blind faith. Though all of us to a certain extent believe in good omens, signs and lucky charms sometime or the other we should not be superstitious and allow it to take control of our life. With her novel Kyrunnisa brings forth the view that it is with our sheer hard work and determination we get what we want leave alone due to only luck and divine intervention. This book is perfect for gifting to pre- teens, school libraries and anyone who enjoys a good laugh. Illustrations by Abhijeet Keni give substance to the story. 

  

Poyani Mehta

Poyani Mehta is a former School Librarian, the co-host of Stories Between the Lines-A Podcast, a freelance storyteller, performs in theatre for children for the Secret Passages Storytelling Circle. She is a team member of the PeekABook Children Literary Festival. She is a bibliophile, rescues injured birds and enjoys spending quality time with her young daughter and Shanti, her indie pariah dog who lives across the street.

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