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Younguncle Comes to Town Hardcover – April 6, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (April 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670060518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670060511
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,216,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5 Three children, Ravi, Sarita, and the baby, have a mysterious uncle who has spent the last two years traveling about and having adventures. Now, however, their father has decided that he needs to settle down, and has invited him to live with their family. Set in contemporary India, the well-paced story is organized into episodic chapters that relate the clever and funny adventures of this unconventional character: rescuing his sister from marrying a man she does not love (Younguncle acts like a maniac and scares off the man's family), tricking pickpockets as a deputy-stationmaster-in-training (their pockets were picked), calming a ghost that lives in a tree. Singh's prose is humorous and delightfully understated: The rest of Younguncle's visit passed quite peacefully, if you don't count the affair of the treacherous moneylender or the great jackal chase, or how Ancient Uncle and Hira came to win a race with a motor-cycle, or…. The book is infused with background details, beginning with the opening paragraph: Now the rain had slowed to a murmur and the lane was empty except for a buffalo, its black hide agleam, standing meditatively under the shi-sham tree on the other side. No doubt readers will clamor for more stories about this zany character. Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-5. Set in India, this is a highly episodic, loosely plotted collection of stories about the adventures of a young eccentric whom everybody--even the protagonist's older brother--calls Younguncle. Quick-witted and caring, Younguncle rescues his sister from an arranged marriage, foils the robbery of a tailor's shop, recovers some stolen livestock, and generally makes things hot for unpleasant and wealthy people, of whom there seem to be quite a lot! The chief charm of these low-key stories, for American readers, is in their introduction to Indian culture, family life, lore, and legend. Born in New Delhi, the author now teaches at a college in Massachusetts. Michael Cart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Young reader books. Bane of my existence. Light of my life. Sometimes I swear that half my life is spent relentlessly tracking down worthy early chapter books for those kids who still need large fonts and plenty of pictures with their stories. In the year 2006 I've managed to locate two worthy early chapter books for the kiddies. One is "Roxie and the Hooligans" by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. The other is the so far ignored "Younguncle Comes To Town" by Vandana Singh. Now for years I've been complaining to friends, family, and blogosphere alike that there are far too few Indian children's books brought to America. For crying out loud, they're already going to be in English! How hard is it to bring in some literature from another culture? And now it's as if Viking Children's Books has heard my plea. Straight from India (though written by a resident of Massachusetts who was born in Delhi) comes the first adventure of Younguncle. He can't hold down a job. He was kidnapped by monkeys as a child. And he hasn't an American equivalent anywhere that I can find.

Sarita, Ravi, and their little baby sister are just thrilled. Their crazy relative Younguncle (everyone has forgotten his real name) is coming to live with them for the very first time. Younguncle is their father's youngest brother and he's like nobody they've ever met. He's incredibly intelligent, sweet, good with kids, and afraid of settling down in any way. Once he moves in with the family, everyone in the village gets to know and love him. Of course, he can't stay in any one job for any amount of time. It isn't that he doesn't enjoy his work. He enjoys it way too much. He scares off customers with his intense adoration of car repair, sewing, and train timetables.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a very funny book with a wonderful plot. It is actually several short stories that together make a bigger plot! This is a great book!
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By Sarah Smith on October 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ursula LeGuin said of YOUNGUNCLE COMES TO TOWN, "Anyone who reads this book will be perfectly happy." It's true. It's a glorious children's book that adults can read and enjoy, where the good people win and the bad people get exactly what they deserve, told with a deceptive gentleness and set in an India that perhaps exists nowhere but in the world of Vandana Singh. Also a prizewinning adult writer, Vandana Singh has a storytelling voice that can be compared with T.H. White in its down-to-earth kindness and its respect for the fantastic nature of the world.

There's a second book, so far published only in India, that will come out here if this one does well. So I'm giving it to EVERYONE for the holidays.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a delightful book. My wife and I read it out loud with our seven year old daughter, and I'm not sure which of us enjoyed it more. Both well written and funny, the main character has a bit of the trickster in him, and it's hard not to laugh out loud or smile as he defeats poachers, thieves and would-be in-laws. The only comparison I can think of is Roald Dahl in an extraordinarily good mood. I hope the author writes many, many more.
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By Michele on March 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The title character, Younguncle, is endearing, benevolent and completely, unconventionally brilliant. It is rare to find a book that is truly fascinating to all ages. My five year old devours each word as I delight in reading it again and again. Singh's words dance and entrance as the stories demonstrate that the world can be made to be a better place. A most enchanting book.
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