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?
My Take: A fast-paced plot that tugs for you to keep reading. The first line is only a hint at what’s to come:
Chaya looked at the bronze spear pointing at her neck.
Her Robin Hood ways and an in your face attitude make Chaya a rather unlikable heroine at first. Don’t despair, her fierce, tough minded ways will soon win you over. The Sri Lankan setting is also a plus.
The trek is exciting with plot twists at every turn. You’ll be rooting for Chaya to put the King out of office and return her town to a place the citizens don’t fear. Her friend Neel is along for the ride as is Nour. They both have their own distinct personalities that create conflict with Chaya The jungle is a scary place and the perfect backdrop for this adventurous tale.
A fantastic debut in this thrilling ride.
PAGE COUNT: 240
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: THE GIRL WHO STOLE AN ELEPHANT by Nizrana Farook
- 48 chapters make this a great read-aloud. Children at home or students in the classroom will be on the edge of their seats.
- You learn about jungle plants and wildlife. Made me want to stay in the suburbs.
- The cultural diversity and the fact that despite their heroic attempts, Chaya and her friends acted like real kids.
- Great character arcs. The flaws of each eventually bring change and understanding.
- The Sri Lanka locale is one I’ve never seen used in a middle grade book. Such a place of intrigue!
Visit Peachtree Publishing to order your own copy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nizrana Farook was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and the beautiful landscapes of her home country find their way into the stories she writes. She has a master’s degree in writing for young people, and lives in Hertfordshire, England with her husband and two daughters.
I received an ARC for my honest review. Please leave a comment below.
**ALWAYS in the MIDDLE has bunches of features and reviews to share this month. Hurry back on Wednesday for my Book Blast stop starring IT’S A NUMBER’S GAME. BASEBALL!**