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#BookViral #Book Review of Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues

Book Viral VerdictAnother exceptional read from Fiza Pathan, Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues is recommended without reservation.


One of the hardest things for any author to acquire is a distinctive voice, but Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues puts Fiza Pathan in the category of those who have achieved it. A powerful, charming and above all honest read, it’s not one of those novels that can be reduced to naive labels.  With a pitch-perfect sense of character, this is a novel that’s bursting with life, energy, fears, and frustrations, one that neatly sidesteps trite and formulaic plotting and dives into the nub of Pathan’s overarching theme. Pathan respects the idiosyncrasies of her characters, suggesting as much as she tells, and encouraging us to identify with multiple points of view. In this respect it’s utterly convincing, with emotionally genuine gravitas, as we come to know Raman and Sunny. Great writing should pull readers through a portal to another life and this is exactly what Pathan does and in doing so reminds us, that irrespective of cultural identity, there are periods in life that aren’t so easily reconciled.

Verdict: Another exceptional read from Fiza Pathan, Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues is recommended without reservation.

My book has won the following awards:
The Mom’s Choice Awards® Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues is a Silver Award recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award.
B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree
2015 New England Book Festival- Honorable Mention in Young Adult Category
2015 London Book Festival-Honorable Mention in Young Adult Category
2016 Los Angeles Book Festival-Honorable Mention in Young Adult Category
Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winter 2016- Winner in Young Adult

It has also won critical acclaim from Readers’ Favorite, Authors Talk About It,
and Reader Views.

Readers’ Favorite: “This is a very deep book that deals with a multitude of woes for the tween age group: starting middle school, a child’s individuality, parenting choices, the ways teachers and educators choose to respond to students, jealousy, resentment, fear of change, bullying, defiance and disrespect. It offers real life situations showing these examples and talks about the good and bad things that can happen in each situation. It shows young readers how one might traverse these situations and the outcomes that can result when right and wrong paths are chosen. Overall, it is a very educational book that parents will feel good about their children reading.”- Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers’ Favorite.

Authors Talk About It: Raman and Sunny will touch your heart and open your mind.
“Readers need to get passed the first five or six chapters, then they will begin to discover the beautiful depth within the story. From sibling love to sibling rivalry, from bullying to friendship, from lackluster education to expansive and new study methods, Raman and Sunny is a story readers will remember! Well, worth your time, and a good read for middle schoolers.”

Reader Views:
Reviewed by Faryal Jabbar (age 14) for Reader Views (3/16)

“Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues” by Fiza Pathan is packed full of new perspectives and ideas. Some people, including myself, have the idea that all twins are in sync and always get along, a stereotype. Raman and Sunny however, have a rocky relationship challenged by their differences ever since the beginning of 6th grade. Sunny is a musical prodigy, cool and calm versus Raman, the sensitive sportsman. The ever-present middle school bully takes form in Amanda D’Sa and her girl goons, who love to see the twins squirm. The boys both strike, for and against each other, resulting in life changing consequences.Good or bad? You will have to read the book to find out. Raman’s best basketball friend Imran is writing a book, “Middle School Blues,” an interest that once was a pleasure for Raman before he made a wounding decision. As the story goes on Sunil Mendonca, the new teacher, brings new and innovative ideas that threaten the other teachers, who fear his example will make them have to work harder. Meanwhile Indian culture, family life, and middle school play subtly in the backdrop.

Pathan uncovers the unseen flaws in some education systems, the  struggle of middle school, and family life. The book has inspired me to change the way I think about learning and even read classic books, something I otherwise would never have thought to do. The exciting plot and small details make an intriguing and realistic story. I felt as if I was reading a true story because of the way Pathan incorporates culture and modern life into the story. The characters raw feelings and emotions were clearly felt, making them more readable and realistic. The different points of view give a better understanding of the story and characters. There are several climaxes, which enrich the story, although some transitions were a bit unclear.

I recommend this book for people 10 and older. Middle school students will enjoy it the most, but adults can learn from the messages in this story as well. If you like realistic fiction, dealing with growing up, or middle school, this book sums those ideas up nicely.

“Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues” by Fiza Pathan is a wonderful book that takes you on a small but, meaningful journey. Friendship, betrayal, resentment, culture, corruptness, family, and love fill the pages.

Video Trailer:

The book is available for sale at:

Copyright 2016 Fiza Pathan


The Molested Mannequin by April Windbow


“Educational hubs attract various kinds of businesses. Entire townships evolve on their fringes. Food, clothing, and shelter, once upon a time, were well known as the three basic needs. Now, there are a couple of other contenders fighting strongly for their name on the list as the fourth basic need. Education, by far, wins.” Shreyan kept repeating, often forgetting bits, helplessly beginning all the way from the beginning.

