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VOLUME 15, NUMBER 14 -- March 2, 2009

For true Slumdog magic, read the book

By Upasan Bhaumik in WEST MIDLANDS, England -- Given that “Slumdog Millionaire” was nearly about to make it straight to a DVD release, some could say it was a miracle that it has now secured its place in history.

Indeed, the incidents that author Vikas Swarup tells us in Q & A: A Novel – the story on which “Slumdog” is based – are also perhaps nothing short of miracles.

However, any book is a series of coincidences, the 13 or so incidents that shape Ram Mohammed Thomas’ life are brought about in a way that makes the book a thriller, a love story, a story of life and perhaps most significantly, a story of hope.


Each chapter regales to the readers the story of how he can answer the questions on the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” – a show that has the same hype around it in India as the Super Bowl.

Using this device, Swarup turns the 360-page book into a masterpiece of storytelling.   Read more


When Hurricane Katrina smashed ashore in 2005, Louisiana teen Samantha Perez started writing about the storm that washed away much of her old life. Her journal, chronicled in the pages of The Tattoo, is all online at Hurricane Journal. Read it for an eye-opening and intensely personal look into the eye of the worst storm in recent history.






Wall-E recaptures beauty of animation

By Jason Lofters in ST. ANN's BAY, Jamaica – As I write this, I look around my room, and realize how incredibly fortunate I am. Typing on my laptop, with my iPod and cell phone next to me, surrounded by a shelves replete with books, I understand how much I take everything I have for granted. Read more


India celebrates Slumdog Millionaire

By Harsha Mishra in BAREILLY, Uttar Pradesh, India – Celebration has filled the air last week after the news that “Slumdog Millionaire” bagged eight awards in the Oscars.

Composer A.R. Rahman once more proved himself by capturing two awards for the Best Original Song category and Best Song Score.

The movie got the Best Picture Award, Best Director Award and four others including Best Song Mixing Award.

It was a day of immense joy and pleasure for Bollywood as well as the whole of India. Read more


Mumbai slum movie gains world's acclaim

By Sana Ali in SALWA, Kuwait Who would have thought it? After thousands of productions featuring Bollywood stars, one has finally come along that has managed to both awe the world with its original insight to a street boy’s life and sneak away not one, not two, but eight Academy Awards.

Slumdog Millionaire” portrays a young man with the simple vocation of a chai walla, Jammal Malik, who has lived his life on bits and pieces in the slums of India, and has somehow managed to luckily land a place on the show, “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.”  Read more


Oscar night is honey for Jai Ho

By Mariah Pulver in ORO VALLEY, Arizona, U.S.A. – “Taste it, this night is honey,” is a loose English translation of a few lines from “Jai Ho,” the winner of the song category in the Oscars this year.

And that night was sweet as honey for all those involved in the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.” Not only did they win Best Picture, but they won in seven other categories, including both music categories, song and score. Read more


Backward Benjamin


-- NEWS --

Congressman seeks help from teens

By Kiernan Majerus-Collins and Wesley Saxena in HARTFORD, Conn., U.S.A. -- Hoping to tap into the experiences and ideas of young people and offer opportunities to teens in his district, U.S. Rep. John Larson has formed a Congressional Youth Cabinet.The cabinet consists of about 34 teens, ranging from sophomores to seniors in high school who live in 16 different towns in central and northwestern Connecticut. Read whole story

Teens to Congress: Education is key

By Wesley Saxena in HARTFORD, Conn., U.S.A. – Education is the key issue for young people, a group of teens told Congressman John Larson.

The teens, named to Larson’s new youth advisory council, all had something to say about education. Whether they were concerned with it locally or the overall importance of it and how it affects the government.

Some of the Youth Advisory Council members told Larson, an East Hartford Democrat, that education is so critical that their parents actually moved to a specific city so the children could attend school there.

“My family came here because they heard about how great the schools were,” said Carson Collier, a senior at Berlin High School. “But now, everything’s costing more and education isn’t viewed as important. It shouldn’t be that way.” Read whole story

By Kiernan Majerus-Collins/ Youth Journalism International


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