Two classic novels of adolescence by one of Indias finest writers.
In The Room on the Roof, Rusty, a sixteen-year-old Anglo-Indian boy, decides he has had enough of the tiny, diminshing European community and his tyrannical guardian, and runs away. To his delight, Rusty finds that life on the open road is packed with excitement and high adventure....
In Vagrants in the Valley, which picks up from where the first book ends, Rusty is joined in his travels by Kishen, another runaway. As they venture further into the unknown, they discover new friends and participate in more escapades but also begin to understand the complexities of growing up and the boundaries that circumscribe even the freest spirits... Sharply observed, witty and wise, haunted on every page by the sights, smells and sounds of India, this evocation of youth, innocence and friendship will be read for a long time to come with deep, lasting pleasure.
Like an Indian bazaar itself, the book is filled with the smells, sights, sounds, confusion and subtle organization of ordinary Indian life.
Santha Rama Rau in The New York Times Book Review
Has a special magic of its own
Herald Tribune Book Review
Considerable charm and spontaneity...
San Francisco Chronicle
Moving in its simplicity and underlying tenderness...a novel of marked originality.
Mr Bond is a writer of great gifts...
The New Statesman
Ruskin bond is the most favorite author of children books. Rusty series was a great success and was highly appreciated. Room on the Roof is the excellent book for all but for young people specially. The first book in the Rusty series was Rusty: The Boy from Hills and that was a huge success and then followed the other novels in the series. Both “Room on the Roof / Vagrants in the Valley “books are semi-autobiographical and offer a very good glimpse into the "real India". In this novel, Rusty is sixteen years old. At some points, the story lacks the level of maturity, but yet the book is able to grab your attention due to the potential wonder and freshness. Rusty leaves a hostile and suffocating environment with his English guardian to explore the world beyond the protestant community in which he was brought up. He becomes a vagrant, but he discovers the real meaning of freedom as well. He friendships with many street children. Then he finds a job as a English Teacher, falls in love with an elder woman. That woman gives him the best gift a room on on their house’s roof. I would recommend to read both the books together as Vagrants in the Valley is the sequel to Room on the Roof. This novel takes the reader on a journey of rural India through the eyes of a 16-year old boy. I love Ruskin Bond for all the books he wrote.