There was something cyclic and mechanical about Shreyan’s squealing that made Aarika feel sick. She felt like she was going to puke, uncontrollably. As though his squealing was a ride she was forced to take… a roller coaster ride!

“Shut up, you dodo! There’s no way you are going to memorize this. So better give up.” Aarika blurted out.

“I can’t chill like you. I can’t even believe you still haven’t decided your topic. What are you going to do?” came Shreyan’s words, adding to her sense of discomfort.

Aarika almost shocked him when she said, “yeah… I know I am in a bad state and I am probably not going to have my topic in place even until the night before. So, stop practicing in front of me. PLEASE! I already feel terrible and seeing you prepare like this, I feel miserable too. So, stop it.”

She was not kidding. There wasn’t even a slightest hint of jest in what she said. She literally sounded misery-struck. Before Shreyan could make any guesses at what got her so woe-weary, she stood up and left the room.

Aarika walked into the garden, and pointing at a bee sucking honey from a flower she said, “Isn’t that unfair?”

Shreyan didn’t know what sense to make of her question, so he kept quiet. He wondered to himself, “I need to find a remedy for her despondency.”

Aarika then walked to a little puddle and stared at it aimlessly. Just when Shreyan was about to ask her what she was looking at, she questioned, “Looking at this puddle, if I feel dirty, is the puddle dirty or is it just me?”

Shreyan was inexplicably stunned and resorted to silence.

In a while, she began answering the question herself. She elaborated, “Dirty is the nature of a puddle isn’t it? Its inherent quality? But, not all puddles are dirty. Yet, if a particular puddle evokes among other responses, a peculiar sense of disgust, surely, it’s not just me.”

“What’s the matter Aarika?” Shreyan inquired.

“I got my topic.”

“What!! What is it..?”

“Umm… I don’t know how to say it.”

“Come on Aarika!”

“The thing is, I know I want to talk about it, but I don’t know what I want to say about it. Let me try and explain… So, the other day when I went shopping, I saw this mannequin outside a shop. The fine dress it wore was pushed too low at a certain spot. I know I may not make any sense, but it felt as though someone had done that on purpose. To add to it, I saw few of those sales boys pointing towards it and laughing covertly. The mannequin was molested. And so were our thoughts. All of us! I don’t think anyone who passed that shop and failed to not notice that mannequin had kept themselves safe from unpleasant annoying thoughts. It was not just me.”

Shreyan didn’t say a word. But, he nodded. And his nod said he understood. His nod was not the ‘it’s okay’ nod, but a ‘yes, talk… We must all talk about this’ nod.

Aarika decided to go impromptu and did not talk about any of it until the final day. Just minutes before her talk, she closed her eyes and revised that feeling, those unpleasant annoying thoughts, and Shreyan’s nod.

Not only applause and admiration, Aarika won a lot more.

Copyright ©2016 April Windbow

Photo credit:


#BookViral #Book Review of Amina: The Silent One

Verdict: A truly remarkable work of fiction that touches heart and mind, Amina: The Silent One is sure to engender much thought and discussion. It is recommended without reservation.

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Capturing the forced and grim realities facing women in India today, along with the raw emotional power of great drama, Amina: The Silent One by award-winning author Fiza Pathan proves an incredibly powerful read from the start. ….. Read the entire review at

My book has also received critical acclaim from Indie Reader, Reader Views,
Readers’ Favorite, US Review of Books, Authors Talk About It.

Amina: The Silent One  is one of the most socially relevant books on the market today in my opinion, and I highly recommend it.  I could not put this book down.  I was totally captivated throughout the entire story, and Amina and her family will be in my head, and on my heart for some time to come. Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views.

IR Verdict: AMINA: THE SILENT ONE is a beautiful and thought-provoking novel that shines light on important issues facing women in India today. 

