SuhasiniSanskriti School, Delhi, India
EeshaSanskriti School, Delhi, India
VrindaSanskriti School, Delhi, India
NeehalSanskriti School, Delhi, India
15 & under
Punita AhujaSanskriti School, Delhi, India
Books & Literature > Books & Reviews
Ages 12 and up
Online Activity / Game
Teacher Resources (Lesson Plans, Worksheets)
Video / Sound
The setting up of Virtual Bookshelf required the team to collaborate on every aspect. Prior to the competition, the girls were acquainted with each other, but they had never worked as a team before. My brief to the team was that they needed to be as independent as possible and come to me only for occasional guidance, since they would learn better through research, trial and error. I am proud to say that the girls have indeed done so, and have exceeded my expectations on every count.
I did not appoint any leader as I wanted them to learn to delegate tasks among themselves by mutual agreement. Also, the work being creative in nature, a rigid hierarchy would perhaps stifle their ingenuity. They have worked mostly outside school timings by meeting and interacting at each other’s places. They have used their own personal IT infrastructure as there was great pressure on the school’s IT resources. In that sense therefore, this website is truly a result of their own initiative and hard work.
The team started out with Neehal, Vrinda and Eesha initially, and Suhasini joined them later. The book list was chosen through a survey among their peer group. Neehal took on quite a bit of the technical aspects of the website such as the flash banner and the games, using her knowledge of Java and Flash. Eesha and Vrinda collaborated on the page layouts, and Vrinda worked really hard on the creation of the pages. Eesha’s creative writing skills came in handy for a large part of book reviews and the content on the team page and home page. Suhasini wrote some of the book reviews and worked on creation of the pages. Vrinda’s troubleshooting instincts and Suhasini’s quickness of mind saw them through teething troubles while uploading the site. Their individual abilities and collaborative skills have come together in a seamless, harmonious whole.
The Virtual Bookshelf is a blend of creativity, technical knowledge and a love of books, developed by fourteen year olds totally on their own. It is not just a well designed site, but one that can holds promise of commercial success, if developed further. I am sure publishing houses and retailers would be interested in book reviews written by teens for teens. More than them, children would be delighted that they can find out what their peers think about the new books on the block, before they make their buying decisions. I feel happy and proud to be associated with the team that has made the Virtual Bookshelf possible.
Eesha was born and brought up in West Bengal, in the eastern part of the country. Her family belongs to the Jat community, and is settled in the state of Uttar Pradesh. She and her parents moved to Delhi, the national capital, four years ago.
Neehal belongs to Andhra Pradesh and Telugu is her mother tongue. She has stayed in cities like Mumbai, Nagpur, Hyderabad and Kolkata before shifting to Delhi 3 years ago. She is good in studies and has obtained a national rank in the International Informatics Olympiad and hence she is a valuable asset to the team. Suhasini and Vrinda are first cousins. They were born in Delhi and have lived there since. Their paternal and maternal grandparents were born in Punjab. The tragic tales of partition often told by their grandfather have left an indelible impression on their minds. The pain that he narrates makes the recent amplification of communalism and narrow-minded, jingoistic politics in India exceptionally painful to both of them.