Today’s post is the second of the Poirot Book Review challenge. The theme of the week is Rumors.

In the original story, Agatha Christie has deftly handled rumors as the voices hinting about murder and not accident for a village doctor who is actually innocent. Hercule Poirot’s mastery lies in sifting through the rumors and discerning what is truth and what is mere fabrication and idle gossip.

  • The theme has been also used in other stories like The Cornish Mystery.
  • In Miss Marple’s story, The Thumb Mark of St.Peter too, Ms. Marple has to go on a relatively cold trail, and then discern from rumors and recollections and then reconstruct the exact sequence of events and words to come upon the truth.
  • Elephants can Remember is another story where rumors and recollections are at the crux of the story and Poirot and the other recurring character, Mrs.Oliver have to get to the bottom of the truth.

The book I am reviewing here for the theme of rumors is the children’s novel TJ Zaps the Rumor Mill by Lisa Mullarkey.

At 80 pages and simple prose, this is a fascinating story about how gossip spreads and hurts people. It also highlights how staying mum or neutral actually makes us co-conspirators in the act of bullying and wrongdoing.

And the best is of course, how children and grown ups need to verify the information they get, assess its validity and usefulness and then act on it. As someone who is actively trying to teach my own kids about digital literacy, this is an important lesson that we all need to remember.

I actually loved how a simple story managed to convey a wealth of useful life skills- especially ones that I can only see gaining more significance in the future.

Needless to say, I loved the book and made my child read it as well. We are also looking for way to reading the other books from the series.

Among other things , the narrative is simple yet powerful. And the illustrations are gorgeous. I have to say that the cartoons looked familiar at first, and then I realized that the illustrator actually has worked for companies like Hasbro, etc. Were you able to guess from the cover?