A wonderful three-book series that tells the story of three girls who lived in different eras of history.

Do girls around the world live the same kind of lives? Or, do girls from different ages have different experiences? Questions that could be answered by reading about three girls Raji, Avani and Madhura. While Raji lived in 990 CE Tanjore, Avani lived in 2570 BCE Bagasara village, Harappa and Madhura in third century BCE Pataliputra. The girls are lively, full of spirit and adventure and are on the constant look-out for something different to do .

Mysteries and more

A Mauryan Adventure tells the story of 12-year-old Madhura who lives in Pataliputra. King Ashoka sits on the throne while Madhura is a maid and companion of Princess Sanghamitra. But, for Madhura life is boring. She wants to travel the world, see and experience life beyond the strict confines of her home and palace. And then she gets lucky and she and her mother get to travel with her brother Karthik from Pataliputra to Ujjaini by caravan. This is but the beginning to a wonderful adventure. And as you travel with the caravan you get to understand so many incidents and occurrences that perhaps you would have read only in your history book.

Another 12-year-old in another era in another city — Avani, has an adventure. Avani and her friends love to play and spend time together. But they also had chores to do. Every morning they had to sit by the river and each of them had to chant ‘clan’ prayers. After this they had to collect firewood, help in the fields, wash clothes and look after the little ones. Their favourite game was saagargotte .

Bringing more excitement their way is the wedding of the village elder’s daughter Ketika. But things are not as they seem any more. Avani discovers some sinister happenings and how could there be robbery and to top it all how did the fire in the granary take place? And the village has a visitor — a monk from faraway China!

Deep South, there is 12-year-old Raji. Her king is Rajaraja Chola. A brave, intelligent girl, she has many interests. She is a dancer, a warrior and a sculptor. However, she is lonely as she does not have a family. Her mother lives in exile and her father, unable to bear the fact has left home.

Then one night there is a big storm. Raji manages to rescue a Chinese sailor. Raji’s friends are the prince Rajendra Chola and his cousin Anantha. While trying to help the Chinese sailor they realise that he may have answers to Raji’s many questions. However, a theft, a kidnap and a murder bring further mystery to this little town.

An interesting idea to feature three girls from the past and in doing so describing the place and mentioning kings thus setting in place the history of the era. However, by naming the series ‘Girls of India’, it has, in one sweep, alienated any young male reader. The stories are fascinating because of the descriptions and events depicted.

A MAURYAN ADVENTURE by Subhadra Sen Gupta, A HARAPPAN ADVENTURE by Sunila Gupta, A CHOLA ADVENTURE by Anu Kumar, Puffin, Rs. 199 each