WRITING STYLE: 4.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4.5/5
INSPIRATION QUOTIENT: 5/5
Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam – the man needs no introduction. He is known by one and all and yet he opens this biography with such a humble introduction and such humble beginnings. The man is an epitome of simplicity and “living it real”. “My Life: An Illustrated Autobiography”, one amongst the many biographies of his is mainly written for children. The story of his life is meant to inspire children and to impress upon teachers the need to ignite in their pupils, the fire of curiosity and the lust for knowledge. The story covers his childhood, college life, professional life and ultimately his life as the President of India.
The illustrations are pretty basic but they do a good job of supplementing the text. Keeping in mind that the target audience is children, the language too is kept simple. The writing style focuses on inspiring the young minds to seek more knowledge and take charge of their own lives; no matter what their beginnings or background are and through the cleverly planned text, that purpose has definitely been achieved.
I liked the way Mr. Kalam has talked about his own shortcomings at all important junctures of his life. Despite all his achievements, he has nowhere boasted of his greatness or his success. He remains a humble man and has mostly attributed his success to all his teachers. From his teachers at the primary school to those at his high school, to those at his college and finally those who have helped and taught him in his professional life, Mr Kalam has attributed all of his success to these people and all of his failures to himself.
Another plus point of “My Life: An Illustrated Autobiography” is that in a few pages only, it manages to cover his entire life story. The way he talks about his home and his mother is so adorable. Even when he has himself become an old man he still remembers his mom and her food; that is the power of love and to hear such a great man talk about such pure love is truly beautiful.
“My Life: An Illustrated Autobiography”, unlike a few others from his kitty, is quite interesting and once I sat down to read it, I did not feel like leaving it till I was done. There were two moments in the book when the story was truly motivating. Once when Dr Kalam was inspired by his school teacher about flight; this was when the teacher took the class outside to a beach and told them about birds and flight. That was a decisive moment in his life when he developed a curiosity for things that fly and decided that his career will have something to do with flight. It is also this moment which urges the teachers to adopt a more practical approach to their teaching.
Another incident was when Dr Kalam along with his team and after years and years of hard work and a few failures was able to launch India’s first indigenous SLV. That success story was truly motivating. All in all the book is a good read and I must, therefore, recommend it to all young readers. I end this review by giving the book five out of five stars and hoping that Dr Kalam will continue to inspire millions of Indians through his words.