“Pathan’s strength is her ability to perfectly describe the slums Amina’s family lives in.” IR

Amina: The Silent One is a powerful story with a message that needs to be told, one that will stay in your mind. It deserves an award.- Reviewed By Hilary Hawkes for Readers’ Favorite (Five Stars)

Amina: The Silent One is a gritty, powerful story written in a wonderfully engaging way. The writing style is extremely readable and I couldn’t put the book down; I read it all in one go. -Reviewed By Gisela Dixon for Readers’ Favorite (Five Stars)
This story is a very powerful and insightfully troubling one that addresses the plight of women in India. 
Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite (Five Stars)
It feels as though she hasn’t written a fictional story, but rather has pulled back the curtains on a grim reality to let the reader experience what it is like to have hope in a land in which despondency reigns.-Reviewed By Jacquelyn Gilchrist for US Review of Books (Recommended rating)
A powerfully gripping tale told by Fiza Pathan, Amina: The Silent One will fire up reader’s emotions while bringing them to tears. Reviewed for AuthorsTalkAboutIt by Dr. Janelle Alex Ph.D.

Amina: The Silent One has also won the following #awards and recognition.

2015-2016 Reader Views Literary Awards -Winner 1st Place General Fiction/Novel
2015-2016 Reader Views Literary Awards – Global Award for Asia
Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist Multicultural (Adult Fiction)
2015 New Apple Book Awards – Solo “Medalist Winner” in the E-Book General Fiction category.
2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards – Finalist Novella Category
2015 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award- Category Fiction
2015 New England Book Festival – Honorable Mention in Regional Literature
2016 Pacific Rim Book Festival- RUNNER-UP Regional Literature.
4th Annual Beverly Hills International Book Awards- Winner in Regional Fiction category.
55 Best Self-Published Books of 2015 – IndieReader

Copyright © 2016 Fiza Pathan





Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

#Honored to have the B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree sticker on my book:
Raman and Sunny: Middle School Blues


My book has now won the following awards and recognition:
B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree
The Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Award recipient
2015 New England Book Festival- Honorable Mention in Young Adult Category
2015 London Book Festival-Honorable Mention in Young Adult Category
2016 Los Angeles Book Festival-Honorable Mention in Young Adult Category
Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winter 2016- Winner in Young Adult

Do view my book at:
It is available for sale in Paperback and kindle version on

Copyright © 2016 Fiza Pathan




Amina: The Silent One reviewed by Dr. Janelle Alex, Ph.D. for Authors Talk About It

A powerfully gripping tale told by Fiza Pathan, Amina: The Silent One will fire up reader’s emotions while bringing them to tears. -Dr. Janelle Alex, Ph.D. for Authors Talk About It.

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A powerfully gripping tale told by Fiza Pathan, Amina: The Silent One will fire up reader’s emotions while bringing them to tears. Amina, born in India as the third daughter in her family is unwanted and viewed as a burden by her parents and abusive grandmother. Their belief of daughters being burdens is heightened as her mother gives birth to two more daughters. Tragedy strikes Amina’s family bringing devastation to her, her father and her grandmother. Yet, Amina’s tragic circumstances have only begun. Her father unknowingly marries her off to a man who turns her into a sex slave. The beauty of Amina’s musical skill, which has been her saving grace throughout her life, helps her once again within the prison of her marriage. But, will it be enough to save her and the others that are victims of her husband and mother-in-law?

Fiza Pathan is a compelling storyteller, and even though Amina: The Silent One is a little slow to start, it becomes a story that readers won’t be able to put down. They’ll want to know what happens to Amina and her music. They’ll want to know what happens to the other girls forced into sexual slavery by Amina’s husband as well as the husband’s fate. Fiza shares a story that portrays more truth than most people realize exists. It is heart-wrenching, while at the same time it is inspiring. Amina: The Silent One gives hope to women around the world even when they are innately afraid to speak out loud. This is an eye-opening story with a message that needs to be shared far and wide. Highly recommended.

Originally reviewed by Janelle Alex for on March 16, 2016.





#Haiku ELSEWHERE APPEARS JOY: Priyal B. Panchal


Rain blobs on phone screen
A message, backlight turns on
Rainbow shades appear

-Priyal B. Panchal

Copyright 2016 Priyal. B. Panchal

Sort of an attempt at Haiku!
Edit suggestions most welcome.




Every time I fall, I stand up back

up right

Sometimes I laugh,

Sometimes only smile,

But I love the fact that

I don’t cry

I am never going to let myself get into crying like my best friend. She would cry even if the mistake was not hers. She would cajole her mind into believing that she was wrong, at least perhaps! I was pretty young back then when she had already seen most of life. When I would talk about playtime, she would talk of forgiveness. She taught me a lot about forgiveness. She taught me to forgive myself when my absolutely normal and natural narcissistic defense mechanism sprung up. How I wish I could infect her ideas about defense!

Sometimes, we learn from people

Without them

Having to teach us.

This is what I love most about myself.

Copyright 2016 Priyal B Panchal



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