Author Nizrana Farook makes her middle grade debut in a daring tale of friendship, risk, and reward, all set against the lush backdrop of Sri Lanka.
“A rich and joyful adventure story for those who enjoy daring escapades in a fairy-tale setting.” ―School Library Journal
Chaya, a nobleman’s rebellious, outspoken, no-nonsense daughter, just can’t resist the shiny temptations the king’s palace has to offer. But playing Robin Hood for her impoverished community doesn’t come without risks, and when Chaya steals the queen’s jewels from a bedside table―a messy getaway jeopardizes the life of a close friend.
After an equally haphazard prison break, Chaya barely escapes on the king’s prized elephant! With leeches and revolution lurking in the jungle, Chaya leads her companions on a thrilling adventure. After leaving her village as a thief, can she return as a hero? Or will Chaya’s sticky fingers be the beginning―or the end―of everything for the intrepid gang?
Debut author Nizrana Farook spins a page-turning middle grade tale in a lush, fictional Sri Lankan setting. Just right for adventure fans, the book explores themes of friendship and loyalty, risk and reward, and heroism.
“Farook’s debut is a perfect example of how to keep a novel action-packed while simultaneously developing characters and coloring the world…. Inspired by Farook’s own early roots in Sri Lanka, the vibrant island-country setting is so lush you can practically picture the greenery and taste the tropical breadfruit….lovers of animals and adventure are in for an entertaining ride.” ―Booklist
“The lush descriptions of the dense, beautiful jungle and a South Asian-inspired kingdom that evokes Sri Lanka shine through. The elephant, in particular, is a delight…. A lush wilderness adventure story.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Filled with lush descriptions of the South Asia-inspired landscape and delicious food, debut author Farook weaves a fast-paced…adventure against a backdrop of political upheaval.” ―Publishers Weekly
“One of the many delights of this novel is the sparkling description of Chaya’s rural Sri Lankan village, including the many references to colorful fruits and trees. More rewarding is Chaya’s growth…. A rich and joyful adventure story for those who enjoy daring escapades in a fairy-tale setting.” ―School Library Journal
“The setting of jungle island Serendib, a multicultural trade hub closely based on historical Sri Lanka, adds interest and will be useful for collections seeking to broaden #ownvoices South Asian representation.” ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
F&;P: V, Gr 5, Genre F
Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Justice, Redemption
BISAC 1: JUV037000 JUVENILE FICTION / Fantasy &; Magic
BISAC 2: JUV002080 JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Elephants
BISAC 3: JUV039060 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship