Books By RK Narayan That Every Child Must Read (Age: 8+)

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone mentions RK Narayan? Malgudi Days? Swami & Friends? For this generation of Harry Potter kids who swear by International author books- introduce them to the magical world of Malgudi and how RK Narayan brings alive the India of the pre-independence era right in front of our eyes. We list 10 books by RK Narayan that every child must read- tell us which one is your favourite!

October 10th marks the birthday of one of India’s most revered and celebrated authors of all times- Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, also known as RK Narayan. The author who was inspired by the simple things in and around him in South India, where he grew up, was one of the very first authors to write Indian literature in English and showcase the Indian culture to the western world. 

His works have been transcended across generations and you would find a copy of his best works for children in almost every household. His books help to look at the simpler things in life and this narrative style was simply unparalleled. We ‘ve listed the best works of RK Narayan that you must get your kids to read.

Just click on the books to buy them right away! Which one is your favourite? Tell us in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe for KSP Book Club to receive curated reading recommendations for kids every week.


1. Swami And Friends

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One of RK Narayan's most popular books, Swami and Friends has been translated into various languages to help reach a wider audience. A book that gives people an insight into the life of middle-class Indian families and children in particular in the fictional town of Malgudi. This book offers a life of Indians during the British rule and what it meant to children. 

2. Malgudi Schooldays

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Set in the pre-independence era in India, this story gives the reader a generous look into the life of young Swami who shudders at the thought of school. His life, his friends, his passion for cricket and what happens in the sleepy town of Malgudi makes for an engaging read for your children. 

3. Malgudi Adventures 

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This book that followed the super successful Malgudi Schooldays is a classic in the children's book world. Drawing inspirations from real life, RK Narayan's characters like Babu, Rama and Chandran, to name a few will stay in the minds of the young readers long after reading the book. 

4. Grandmother's Tale

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In today's talk of women empowerment, this classic from RK Narayan talks about his great-grandmother Bala and how from being a chirpy little girl to being married off at the tender age of 7- the difficulties she faced and how she challenged each one of them to become a determined and stronger person in life forms the narration- in true RK Narayan style. 

5. Malgudi Days 

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A collection of 32 short stories set in the fictional town of Malgudi forms the crux of this book- that is synonymous with RK Narayan's work. Every story is based on the problems faced by the nation in general during that era.

6. The Indian Epics Retold: The Ramayana, The Mahabharata, Gods Demons and Others

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How well do our kids know about the Indian epics? There have been many versions and retellings of the classic epics- but this one by RK Narayan holds a special place among them all. Based on Kamba Ramayana and the original Sanskrit version of the Mahabharata- Narayan helps narrate the story that's been told before, in a new, and interesting format. 

7. Under The Banyan Tree & Other Stories 

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Another collection of 28 short stories each featuring characters that you can relate to, set in the fictional town of Malgudi, this book helps us take a good second look into the most common people in our lives and how everyone has a story to narrate. 

8. The World Of Nagraj

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The interesting story of a fictional character Nagaraj, in Malgudi- how he is contented with his sedentary lifestyle and how things change when his little nephew visits him forms this story. 

9. The Vendor Of Sweets

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This one, for slightly older kids, is a great read on the reflection of family values, and dad-child bonding and how much affection means to a common man. Narrating the story of a sweet shop owner who lives with Gandhian principles, this book is all about his son, the changes the son brings to his life and how Jagan, the sweet vendor embraces them all. 

10. The English Teacher 

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The third and final part of the Malgufi Days trilogy, this book is more like an autobiography that dwells deep into the life of Krishna, an English lecturer who bears a lot of similarities to RK Narayan himself. Suitable for slightly older kids, this book makes for a comforting read even for parents! 

For more tips on raising a reader and to avoid the common mistakes parents do- click here to access this exclusive bundle on KSP Summer Fun Factory

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